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 World Premiere Oct. 12-14 @ Club Fais Do Do

LOS ANGELES – It’s like no fairy tale you’ve ever seen.

Rick Andreoli“Once Upon a Pole” – which will have its world premiere Oct. 12-14 – is a rock ‘n’ roll vertical dance experience inspired by classic fairytales woven into a comic commentary on modern relationships. Part cabaret, part musical, part rock concert, “Once Upon a Pole” uses high-flying acrobatic pole dance as a primary story-telling device with singers, dancers, aerialists and actors. Together, they spin an enchanting and spellbinding tale about a woman who takes on the identities of several iconic fairytale characters in her search for love and self.

“Once Upon a Pole” features special guest star Timber Brown, 2011 International Pole Athlete Champion who has performed in numerous productions and special events around the world.

The woman behind this one-of-its-kind creation is Kelly Maglia- LGBT supporter, founder and artistic director of Kelly Maglia Vertical Theatre (

“With ‘Once Upon a Pole,’ my company is taking pole dance to a new level and combining text with stunning movement in the air and on the ground to create a new theatrical experience,” Maglia says. “It’s very exciting to combine my passions for dance, theatre, playwriting, rock music and circus into one unique form.”

“Once Upon a Pole” will play at 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Oct 12-14 at Club Fais Do Do, 5253 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles 90016. Tickets range from $25 to $75 (for a VIP table). For tickets go to or call (800) 838-3006.

Kelly MagliaKelly Maglia Vertical Theatre is already a pioneer in redefining pole art. With several shows on L.A.’s Sunset Strip and at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, the company is bringing sophistication and theatricality to an art form most closely identified with strippers.

“I knew there would be an audience for pole dance theatre,” she says, “but I had no idea just how popular this genre could be. I’ve found that audiences are initially drawn in by the allure of the forbidden. But they leave seeing pole dance as a true art.”

For Maglia, seeing pole as art was a not a huge leap. Literally. As a trained ballet dancer, experienced musical theatre performer, and costume designer, she not only leaped into vertical dance with ease, but immediately recognized the theatrical potential of the pole. And because she was already making her living designing costumes, creating shows full of magical worlds was an easy next step.

“I was in the middle of my very first pole class, and I was already thinking, ‘this pole could be a tree, the mast of a ship, or, of course, the symbol of erotic awakening. The sky – or the ceiling – really is the limit!’”

Suddenly, a 12-foot piece of chrome became the catalyst for a new vision of music theatre – one that would use pole dance as a primary story-telling device. And because of her extensive training in both dance and theatre (besides being proficient in ballet, Maglia studied Fosse technique with Chet Walker and Ann Reinking in New York and was awarded the prestigious British Marshall Scholarship to study playwriting in London), Maglia knew she was the perfect person to usher in this new art form.

Indeed, her early shows have done just that. “Umbrella”, which ran in 2010 at the Viper Room, combined Maglia’s original costumes and script with pole dance musical numbers.

“It was an experiment.” she says. “I wanted to see if we could get an audience to go along with a piece of theatre that incorporated the pole. It was like a musical – but with no singing. The pole dance pieces served to reveal the symbolism and subtext of the main story line.”

RapunzelMaglia admits that it felt like a gamble, but it was one that paid off. “Umbrella” received extensive press coverage in Los Angeles and beyond, and played to packed houses.

Following “Umbrella” was a piece that was part of “Pole Stars at the Whisky” at the Whisky a Go Go. Once again, she says, a full house proved that not only was there an audience for Vertical Theatre, but that it was a broad audience.

“What surprised me is how much people really got what we were doing,” Maglia says. “Audiences at the Whisky are used to rock and roll shows. I threw ballet and theatre at them – albeit on a pole – and they ate it up!”

In summer 2011, her “Catalyst” played to enthusiastic audiences in a more traditional theater setting, moving Kelly Maglia Vertical Theatre into a new realm with patrons not previously reached.

Maglia is quick to point out that the meteoric rise of pole dance as an international sport and fitness trend is partially responsible for the popularity of her shows. In just the last three years, pole dance competitions have sprouted up around the globe. Even the Olympic committee is considering a proposal to recognize pole dance as a legitimate sport.

“There’s a huge buzz around pole right now,” says Maglia. “But the issue I have with competitions is that they usually focus on athleticism rather than the art of pole. It is my singular mission to showcase not only the amazing feats the human body is capable of, but to make an audience feel something through superb story-telling.”

Once Upon a Pole PostcardWith a full-length pole dance/rock operetta in the works, Maglia’s plan is ultimately to tour and take Vertical Theatre to Broadway.

Her shows always feature the unique and edgy costumes from the two companies Maglia owns, Triple Threat Dancewear and Kelly Maglia Couture.

“Costume is another way I can help to legitimize pole dance, “ she says. “My dancers are dressed as fairies, or snakes, or waves in the ocean – a far cry from strippers!”




G. Bruce Smith, SMITH Writing & PR

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