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Sci-fi in the buff

Literary readings range from entertaining to unbearably dull, but in most cases the readers remain clothed. Not so with Naked Girls Reading, an event that goes tonight at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel. NGR kicks off the 2010 Toronto Burlesque Festival and features burlesque performers Michelle L’amour, Jo “Boobs” Weldon, Lady Monster, Peekaboo Pointe, and Tanya Cheex performing public readings au naturel. The theme of this year’s festival is MeTOPolis: The Future of Burlesque, so naturally the women will be reading from works of science-fiction.

NGR is the brainchild of Chicago-based L’amour and her husband, Franky Vivid. Paula Citron profiles the couple in today’s Globe and Mail:

[T]he couple began thinking about NGR as a form of entertainment. They considered, then rejected a pay-per-view website as being too prurient. They then hit upon the idea of a tasteful, old-style salon. They also discovered that naked girls reading has been a favourite subject of painters and photographers throughout the centuries.

Says L’amour: We hold the series every month at my studio. Each evening has a theme, and each girl selects her own material which can come from fiction, non-fiction, song lyrics or poetry. For example, for the Independent Women show, readings included Dorothy Parker, Mae West and Coco Chanel. We publish the reading lists on our nakedgirlsreading.com website.

This is not the first time NGR has come to Toronto. On March 7, Skin Tight Outta Sight Rebel Burlesque “ described by the Montreal Mirror as Canada’s pioneering posse in pasties “ held a similar salon at The Painted Lady on Ossington, and the group did a reading of queer lit there in conjunction with the city’s Pride festivities last month.

While the idea behind NGR seems like an interesting twist on the traditional literary reading, Quillblog can’t help but notice a certain gender imbalance. Perhaps the event could use some Naked Boys Reading as well?