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    Bit to Do

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    Photos by Mickie Winters

    The Limbo, 411 W. Chestnut St.
    thelimbo.club

    “Whoever can say ‘Tito’s Titty Tiki Taco Tuesday’ three times fast wins a taco!” says Ethel Loveless, the voluptuous host of the Limbo’s free weekly cabaret-style burlesque show. A few audience members “woo” and clap. “Don’t get too excited!” Loveless says into the microphone with a wink. “It’s not my taco.”

    On this early-summer evening, Titty Tiki Tuesday is happening on the downtown bar’s U-shaped outdoor patio, under yellow string lights. Tulip-shaped glasses slick with condensation contain blue drinks topped with whipped cream and cherries. Folks drink rum punch from coconut cups. About 30 people sit in wicker chairs around wooden tables, beneath umbrellas fringed with what resembles a hula skirt. Lifejackets and lifebuoy rings add pops of orange — the same vibrant orange as Ethel Loveless’ hair.

    Just after 11 p.m., DJ Spring Break plays Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” through the small PA speakers. A slender drag performer in nude underwear skips out from the bar inside, batting exaggerated eyelashes. Weaving in and out of the crowd, a spotlight illuminates the queen as she kicks her legs high in a solo chorus line. Customers whirl their heads around, following her up and down the length of the patio, offering up dollar bills along the way. Her performance ends with a full-body shimmy. The DJ puts on “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” and a dancer in a raincoat appears from behind a potted palm plant. Her performance escalates from playful raincoat peeps to full-blown swinging tassels. The show ends with an energetic performance by a Titty Tiki Tuesday regular, Kitty St. Vincent, who’s tightly bound in leather with knee-high platform boots.

    After the show, a giant bamboo limbo pole appears in the middle of the patio. “Limbo Rock” plays as Loveless encourages the crowd to do the limbo with the performers. A line forms as Loveless sings over the words: “Limbo, limbo, limbo bitch. You’re a limbo bitch.”

    This originally appeared in the July 2018 issue of Louisville Magazine as a Best of Louisville Critic's Choice winner. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

    To see more Critic's Choices, click here.

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    About Katie Molck

    Loretta Lynn is the best country music singer of all time and if you don't like pickled foods, you can leave.

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