Satanic Panic: A burlesque show in Chicago for fans and followers of the occult

(Photo by Split Sugar Photography)

You know how you’re always talking about wanting to try something different?

Satanic Panic — which is scheduled to take place March 24 at the SAIC Ballroom in Chicago — will bring together performers from the burlesque world and fans and followers of the occult for a macabre show with social commentary.

The premise revolves around trashy talk show host Gerald Rivers (played by Dickson Detroit) and his exposé on Satan worshipping, with panelists debating its impact on society in front of you, the studio audience. Satanic Panic was created by burlesque performer Red Rum, who appeared on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2015 and has been involved in the burlesque scene for six years.

“The theme (of Satanic Panic) is actually not so much about Satan, but really about moral panic and waves of conservativism that follow times of social change,” said Red Rum, by email. “I use the Satanic Panic of the 1980s as a framework to approach a similar hysteria happening today. People forever fear and try to squash out what they don’t understand.

“We will have members of the Satanic Temple there to help dispel myths about the religion but (we’re) really pushing for a highly entertaining form of social commentary overall. We are embracing many tabloid stereotypes about Satanism for nostalgia purposes and to poke fun at the outrageous fear generated by the misinformed. The Satanic part provides a vehicle for discussion about many forms of power, control and paranoia rather than it being a true Satanic ritual event.”

Satanic panic
The SAIC Ballroom will undergo a macabre transformation for Satanic Panic. (Photo courtesy of Satanic Panic)

Artists scheduled to perform include 2013 King of Burlesque Ray Gunn, Lady Monster, who, by the way, can twirl four flaming tassels at once, pole dancer Viva La Muerte (aka “Pint Size Pepper”), gothic illusionist Master Ron Fitzgerald and circus and vaudevillian acts such as Samantha Siren and Miss Pussykatt.

In addition to the performances, Satanic Panic will feature Ouija board and Magic 8 ball games, food vendors such as Dia de los Tamales and a photo booth that lets you turn your horror movie death scene into a gif, courtesy of Death by Design, Co.

“My target audience includes anyone into occult, heavy metal, punk rock, 80s pop culture, tabloid hysteria, anti-censorship, cosplayers, true crime fanatics and theater lovers,” Red Rum said of Satanic Panic. “And any group of people that has been considered fringe, shut out or looked down upon by mainstream society.”

Satanic Panic
When: 8 p.m.-midnight March 24
Where: SAIC Ballroom; 112 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Ill.
Tickets: $30-$75;


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