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New Sideshow vaudeville play aims to charm and offend

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It’s beauty and the beast — carnie style.

Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz star in “The Freak and The Showgirl” — a vaudeville spin on the Marilyn Monroe flick “The Prince and the Showgirl” on Aug. 11 at Coney Island’s Sideshows by the Seashore.

The raunchy romp stars Fraser, a self-described “natural born freak,” owing to his shortened arms, and Muz, a former Miss Coney Island, doing everything in their power to charm and offend at the same time.

“It’s not for the easily offended,” said Fraser. “If you’re not easily offended by sexy stuff and bad taste, book a seat.”

Taking cues from old-fashioned variety shows, the adult-themed cabaret starts with a high-kicking song and dance number before jumping into striptease, magic tricks, Fraser’s “Sealo the Sealboy” act, which confronts the exploitative role of disability in freak shows, Muz’s Mr. Pussy act, essentially a film clip featuring a certain body part miming to the musical “Hair,” a beer drinking competition with the audience, and, by the end, straight-up nudity.

“We start off pretty tame, but build it so that the most outrageous thing doesn’t seem so outrageous,” said Muz. “So by the end, when Mr. Pussy is singing the theme song from ‘Hair,’ it seems perfectly normal.”

“The Freak and the Showgirl” at Sideshows by the Seashore [1208 Surf Ave. between Stillwell Avenue and W. 12th Street in Coney Island, (718) 372-5159], Aug. 11 at 9 pm. Tickets $15. For info, visit www.coneyisland.com.

Updated 3:55 pm, August 4, 2011
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