Evanston’s Piccolo Theatre opens “Vaudeville and Vixens” for a four-week run with a special gala performance Saturday night.

The comedy ensemble taps into the creative vitality of American vaudeville and burlesque in the new show, which runs through Oct. 4.

Candy Butcher, played by Ken Raabe, joins Lucky Girls Liz Larsen Silva and Jessica Puller in a vaudeville routine.

The show turns Piccolo’s 50-seat space in the Arts Depot at 600 Main St. into a plush night club atmosphere to set the tone for an evening of song and dance numbers, bawdy comedy sketches, magic and variety acts and authentic vaudeville comedy acts.

Ensemble cast members in the “Dancing Feet” number.

Headlining the show are the flirty “Tease” dances performed by the Piccolo chorus girls.

Vanessa Hughes in the burlesque routine “Roxie’s Fan-dango!”

Director John Szostek is no stranger to vaudeville-style theatre. He perform sketch comedy in England after college, and his father was a burlesque “second banana” comedian before World War II.

Chris Biddle and Leann Zahut in “Doctor! Doctor!”

Director and choreographer Vanessa Hughes, a trained vocalist, dancer and actor, aims to resurrect the playful acts with tasteful — and very flirty — Piccolo flair.

Dori Scallet, center, a recent Northwestern grad, plays Dixie.

Piccolo Ensemble members performing in the show include Ken Raabe, Denita Linnertz, Leeann Zahrt, Amy Gorelow, Deborah Craft, David Kelch, Ryan Musil and Liz Larsen-Silva.

Also appearing are Chris Biddle, Ryan Hutton, Dan Kennedy, Jessica Puller and Dori Scallet.

Vanessa Hughes and Ken Raabe in the vaudeville routine “Court of Last Resort.”

Performances are at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 7 p.m. on Sundays.

For tickets, call the Box Office at 847-424-0089 or visit the theater website.

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