Variety and burlesque show helps local veterans

contributed photos — Variety and burlesque show “Pin-Ups on Tour” travels the country entertaining veterans at little or no cost.

Nationally known act “Pin-Ups on Tour” returns to Marshalltown this weekend for the benefit of local veterans.

The adult show, touted as a “Good time for a great cause,” takes place Saturday at the Frank Lewis Glick American Legion Post 46 with doors open at 6 p.m. and entertainment at 7 p.m.

The event’s goal is recreating the World War II-era canteen atmosphere with dancing, drinks and a vintage variety and burlesque show.

Proceeds from the touring shows fund free performances at Veterans Affairs hospitals and veterans homes across the country.

American Legion Post 46 Commander Randy Kessler said the last Pin-Ups on Tour stop in Marshalltown was in 2017. The event had a great turnout and reception. The tour was poised to make its comeback in 2020, but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pin-Ups on Tour” brings entertainment to veterans in hospitals and homes by raising funds at shows like the one in Marshalltown on Saturday.

“Especially right now during COVID, it’s just nice to get something where the community can take part and get people out to do something,” Kessler said. “The event is aimed toward a veteran audience, but it’s also aimed toward the general public. It’s just an enjoyable event for everyone really.”

Founder and tour manager of Pin-Ups on Tour Julia Reed Nichols said she and the rest of the cast are thrilled 2021 is different.

“We’re able to come and make these veterans smile, visit Marshalltown and bring our unique form of troop support to the area,” Reed said. “Especially now with our veterans being so isolated for the past year, our goal is really just to make veterans smile.”

The shows are very interactive, she said, giving audience members a chance to be a part of the shows themselves.

“We’re there to have a good time with you,” Reed said. “There is no fourth wall in our shows. We talk to the audience, we get them involved, we play games with them.”

Working as a performer in Los Angeles, Reed began the project by convincing fellow performers to volunteer with her to entertain veterans at Veteran’s Affairs hospitals.

“The internet found out about it, and people started asking us to come all across the country,” Reed said. “The act we are doing in Marshalltown is a way of funding those hospital visits. We’ve been able to go to 46 states with our program so far.”

She said while the show is for adults only, ages 18 and older, the content of the show is still pretty tame.

“There’s a lot of different things for everybody’s tastes,” Reed said. “It ranges from what I say G-rated to maybe like PG-13 plus.”

The event is open to paying members of the public, but active military and veterans can reserve a free ticket to the event online at Eventbrite.com.


Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or tbabcock@timesrepublican.com.


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