The Salty Sirens

The Salty Sirens burlesque dance group will stage two February performances at Elaine’s Dinner Theater in Cape May. From left are Sarah Matthews as Stella Stilletto, Rachel Lee Miller as Countess Camilla Noire, Jessica Formento as Lydia Bloom, Kelsey Wise as Foxy Angel, Rachael Sheets as Lady Rae and Jessica Kirk as Calliope St. James.

CAPE MAY — Burlesque is coming to Cape May County, and organizers said the show will be sassy and teasing, and include a bit of seduction and a splash of irreverent humor.

The Salty Sirens, a group of six area women, will perform two shows, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14 and Friday, Feb. 16, at Elaine's Dinner Theater, 513 Lafayette St.

The Sirens are sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities and presented their first show last year during MAC’s celebration of Victorian Weekend, according to MAC spokeswoman Susan Krysiak.

“The Salty Sirens are adorable. It’s very tasteful, this burlesque show,” Krysiak said. 

“I’m not sure what the ladies have planned for this event,” she added.

Kelsey Wise, the leader of the Sirens and owner of a Cape May yoga studio, said her group is made up of friends who have an interest in dance and enjoy burlesque as a way of expressing themselves.

Each of the women takes a stage name for the performance, and Sarah Matthews, as Stella Stilletto, leads the troupe as the "vixen of ceremonies."

“Most are friends of mine from all different ways of knowing each other,” Wise said. “They’re all from Cape May County, and they’re very passionate about show. They’re putting in a lot of hard work."

That was true in October for the group’s first show, though the historically accurate lingerie under Victorian gowns is not what most people think of as burlesque garb, Wise said.

“For that first show, we used Victorian nightgowns from MAC. Those gowns are not provocative at all,” Wise said.

To spice the show up to a PG-13 level, the women added their own costumes to the dance routines.

They’ll do the same for the February performances, Wise said.

“Burlesque is all about having a variety of performers and adding the art of seduction and tease,” Wise said.

That first show was success, selling out early, Wise said. It’s why this year, MAC, the Sirens and the management at Elaine’s decided to join forces to sponsor two more performances, though with less emphasis on Victorian nightgowns and more on the roots of burlesque.

“This is not a historic revue,” she said. “It’s mostly entertainment, to remind people that Vaudeville, and what were called Victorian travesties, evolved into burlesque. It’s sassy, teasing and also a little irreverent.”

The shows will feature a variety of performances centered on love and put a feisty spin on the history of Valentine's Day, Krysiak said.

Wise said the idea for a burlesque group grew out of a dream of hers to do something different – to bring more forms of entertainment to Cape May County.

“Burlesque is trendy,” she said. “This is a chance to do something that’s different, yet still trendy.”

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online or at the Washington Street Mall information booth at Ocean Street. ​For information or to purchase tickets see or call 609-884-5404.

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