Crush at Gramps Combines Comedy and Burlesque for a Unique Valentine's Day Treat

Regardless of the status of your love life, Valentine's Day can be a drag — the seesaw between looking for prospective dates and watching Netflix at home alone. Those in committed relationships might be at the point where the day is kind of a big deal and a proper amount of romance is expected. And for the married, well, it's another day that ends in "y." 

Crush: A Night of Stand-Up and Burlesque proposes to fill this V-Day weekend with a little fun and a lot of jokes.

With two shows Friday night, Crush promises a full evening of lust and laughter. Hosted by Gramps in Wynwood, the event is the brainchild of Divas & Dolls Burlesque director CoCo Le Bod and Miami-based comedian and performance artist Kat Toledo. Le Bod brings her full roster of performers and her own talents as a classically trained ballerina. Meanwhile, Toledo has assembled a formidable group of comics that includes Julie Baez, Jacky Beren, Pam Bruno, and Lisa Corrao (a regular at recent South Florida comic cons).

Although they're still hammering out the lineup, Le Bod and Toledo have designed the show to swing back and forth between the comedians and the dancers to allow for costume changes and for the audience and the performers to catch their breath. It's a unique event in an intimate setting that will show what sexy really means.

New Times spoke with Le Bod and Toledo about the origins of the show, the advantages of an all-female cast, and the types of shenanigans crowds can expect.

New Times: Divas & Dolls Burlesque teaming up with a small army of standup comics — how did this come about?
CoCo Le Bod: Well, Divas & Dolls did a show similar to this in the fall. Up until then, we had been in a few other burlesque shows around the area. That was our first self-produced one. We wanted to do something with comedians because the roots of burlesque are in vaudeville and variety and having a more full entertainment experience that's not just dancing girls. It went well before, so I wanted to try it again, and I thought Valentine's Day would be a great time to have a burlesque performance — and bringing in the comedy acts makes for a great, rich, whole evening.

All of your comedians are female comics. Was that on purpose?
Kat Toledo: I've noticed that what works best for performing standup next to a burlesque show is all female comedians. It's just more powerful for the performers when it comes to sharing the stage with other women. There's some sort of bond or understanding that happens when you don't really sexualize it; it stays fun and entertaining. 

Considering this is for Valentine's Day weekend, what sort of audience are you expecting?
Le Bod: Well, the tables are being sold in groups of two and four. We're expecting some couples, but we think an all-female cast will attract some single men. And what better thing to do on Valentine's Day weekend than come out and see some smart and sexy women? [Laughs] That sounds amazing. I think Miami as a whole is so diverse that I don't know for sure what we're going to get. I'm excited.

Toledo: We definitely know there are comedy fans who are excited about the show.

What can the audience expect?
Le Bod: The material is going to be really great. We were laughing the other day... Despite the fact that it's Valentine's Day themed, [the performances are] about breakups because happy endings aren't that funny. [Laughs] So there will be lots of breakups, and there will be lots of dating humor and family stuff too.

Toledo: I think a good aspect of the burlesque and the comedy show is that the burlesque dancers really show how smart and witty they are. And then often you'll see how sexy the wit from the comedians can be. I think it's a good twist on what you expect sexy to be and what you expect smart to be.

What about the prospect of finding love at the burlesque comedy show?
Le Bod: There are single seats. There are different tables of VIP and different levels of seating. Some of them you could just buy one seat and you never know who you're sitting next to... Maybe make friends? You could find love there?

Toledo: But we're not going to guarantee that. [Laughs]

Crush: A Night of Stand-Up and Burlesque
8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, February 12, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami. Visit ticketfly.com

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Angel Melendez is an unabashed geek and a massive music nerd. A graduate of Florida Atlantic University and an accomplished failure at two other universities, Angel is a lush and an insufferable know-it-all, and has way better taste in music than you.
Contact: Angel Melendez