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Burlesque returns in Casper for free ‘PRIDE edition’ show Friday

Fathom Swanson, Keyhole Peepshow co-founder, at the Bourgeois Pig (Gregory HIrst)

CASPER, Wyo — After gaining popularity over the last decade at different venues in Casper,  Keyhole Peepshow is bringing burlesque back to the Bourgeois Pig Friday, June 11.

“Madame” and co-founder Fathom Swanson told Oil City news said the hour-long performance is more of an “[age] 18 and up adult talent show,” with opera, magic, and drag. But there will also be classic burlesque performances.

Swanson said the form evolved in the 1400s, and the term “burlesque” literally means “to make a mockery of something.” She said performances are often satirical, topical, and draw on pop culture trends of the day.

“Now, most of the time when people think of burlesque, they think of showgirls, pasties, feathers, headdresses, high heels, [and] fishnets,” Swanson said.

Her only notes for the performers Friday were to to keep their acts “high-energy and fun: nothing sad, nothing serious.”

Billed as PRIDE afterparty, Swanson said her group takes inclusivity and tolerance very seriously.

(Keyhole Peepshow)

“I want people to come to our shows and feel excited about themselves because they saw someone they could relate to,” Swanson said. “It’s really important to us to be able to have a platform for people so they feel included and not alone.”

Swanson said she’s been thrilled with the diversity and size of the audiences, especially since selling out The Hall on Ash on Halloween in 2019 for the venue’s debut.

The first row is the “splash zone,” where audience members should expect to catch a stray feather boa. Fathom said she’s seen transgender people at tables next cowboy and middle-aged people in suits and cocktail dresses and they’re enjoying the same show.”

“We literally have a nun and churchgoers come to our shows,” Swanson said.

Friday’s free show begins at 10:00 pm. Keyhole Peepshow performers will also be at Pride in the Park 11-3 pm Saturday at David Street Station and at the sold-out Drag Show at Backwards Distilling Company in Mills from 7-10 pm.