Bellydancing and Burlesque in Downtown Asheville

asheville burlesque

When it comes to Asheville Nightlife, there are many spots that we end up. And then there are a few “must go” places. Of these… Nightbell, 5 Walnut, and the Social Lounge are at the top of our list. We ended up at Asheville’s Social Lounge, which is located next to Strada Italiano, recently for a birthday party for Chef Anthony, plus a Bellydancing and Burlesque show by Lisa Zahiya on the rooftop patio.

bellydance asheville social lounge

Lots of friends showed up, excited about the night ahead!

asheville social party

While Dustin is celebrating, Carly stops by to say hello. Love her! Katelyn and Maria came by and joined the festivities, and what a great time we had.

asheville nightlife lounge

The Birthday Boy was excited, and the Lisa even broke out the pink hair! In the lower photo, Tommy from Pomodoros and Justin from the Twisted Crepe are enjoying the night.


The entertainment was wonderful. 3 great performances throughout the evening and lots of friends all around! Shoutout to DJ Matt who did the spinning for the evening. More from him real soon!

happy birthday anthony

Then the Birthday Cake arrived, with a surprise photo of Chef Anthony from the 1800s.

asheville lounge party

After the performances and cake, lots of folks got to hang out and catch up on the latest happening in the community. Lisa and the ladies brought the house down! Kevin of Divine Wine & Beer in East Asheville stopped by for this great event!

lisa zahiya asheville wig

The pink hair was off and Lisa pays her respects to all that it has done for us. Stay tuned for the next event coming to Asheville’s Social Lounge in the near future. And get out there and satisfy your Asheville Nightlife craving!!

FTW Burlesque Asheville Takeover!

toy boat asheville

I was looking for a place to escape the other night, just for a moment to have a beer by myself, tweet a little, and plan some business. I ended up at the Toy Boat Community Art Space in Biltmore Village and in the middle of the FTW Burlesque Troop, Asheville’s newest rave on the scene; and I got more than what I bargained for. I stepped into the place and the doorman told me $15! I was like “what is going on here” while I scanned the room. The decor was right, the atmosphere was smooth, and people where smiling not smirking. I paid the money and walked to the bar. I have been to many burlesque shows in the community, some way overplayed, but this was new, so I stayed for a few, and glad I did.

ftw asheville burlesque

I was greeted first by this lady in the black cloak and she let me take a photo of her. She looked like she had special powers, and plus, she had a glass of wine in her hand; combined with that light blue hair, I was hypnotized for a second.

asheville ftw burlesque 2013

But there were plenty of great performances ready to happen, like “Deb au Nare” in the middle photo here… she did a skit that was fast-paced and wow! Tristin (on left) and Memphis (on right) were also a part of the amazing entertainment!

ftw burlesque asheville nc

After the show, instead of hiding in a back room, the FTW Burlesque Troop mingled in the crowd, took photos and had a great time with the audience and new fans that were there to show their support of this endeavor.

ftw burlesque asheville askasheville

I went out, not planning on a “Booty Call” but still ended up with one. Hell, make that two. Thank you!

Do Not Miss the Asheville Burlesque Fest May 25-27!

Welcome to the 6th Annual ABSfest: Americana Burlesque & Sideshow Festival in Asheville North Carolina, May 25-27, 2012.


“The recent radical assaults on women’s sovereignty and civil rights by both politicians and zealots has made Burlesque more relevant than EVER. It gives us a voice and platform to shape and control the discourse about our bodies, the media, and our personal POWER.” ~Onça O’Leary

Photo of Miss Indigo Blue – Reigning Queen of Burleque:


ABSfest is now in its sixth year of celebrating the Vaudeville Revival. Nominated for Best Show in the Mountain Xpress Readers Choice Awards; the allure of ABSfest has attracted renowned circus and burlesque artists from across the USA, as well as Germany, Scotland and a surprise jewel from Tokyo.

Photo of Queen April:

We promise fashion, contortion, trapeze, and tease! ABSfest offers a full weekend of empowerment, education, shopping, and entertainment that no lover of the performing arts can bear to miss. This year, we also have a delicious SWORD-SWALLOWER.

Burlesque Festivals have become an international trend, from Vegas to Amsterdam; and in in that circle, ABSfest is known for embodying the true spirit of Vaudeville, offering a fantastic opportunity for driven artists to network, and for a community that nurtures raw, boundary-pushing, creativity. The festival is one of several annual productions of Future of Tradition, a seminal force in the underground Asheville arts community since 1999. Executive Producer Lauren Onça O’Leary travels internationally teaching and performing dance, music and stagecraft.

2012 Festival Headliners:




May 25-27, 2012 at locations Around Asheville, NC

Photo of Dolly Dee:

Friday Night: Shades of Classic Burlesque Show, hosted by Mark Slomski

This is just the beginning of a three-run of debauchery and high art… a teaser, if you will.Our annual Artist Recognition Award this year is given in honor of the late Phil Pollard of the Slomski Brothers, whom we lost this year. Enjoy classic performance, live music, vaudeville style, and more.

$15.00 or $25 for both Friday shows8pm. Club Metropolis.

Photo of Ben Wisdom:

Friday Night: Sultry Sideshow Saloon, hosted by Mab Just Mab, DC’s Own Sideshow Girl

The theater bus pulls up, the glittering artists disembark, tumbling along the Red Carpet in a swirl of laughter, and the party starts. This is just the beginning of a three-run of debauchery and high art… a teaser, if you will. The Opening Ceremonies are followed by awards,  performance, live music and more.

$15.00 or $25 for both Friday shows10:30pm (and 8pm) Club Metropolis.

Photo of Menage a Trois:

Saturday Night Spectacular, hosted by Tyler Fyre and starring the Reigning Queen of Burlesque, Indigo Blue

The newly expanded Orange Peel gives the festival more footage for festivity, as the hottest show of the year explodes within its walls. Phenomenal talent, a Burlesque Bazaar, and the sidewalk sideshow will be followed by live music and an afterparty. This is the show to NEVER, ever miss in Asheville.

$25.00. 8-11 pm. The Orange Peel on Biltmore Avenue, Asheville.

Photo of Black Tassel Boolesque:

Saturday & Sunday Burlesque, Circus and Arts Business Workshops in the ABSfest Seminary ~ $25 each. At the Movement & Learning Center above FBFC, 90 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville.  Train with Tyler Fyre, Indigo Blue, and artists from around the country in stagecraft, circus arts, fire performance, burlesque and more.

Photo of Miss Joule:

Sunday: Brunch Cabaret, hosted by New Orleans own Ben Wisdom

An idyllic cure for the post-ABS Fest hangover; food, drinks and more entertainment.

$5.00. The LAB.


All tickets & reservations, & more information: Visit

Saturday Night Spectacular Tickets Available at The Orange Peel website or through the box office.


Press Contact: Onca O’Leary (828) 232-2980

Press Release by Onca, Blog Post by G Social Media

Asheville ABSFest Burlesque Festival May 25-27, 2012

We have been going to the Americana Burlesque and Sideshow Festival in Asheville North Carolina for several years now, and we have NEVER been disappointed! Arts, entertainment, and fashion take a great step up and out when Madame Onca and Queen April take the controls during ABSFest.

From May 25-27, 2012 Asheville will be Burlesque City USA, with performers coming from all over the Country and even a few International acts. This event is so much fun!

Tickets sell out, so check out the ABSFest website to reserves seats for you and anyone else who wants to have an incredible time.

Also follow @ABSFest on Twitter

Tonight in Asheville: The Accidental Circus – Burlesque, Juggling & more!

The Accidental Circus East Coast Tour!w/ special guests… Bombs Away Cabaret! Wednesday, January 18, 8:00 p.m. $8 presale tickets, $10 at the door. The Accidental Circus On East Coast Tour in January, 2012.
—How do you celebrate your engagement and 10th anniversary in one year? If you’re fire eating jester Paolo Garbanzo and torch-singing belly dancer Onça O’Leary, you jump in your vardo with eight international vaudeville stars armed with spankin’ new acts of fame and fortune and bring the party to every town you meet.
—Join The Accidental Circus for an evening of Darwinism in Action & Luscious Cabaret. Collaboratorssince 2002, they are once again on the warpath to hilarity, touring in January of 2012. As ever, this show promises danger and humor, beauty and song, and weird social commentary ~ all in the first act.
—Starring: Paolo Garbanzo – Jester of England’s Muncaster Castle, Mab Just Mab, DC’s Own Sideshow Girl. The Mezmer Society, Asheville, NC. Sidetracked Theatre, Philadelphia, PA. Darbuka Dave, Huntsville, AL. Who: Ringleader & Juggler extraordinaire Paolo Garbanzo, fresh from filming for his new reality TV series “World Wide Show-off”, is the first & only American to be an official Jester of a European castle. Touring Europe and the US year-round he presents original comedic material in three languages. Historical, hysterical, & interactive, Paulo leads the AC as Benevolent Dictator for Life. Mab Just Mab, DC’s Sideshow Girl, combines artistry and human endurance. A glasswalker, escape artist, and world record holding blockhead, she is the tenured freak at DC’s notorioussideshow venue & museum, The Palace of Wonders. Mab has been featured in several documentaries and books on the sideshow revival, and is a pillar of the Cheeky Monkey Sideshow. The Mezmer Society demonstrates to the general public that, after a 60 year hiatus, it is once more permissible to dance to an accordion. Hard-riding highwaymen of mayhem, they missionize the Mezmer gospel  throughout the States. Bellydance, torchsongs, & sinister accordionism are blended at high speed into a tall, cool, glass of delicious & intoxicating performance. Sidetracked’s two-woman bowls the crowd over with high-integrity, rapid-fire, two-person comedic storytelling. They’re rejuvenate the classic Vaudeville genre… with badass sensibility. Darbuka Dave is the Juggernaut of Comedy, a genetic freak, & a brilliant percussionist whotravels the country, teaching & performing to thrilled & nauseated audiences of every caliber.
Bring your loved ones to dazzle them. Bring your enemies because, well, anything is possible when 5 knives are in the air… Accidental Circus.
—Get tickets on Eventbrite.