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Quick Q&A With Lauren Molina Of The Skivvies

On December 7, the singer/musician/comedian performs at The Cabaret with The Skivvies, a group that plays show tunes and pop hits in their underwear. We had a few questions for the disrobed diva.

Where did this idea of performing in your underwear originate?
Nick Cearley (the group’s co-founder) and I were hanging out in our apartment one day in 2012, and we decided to put a cover song on YouTube. It was a stripped-down version of a Rihanna hit. I was walking around my bedroom in my bra, trying to figure out what to wear for the video, and Nick said, “You could just wear that.” We were doing a stripped-down version of the song, so why not? We did a whole series of stripped-down YouTube videos, and they went viral.

What’s the vibe of your live show? Is it a burlesque thing?
It’s very nonsexual, so it’s not burlesque. It’s more of a pajama party, or a costume situation where the costume happens to be underwear.

I guess costume changes aren’t a problem.
Not at all. And packing is a breeze.

What kinds of music do you perform?
We take songs and turn them on their heads. We do mashups and medleys that are connected through lyrics and chord structures and storytelling. We love to play with the silliness of certain lyrics. It’s a real joy creating this comedy-rock band with my best friend.

Is it cold onstage?
It’s really the opposite. Even in cold climates, once you get under the lights, it’s usually comfortable. And when we played in Mexico, we were dripping sweat. I could barely hold onto my instruments. When you’re holding a ukulele on your stomach, it just slides right down.

Do conservative Midwesterners give you a hard time about the underwear thing?
We’ve had venues say, “We’re more conservative here. You might want to wear boxers instead of briefs, or a onesie.” But we’ve found that audiences are less conservative than you think. We’ve been told that after the first five or 10 minutes, they actually forget we’re in our underwear, because they’re so focused on the music and the comedy.

Ever consider performing in regular clothes?
Sometimes we have, actually. Nobody is telling us what to wear. There are days when I’ve eaten a giant meal and I don’t want to perform in my underwear, so I’ll put on a little teddy or something like that. Perhaps, someday, we’ll start wearing more layers.

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