Helena Handbasket

The Best Bang Since The Big One

Helena Handbasket was born in the Great American Southwest to a science-loving doctor and a bibliophilic nurse. In 5th grade, Helena received the award for Biggest Ham and from there, her career began to blossom. A classically trained actress and dancer, Ms. Handbasket made her burlesque debut with The Cheek Of It! Burlesque School in London, England at the famous Madame Jojo’s in Soho. Since her move to this great city in 2012, she has had the pleasure of performing all around Chicago. Known for her cheeky style, Helena’s numbers vary from classic to sexy to silly. When Helena Isn't covered in glitter and shimmying for the crowd, she can be found training aerial hoop, reading harry potter, or emphatically explaining the ELECTROMAGNETIC spectrum.

plan 9 questionnaire

  • How did you get started in Burlesque and Plan 9?

I started burlesque in London in 2011 with The Cheek of It! School. When I moved to Chicago, I met some of the cool folks at Plan 9 and wanted to audition. It ended up being one of my best decisions in Chicago.

  • Is there a story behind your burlesque name?

I called my mom and said, “I’m going to do burlesque. Dad is really good at puns. Ask him for some punny names. But don’t tell him I’m doing burlesque.” My dad emailed me a huuuuge list of punny stage names. Helena Handbasket just felt perfect. Helena is also a character name in a few Shakespearean plays, so I love that little nod to the Bard.

  • What is your favorite number?

I love Furiosa. I’m also a huge fan of Sherlocked (Irene Adler), Persephone, and Jillian Holtzmann. Favorite duet would have to be the Cosmos one with Stephanie Hawking

  • If you could be any fictional character who would you be and why?

Jillian Holtzmann because she’s the fabulous mad scientist I’ve always wanted to be. Sherlock Holmes or Irene Adler because of their razor-sharp wit. Or Imperator Furiosa because she is truly a badass.

  • What’s one thing people may be surprised to learn about you?

I’m Middle Eastern! And I have a third nipple. Those two things are unrelated.

  • Where else can people find your work?

I’m with Original Tease Burlesque and I also appear at Debonair, House of Burlesque, and several other venues in Chicago.


lightning round

  • Star Trek vs Star Wars

Sorry Stella, I’m team Star Wars for   this…Empire Strikes Back, although Force Awakens was a dream come true.

  • DC vs Marvel

I would say Storm. I really like Storm from X-Men. 

  • Harry Potter vs Twilight

WTF kind of question is this? Harry Potter. Obviously.Unpopular opinion: Book 5 (Order of the Phoenix). We see the trio go through so much in that book. I also really loved Deathly Hallows because it got into the lore of the world. 

  • Doctor Who vs James Bond

I’m going with Bond because I’m a bad nerd and don’t know the Who Universe. Daniel Craig is honestly perfect for the role. 

  •  What is your dream nerdlesque number?

I think I’m still brewing it up. Definitely Harry Potter-related some day. I’m happy that I have created a lot of numbers around my favorite fandoms. We’ll see what 2017 holds!