Artists You Need to Know: Tonya Kay – High octane I Love Lucy meets sexy Cirque du Soleil.

Tonya Kay’s Pinup Pole Show is seamless entertainment set to a rocking throwback soundtrack that will leave you longing for the good ol’ days no matter what your age.

Classic cars, pinup girls, retro-burlesque and pole champions! Tonya Kay’s Pinup Pole Show is a 1955-1965 style company of cheeky, Kustom Kulture women and the hot rods they love. High octane I Love Lucy meets sexy Cirque du Soleil.

Get your motor running at our vintage car show with pinup bombshells posing and photographers shooting to the jive of our live rockabilly band. Peep our pinup gallery displaying naughty artwork of unashamed women celebrating being women.

Take your VIP seats for the main attraction; a choreographed 75 min retro-burlesque production starring Los Angeles’s A-List cheesecakes. Expect bawdy musical comedy, jaw-dropping contortion, dangerous grinder girl, powerful hand balancing, pole dance in roller skates and a pinup competition. Performing on two towering 16′ aerial poles, savor the high production value of our life-sized jukebox, vintage fuel pump, and the rare, breathtaking giant martini glass.

Meet the Creator of this amazing show: Tonya Kay!

How did your love for classic cars and vintage dress turn into your pin up pole show?

Well, you just said it! I love classic cars and vintage fashion, so I created Pinup Pole Show.

Where did you find all these like-minded, talented, and beautiful women who were also Vegan?

I cast the show from auditions where I chose women with the highest assembled talent. Believe it or not, I did NOT ask if everyone was vegan but believe me, all of us are delighted to find we have veganism and vegetarian lifestyles in common. It’s really a dream come true.

Does Veganism play out on any part of the shows?

I’m the host and I say whatever I want to and yes, I do a riff on being vegan when I feel it. One time I had a great segment about an item on our venue’s menu and how much all the ladies love us some “vegan wieners!” I mean who does love a good vegan wiener?

Also, when we know it’s an audience member’s birthday and they’ve brought a large party, I will bring them a vegan cupcake for a birthday special. I could never feed anyone something I wouldn’t eat myself, after all – especially on their birthday!

What is the toughest thing about your performances?

For me, the toughest thing is producing the show AND performing. Producing is a full-time job, especially for an event as huge as Pinup Pole Show. I am fortunate to have bountiful support and the show wouldn’t happen without everyone’s hard work. But as producer of an independent production, I am literally every department head and that is part time work starting five weeks prior to the show, full-time work starting two weeks out and the week of – the DAY of – it is inhuman. I do not have time to rehearse my own performances. Which is frustrating to me as a performer, however, I trust my amazing long-term experience in performance and my ability to improvise is a very stimulating skill!

How much practice goes into pole dancing? How difficult are the pole maneuvers? Are they dangerous?

Pole dancing is like lifting weights only the weight is your entire body and it’s done vertically … and gracefully. And at Pinup Pole Show it also tells a story. Imagine going to the gym and giving your 100%, sweating, grunting, tearing/healing. Then imagine doing it in full makeup, in tiny costumes, while telling a story, making it look elegant and entertaining the viewers to tears, gut laughter, and awe. Pole dance is hard and most athletic men can’t do the rep on the poles my performers can. Like flags, for instance. In between five other serious strength moves!

What aspects of your shows might help women understand they can be empowered even in fun and sexually provocative environments.

The most consistent comment I get after the show from our guests is how empowering it is to see such strong, stunning women who don’t need to ask for help carrying their luggage (or anything for that matter). I also like to encourage all our guests to dress in their own vintage style – I give them opportunities to put love into their presentation and be photographed by our red carpet photographer, drawn by live pin-up artists and even strut their stuff around the pole once to win pretty cool prizes, if I do say so myself. My guest judge is asked not to award the prizes based on who is the “prettiest pinup” but rather who has eye-catching style. Body type, race, age, sexual orientation – all this is non-contingent upon beauty. Beauty comes with a six pack as well as double Ds. Beauty comes with victory rolls and a bald noggin. Beauty radiates from those who know themselves and get excited about it. We are a 1955 – 1965 styled show for this reason exactly: something about the retro pinup era embodied cheeky, fun women unashamed of being women! The fun we have with our audience is the most empowering part of the evening. We aren’t posing and fronting with resting bitch face and arrogance. We look you in the eye, we share a personal joke, we get you laughing, hollering, joining in the fun. All of us are empowered in situations like this.

Is there a lesson in your shows?

Be unashamed of who you are!

What has been the most surprising comment about your shows?

I was at a cruise-in one Friday night in Burbank and a car owner I had never met before said to me, “I’ve heard of Pinup Pole Show … You’re the non-traditional car show.”. Two huge compliments in that one interaction.

what did you dream of being when you grew up as a little kid?

I dreamed first of being a football player, then a carpenter, then a children’s book illustrator and then a professional dancer.

Do your family’s ever come to shows?

My mom has seen the show twice!

Favorite Vegan spots?

In Los Angeles: Wild Living Foods, Au Lac, Plant Food and Wine, Grain Cafe and Sage.

Do you work on classic cars?

I do work on classics. I fiddle around on my 1965 Buick Riviera, converted 3 autos to run on waste vegetable oil fuel and once did a frame-off restoration of a 1974 Ford pick up with my dad.

Does everyone pick their own costumes?

For the most part, I costume the Pinup Pole Show performers, but yes, a few of the acts are the women’s own wardrobe creativity. I also enjoy featuring established and local designers in the show, our live photo shoots and produced pin-up photo shoots. The Violet Vixen, Red Dolly Swimwear, Kelly Maglia, Lexico Fashion, Glitter Heels, Classic Betty’s Rubbish and Retro Riviera have all been featured fashion with Pinup Pole Show.

What makes your show different than any that might claim they’re similar.

Pinup Pole Show has a classic car show, pinup art show, live musicians, live illustrators, photographers, Best Car/Best Vintage Dress prizes, red carpet and full dinner and drinks menu in a classy venue perfect for couples. The 75 min show itself is company work, rather than soloist work, which means that the production design is consistent and has a seamless story arc. Pinup Pole Show is a true variety show – we include LA’s top burlesque headliners and the world’s top pole champions and we ALSO have vocalists, sketch comedy, and extensive specialty arts. This show is as authentically retro as it gets!

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