Do Savannnah

Dirty Dolls get down and nerdy at Guild Hall burlesque show

  • Photo by Molly Hayden. Mary Contrary shows off her nerdy side during a special 18 and older show at The Guild Hall on July 18.

Dirty Dolls get down and nerdy at Guild Hall burlesque show

13 Jul 2015

The Dirty Dolls Burlesque Revue is back with a vengeance, this time bringing nerds to their knees with a sexy, scandalous evening dedicated to comic, movie and gaming favorites in an event they’re calling “Dirty Nerdy.”

Held at The Guild Hall, a clubhouse of sorts for tech enthusiasts, creative coders, gamers and performers, the event is Savannah’s only 18 and older burlesque show.

And while “sexy” isn’t a word you normally associate with The Guild Hall, Mary Contrary and the Dirty Dolls will change your mind.


What: The Dirty Dolls presents “Dirty Nerdy”

When: 10 p.m. July 18

Where: The Forge at The Guild Hall, 518 Montgomery St.

Cost: $10 for Guild members, $15 for non-members

Info: or

“It’s a diverse crowd, but so is the talent and that’s why it works,” said Contrary, whose lesser-known name is Mary Johnson. “Our show is contemporary and eclectic, edgy, cute and raunchy all at the same time. Some of our girls are very aggressive; some girls are adorable and poppy.”

From toe-point ballerina acts and pig-tailed pop numbers to strip tease rock ‘n’ roll Bettys, the show promises to be a nonstop hour of entertainment.

“We tailor the show to the interest of the audience, but the acts that I book are all so different that everyone is going to have a girl they like,” Contrary said.

Specializing in neo-burlesque, a revival and updating of the traditional burlesque form, Contrary started the troupe in 2013. The Dolls have since put on top-notch monthly shows at Club One in Savannah, and divide the rest of their time performing in a variety of clubs and events nationwide.

While the work can be demanding, Contrary has managed to make it her full-time gig. She spends her days organizing shows, booking acts and working on choreography; every weekend she’s performing in a different city, showcasing her talents with a variety of acts.

Despite the rigorous schedule, Contrary can’t imagine doing anything else.

“I’ve always danced, since I was tiny,” she said. “When I went to college, I was torn between dance, painting and photography, but I ended up go-go dancing at a club and it was a nice progression into the world of burlesque.

“When I first stepped on a stage during a burlesque show, that was it. I felt that vibration and I knew this is what I wanted to do,” she added.

Her arsenal of sexy swag and personal style is not so much an act, but an extension of her own personality. She said the show is her, only intensified, and this adds to its authenticity.

It helps that she buys bags of red glitter by the pound, owns 50 pairs of pasties and wears a sash made of M-16 bullets — regardless of whether or not she’s working.

“I can be pretty intense sometimes,” Contrary said.

The Dirty Nerdy show will also feature acts from Kate Monroe and Krista M.