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It’s Time For Mini-Fridge Elevenses With Bible Burlesque!

by Karen Tortora-Lee on June 29, 2012

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 The Mini-Fridge Elevenses*

11 Questions, 11 Answers … ZERO calories, and 100% YUMMY!

 *Elevenses is a snack that is similar to afternoon tea, but eaten in the morning and might consist of some cake or biscuits with a cup of coffee or tea. The name refers to the time of day that it is taken: around 11 am. 

Bible Burlesque

Produced  by: Brain Melt Consortium
Written by: Alexis Roblan + Rachel Kerry

To raise money for the Edinburgh production of their biblical feminist burlesque-themed play, Rachel and Ali have decided to put on a night of hot, lurid bible stories – but they’ve got very different ideas about what that means. An hour of comic meta-theatrical sexy-time. In Biblical proportions.

Show Times:

  • Saturday, June 30 @ 8:30pm

Answers by:  Alexis Roblan


 1. Your tag line is featured above, so we know the PR version of what this play is about. But when you talk to your family and friends, how do you explain the show to them?
Alexis: When Horse Trade offered us a slot in MiniFridge, we (Brain Melt Consortium) decided to put something simple together as a fundraising event for the show we’re taking to Edinburgh Fringe this August (Daughters of Lot, FRIGID 2012). We wanted to throw together some burlesque acts based on Bible stories, but as Rachel (my writing and producing partner) and I got to work, we found ourselves in heated/often hilarious debates about how to pull this off. Pretty soon we realized that letting the audience see what goes on behind the scenes could be some ridiculous fun. So it’s still a burlesque show, but it’s gotten very meta-theatrical and silly, and the story arc comes from our actual artistic relationship — with fantastic actors we know and love playing us, and acting out some of our worst “burlesque” ideas, next to actual burlesque performers doing awesome sexy/creative things.

2. Here’s a scenario: After the show some audience members go have a drink. What’s the part of the show you hope they’re discussing?
Alexis:  I hope they’re discussing their last minute donations to our Edinburgh Indiegogo campaign!
( The drama of Bible Burlesque really does come from how difficult it is for artists to raise the funds to create their work — we tried to create a show that highlighted that plight while entertaining in its own right. I hope they also leave quoting lines and moments to each other and laughing a lot.

3. What drives your show – character, theme or plot?
 Alexis: Much of the action is an attempt to find something brilliant that fits the theme — a fantastic Biblical Burlesque act — but it’s also about the competing artistic visions of two characters, and those differences of worldview are what really drive the comedy.

4. What’s the one thing someone said about the show so far that made you the most proud?
Alexis: At our first table read, one of the actresses stopped and said: “How is this so much fun???” I hope the audience has the same feeling.

 5. Let’s fantasize for a moment. Let’s take the “off-off” off. Imagine this show is on Broadway. What would that change about the production itself?
Alexis:  It would just get way bigger. And longer, of course. We’d have awesomely expensive costumes and ridiculous lighting. Which would be tons of fun to play with. But at it’s core, it wouldn’t change.

6. Taking that one step further – after paying everyone what they’re worth of course, what is the most lavish, luxurious, frivolous thing you would spend money on if there was no constraints? (Think of the helicopter in Miss Saigon).
Alexis: Hmm… a giant Bible for people to walk out of… Rigging to allow the actors to descend from the “sky”… Yeah. LOTS of flying. Stripping in mid-air would be cool.

7. Is there a scene, a moment, anything that gets a completely different reaction depending on the audience that night?
Alexis: We haven’t actually performed this show before an audience yet, but I anticipate the “Cain & Abel” bit will have some mixed reactions… And personally, those are my favorite theatrical moments — when humor crosses a line into possible discomfort and half the audience goes there and the other half balks at them for going there.

8. What’s your favorite line from the show?
Alexis: And then the Virgin Mary is like, ‘Gee Mary Magdalene, I really like you a lot, but I think we should just be friends. I’m just so damaged from my son being crucified that now is a really bad time for me to become close to someone.’”

9. Is the world of this play sustainable outside a theatre? In other words … do you think people live the way the characters do? Would you want a world where they do?
Alexis:  In one sense, the main characters are based on my producing partner and I, and are actually pretty representative of reality — but to get sappy for a minute, I think the world of the play is one in which people really take art seriously and are trying to find ways to both create and honor it. That’s real in our lives, but it’s also something the world could use more of. I suppose the world could use more of people taking their clothes off while pretending to be Biblical characters, too.

10. You scan the audience and you see a face that stops you dead in your tracks – who is it? And why are you shocked?
Alexis:  I just imagined Jesus in the audience, giving me a thumbs up. I don’t think I really need to explain the shock — I didn’t think he’d be back for at least another 1000 years.

11. Time for Elevenses! Go to the mini-fridge of your fantasy hotel. What’s your dream 11:00am snack?
Alexis:  Mmm cold pizza. Is that too mundane? Should this tie in with the show? Is it weird to say communion wafers? Cold mini-communion wafer pizzas… Matzo crackers?

Thanks, Alexis, for having your Elevenses with us here at THM!  We can’t wait to see Bible Burlesque!

If you’d like to catch Bible Burlesque at The Mini-Fridge Festival find out more by clicking this link.



JUNE 28 – JULY 4 @ UNDER ST. MARKS The mini-festival will play at UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A) June 28-July 4. Tickets ($15/$12 students & seniors) are available online  or by calling 212-868-4444. 

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