Jordan Wieleba on stealing a copy of War of the Worlds and coming out transgender

Crystal Allen Photography
Reading is about more than following a narrative or learning facts; it can also be a profound shared experience that culminates in a better understanding of ourselves and each other. In that spirit, welcome to the Westword Book Club, a bi-weekly feature celebrating the books that inspire Denver artists.

Jordan Wieleba is a comedian, musician, illustrator, GLBTQ advocate, cornerstone of Denver's comedy community and Best of Denver winner. Recently seen gracing the cover of Out Front Colorado, she also provided the illustrations for the book Sharing the Good News: A Positive Model for Coming Out as Transgender. Westword recently caught up with Wieleba to discuss helpful books for people struggling with gender identity, prescient sci-fi authors and her beloved stolen copy of War of the Worlds.

See also: Andy Thomas on Hell is in New Jersey, Etgar Keret and Shel Silverstein

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MCA Denver selects finalists for Twelve & a Half Days of Xmas LIVE!

Atomic Gracie
The results are in, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver's Twelve and a Half Days of Xmas LIVE! has selected the dozen performers who will rock the museum's modernist atrium throughout the holiday season. The performers each earn a $50 honorarium as they compete for the winning prize of $500, and with acts ranging from the holiday-inspired burlesque of Gigi D'Lovely to the self-explanatory Crazy Gorilla Drummer, the dozen days of Christmas should be filled with all sorts of appealing weirdness. We spoke with MCA director of programming Sarah Kate Baie to hear about how the museum found the acts in Denver's very diverse arts scene.

See also: MCA Denver seeking entries for holiday performance contest (no explosives, please)

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100 Colorado Creatives: Burlesque and cabaret queen Cora Vette

TL Gallegos Photography.
Cora Vette and the Hot Rods.
#42: Cora Vette

Cora Vette, aka Reyna Von Vette, is larger than life, with a big sassy voice, a ribald sense of humor and a sparkly way with a needle and thread, which all come in handy when she tackles her many roles as a burlesque-show hostess-with-the-mostest, costume-maker and show-tune belter. She's the complete package, and when you see her in action onstage, you have no doubt about who's running the show...which she does, regularly, here in town with her own burlesque troupes and on the road at burlesque fests across the country.

Her newest local weekly show, the retro-inspired RestoMod, opens tonight at the VooDoo Comedy Playhouse (see below for more details from the horse's mouth); to note the occasion, we asked Vette to tackle our 100CC questionnaire. Read on -- the lady has a lot to say.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Michelle Baldwin

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100 Colorado Creatives: Michelle Baldwin

#52: Michelle Baldwin

Seems like burlesque shows are a dime a dance these days in Denver. But back in the twentieth century, real vintage burlesque had pretty much died out here, along with the Curtis Street girly shows of a bygone era, after changing times and urban renewal wiped away downtown's tawdry marquees and neon lights. That all changed again in the late '90s, when Denverite and burlesque scholar Michelle Baldwin, aka Vivienne VaVoom, sparked a local neo-burlesque revival.

See also:
- Naked Launch: Burlesque...As It Was
- Burlesquer Bares Brains: Michelle Baldwin and her troupe have peel appeal.
- Michelle Baldwin: I want people to feel like they're part of my party

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Photos: Performers bare their talents at the Colorado Burlesque Festival

Dozens of performers took to the stage this weekend to put their own risque spin on the 2013 Colorado Burlesque Festival. From July 11-14, these skilled performers weren't shy about showing off their assets to the crowds -- and our photographer Christopher Morgan. For more photos, check out our full Colorado Burlesque Festival slide show.

See also:
- Photos: Meet the 2013 Colorado Burlesque Festival headliners
- Photos: Pin-ups and Pasties celebrates the burlesque of yesteryear
- Photos: The women of Burlesque on BROADway

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Celebrate the fourth annual Apocalyptic Ball and help raise money for AIDS Walk Colorado

Norman Dillon
Apocalyptic Ball organizer Briceson Ducharme A.K.A. Ginger Douglas

This Friday, July 12, the 2013 edition of the Apocalyptic Ball -- dubbed The Awakening -- will take over the Denver Mart. A blowout fundraiser featuring dozens of diverse performances from local and national drag stars, burlesque dancers, comedians, musicians and more, the night aims to entertain and engage a wide audience for a good cause.

Denver make-up artist and performer Briceson Ducharme -- known also by his drag moniker Ginger Douglas -- is behind the event, which donates proceeds to both the Colorado AIDS Project and AIDS Walk Colorado.

See also:
- Briceson Ducharme on The Apocalyptic Ball and living with HIV
- Photos: Scenes from Cora Vette's Technicolor Tease at Bar Standard
- How To Survive A Plague: An AIDS and GLBTQ activism film primer

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Photos: Meet the 2013 Colorado Burlesque Festival headliners

Categories: Burlesque, Events

Gravity Plays Favorites is one of five headliners at the 2013 Colorado Burlesque Festival.
The 2013 edition of the Colorado Burlesque Festival is bigger and badder than ever, offering up classes and performances featuring many of the names that put Colorado on the map when it comes to the flirty, coy, artful striptease that's more tease than strip. The festival shows run from Thursday, July 11, through Sunday, July 14; there are also classes, parties and hangout sessions (including free patio events at Lannie's). Find the full schedule at, and keep reading for organizer Midnite Martini's descriptions of the headlining acts.

See also:
- Photos: Pin-ups and Pasties celebrates the burlesque of yesteryear
- Photos: Merry Widow's Artisan Operetta performs a burlesque tribute to Lisa Frank
- Photos: The women of Burlesque on BROADway

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DU School of Music takes over Herman's Hideaway -- what's the secret word?

The dancers of Ooh La La Burlesque.
The University of Denver School of Music will rock the house tonight at the legendary Herman's Hideaway. Along with the four bands all made up of DU music students, there will be a light show and video shoot featuring Ooh La La Burlesque.

See also:
- Win tickets to see the Head and the Heart and more at DU's Music Fest this Saturday
- The ten best concerts to see in Denver this week
- Chimney Choir channels the spirit of exploration on its new album, (compass)

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Paco Fish on burlesque, living in a van, and quitting his day job to do what he loves

Categories: Burlesque

Stereo Vision Photography
After his house was foreclosed on, Baltimore burlesque performer Paco Fish decided to seize the circumstance and pursue his dreams. So the performer took the plunge and moved into his van, then embarked on a 52-week Burlesque Vanguard Tour across the country, taking along a variety of characters and theatrical striptease acts. Fish's next stop is Denver, where he'll perform tonight at the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse and Friday, in the Midnite Martini's Sexy Circus Sideshow at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret; he'll also teach two afternoon workshops at Vivienne VaVoom's School of Burlesque and model for Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School on Sunday. We caught up with the bold performer, who talked with us about being inspired by the Dresden Dolls, quitting his day job, and how to shower when you're living out of a van.

See also:
- Filmmaker Alex Cox on Repo Man, his next project and the beauty of black and white
- Amy Schumer on self-confidence, bathroom attendants and angry Jackass fans
- Photos: The women of Burlesque on BROADway

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Photos: Pin-ups and Pasties celebrates the burlesque of yesteryear

Categories: Burlesque, Photos

pinups pasties 1.jpg
All photos by Danielle Lirette.
The art of burlesque comes with a long (and sexy) history, from pin-ups to pasties. Over the weekend, Tatiana Tata and her troupe performed a glamorous tribute to the burlesque styles of yesteryear, at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret with performances from Orchid Mei, Midnite Martini, Honey Touche, Veronica Von Tassel, Peggy Tulane, Chalita Bang Band and Lady Shanime. Continue reading for the highlights, and visit our full slide show for more scenes from the evening.

See also:
- Slide show: Pin-ups and Pasties at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret
- A Burlesque Tribute to Lisa Frank (NSFW)
- A Salute to the Legends of Burlesque at Bender's Tavern

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