Far from schooling Lindberg in the science of striptease, however, her job as an educational actor at the family-friendly museum introduced her to other local thespians who were interested in the carnivalesque. In 2000 they formed the John Brown Theatre Company, named for the famous Kansas abolitionist.
"He was the perfect personification of what we were: crazy, fervent, mad Kansans," Lindberg says.
They took their European-style clown act (think Cirque du Soleil) to New York and hooked up with an underground circus troupe. And when Lindberg attended a burlesque show at Coney Island, her world burst like an overstuffed bodice -- and Mama Lou was born.
"I just fell in love with it [burlesque] because it was women being powerful and sexy and smart as hell but also really funny at the same time," Lindberg says.
Her co-workers at the financial company where Lindberg works by day don't know it, but she sells out shows from the Flatiron to the Village -- and even turned down an offer to host a weekly cabaret to avoid spreading her fishnets too thin.
Lindberg's success de-monstrates that vaudeville revivalism is booming in New York. In Kansas City, however, the burlesque scene hasn't managed to arouse the mainstream attention it needs to thrive. Perhaps when Lindberg and crew return to Kansas City for a one-night stand at Bar Natasha, they'll shoot some Spanish fly into the local scene.
Describing her burlesque as a "classy speakeasy" Lindberg answers the perennial question of whether the genre is more than women stripping.
"It's not about lewdness. It pushes the envelope, but there's nothing dirty about it," Lindberg says.