Food

DC is Getting an All-Male Burlesque Brunch

Magic Mike meets mimosas
DC is Getting an All-Male Burlesque Brunch
Sax is home to DC's first all-male burlesque brunch. Photography by Drew Xeron

DC’s brunch scene has many things to offer, but all-male burlesque isn’t one of them—at least until September. Sax, the gilded downtown cabaret owned by the group behind Lost Society, plans to spice up Sunday afternoons with a cast of minimally-clad male pole performers, aerialists, and dancers, all to the tune of bottomless mimosas.

Local choreographer Derek Brown (not to be confused with local bartender, Derek Brown) saw a gap in DC’s female-friendly entertainment lineup—at least when it comes to the Magic Mike variety.

You can find countless places to go see women do everything,” says Brown, the live entertainment director for Sax. “There’s nowhere for you to go see a male show where women can cut loose, feel empowered, feel sexual, and be in a safe environment.”

Aerialists twirl from the ceiling on silks or chains. Photograph courtesy of Sax
Aerialists twirl from the ceiling on silks or chains. Photography by Drew Xeron

Brown is quick is to note that burlesque brunch isn’t just for women. “Anyone who appreciates the male physique and male entertainment” is welcome for the two-and-a-half hour shows, which are fully staged with dance acts, costume changes (and un-changes), and acrobatics from the aerialists, who twirl from the ceiling on silk strands and/or chains. There’s a policy against nudity and audience participation—so no, a Channing Tatum lookalike will not dance on your face a la Magic Mike XXL (yep, seen it). That said, “table studs” guide guests to their seats, and help them settle in for bottomless mimosas—traditional or pomegranate—and snacks like charcuterie and cheese plates, which are included in the ticket price ($50 to $65). The goal is to create a vibe where moms, or even forward-thinking grandmas, could attend.

Brown says it was fairly difficult to put an eye-catching and coordinated all-male cast together; Men with cheese-grater abs who can also do the splits aren’t easy to find. Still, mission accomplished. The group has been training for nearly two months for their debut. The troupe includes 17 men—many of whom are dancers and/or body builders—ranging in age, race, and nationality.

“I wanted it to be universal,” says Brown. “It’s like a box of chocolates.”

The Sunday burlesque brunch starts September 11, and tickets are available via the event website.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.