Rust Belt’s ‘Godiva’ bares it again

Rust Belt Theater Company is bringing back “Godiva: A Burlesque Musical” for a three-weekend run starting Friday.

Written by Robert Dennick Joki and Josh Taylor, “Godiva” tells the story of a group of women in a small town who band together to stage a burlesque show. It was inspired by the legend of Lady Godiva, as told in the 19th century poem “Godiva” by Alfred Tennyson, in which a woman disobeys her wealthy husband and is forced to ride naked through the town as punishment.

According to Joki, “Each character in the musical has her own reason for wanting to participate in a burlesque show. Positive body image is the major theme in this show … realizing that everyone is unique, and beautiful in their own way.”

It includes the songs “Grin and Bare It,” “Betty’s Back Door,” “My Eyes Are Up There,” “Cakes and Pies,” “The Happiest Family in Town That Everyone Hates,” “A Pretty Nice Place to Live,” “Medusa,” “Big Girls Don’t Move Like That,” “Remind Me How To Dance,” “Bonfire” and “Let Down Your Hair.”

“We premiered the show four years ago and it has become our most requested production. Actors and patrons alike kept asking us to bring it back, so we did,” Joki said.

The cast includes Nicole Zayas, Mary James, Lynn Sabeh, Josh Yohman, Kage Coven, Hunter Thomas, Jessica Patoray, Amanda Rudnytsky, Lisa Torrence, Rachel Clifford, Keith Stepanic, James Hain, Abigail Kremm, Janelle Yohman, Heather Powell, Celena Coven and Bernadette Lim.

“Godiva” will be staged 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday through July 27 at the Calvin Center, 755 Mahoning Ave., Youngstown. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. For reservations or more information, call 330-507-2358.

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