Culture  Culture Brief: Spell ‘n strip

This Saturday, The Honeysuckle Strip Spelling Bee, hosted by Billy Mavreas, is coming to the Mainline Theatre (3997 St. Laurent). A Strip Spelling Bee is like Strip Poker. Only it’s a spelling bee. And it’s played in front of a live audience of hooters, hollerers, and hecklers who want to see some smart and sexy skin.

Here’s how it’s played: one by one, participants are asked to spell a word. If they get it right, they make it through to the next round. If they get it wrong, they must striptease an item of clothing off, and that’s considered their first “strike.” When they misspell a second word, that is their second strike and they must striptease two items off. A third and final strike requires the striptease of three items.

After three strikes, a participant is out of the competition. However, at this time, they may choose to “save” themselves and remain in competition by taking one additional item off. From there on in, any misspelled words requires the removal of only one item.

Once a participant is completely naked, they are well and truly out of the competition. The winner of the Bee takes home $50. All striptease spellers get a free drink. Anyone, at any time, can drop out of the competition, at any stage of undress.

But they should take heart – because while they may have lost, the audience has, almost certainly, won.

This event is queer and gendertrans-friendly. Our goal is to create a safe and welcoming space for everybody to spell and strip. Doors are at 10 p.m., sign up is at 10:30 p.m. sharp (there is a cap of 25 spellers), and the bee will begin at 11 p.m.. For more information, contact

­— Sherwin Tjia