Hattiesburlesque provides entertainment, community

Hattiesburlesque provides entertainment, community

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - "The Hippo is the place to be every four months."

It's a statement by one Hattiesburlesque performer that has proven true in just one year's time.

Every show Hattiesburlesque has put on since its first performance in October 2014 has been sold out, and besides from the talent on stage being a reason, it's also the only show of its kind in the Pine Belt, and perhaps the entire state of Mississippi.

"We want it to be something that's special to Hattiesburg, and it's true to Hattiesburg," Rebecca Chandler, choreographer, talent and co-creator of the show, said.

Hattiesburlesque is a mix of singing, dancing, and live music, and it's 100 percent local- from the performers to the set creators to the venue, which is the The Thirsty Hippo in downtown Hattiesburg.

"It's a way of getting away from your day to day life," performer Teresa Howlett said.

Howlett is a post office clerk by day and a vivacious, free-spirited woman on stage by night. She's been with Hattiesburlesque since its first show, like several of the women performing in this month's show, and she said it's become a safe haven for the group.

"When we come here, it's like a sisterhood," she described. "We talk about us. We talk about what we want to do. We talk about what we love to do."

There is no woman in the sisterhood that is the same, and that's what the women love about it.

From mothers, to teachers, to single women to women expecting their first child (yes, they are still dancing!), each brings something different to the stage that Hattiesburg has fallen in love with.

"Nobody is whispering or talking," Chandler said, describing the practices. "They're hootin' and hollerin'. They're making sure that whoever is on stage is being paid attention to."

Chandler said she was once asked by a man how they got that many women in one room who supported each other.

"I said, the magic happened," Chandler responded. "I don't really know how it happened, but it did. I guess we just attracted a group of girls that really knew how to treat each other."

Amber Mauldin, who is a theater teacher and the only red head of the group, started with the show in the beginning as well and said it's growth is something to be proud of, especially how it's affected each woman.

"It's having that confidence no matter how God has made you," she said. "You are unique, and you should be proud of looking that way."

Hattiesburlesque currently performs every four months, and they have a Halloween-themed showing on October 22, 23 and 24 at the Hippo.

The Thursday and Friday performances begin at 8:30 p.m., and the Saturday performance is at 9:30 p.m. To purchase tickets, click here.

The group highly suggests you not only purchase tickets early but also arrive to the show early to grab your seat preference.