In Busting Out!, creator Emma Powell goes topless. “They're not just sitting there,” she says in an interview over the phone. “If they're out, they're bein' used!”

Get your mind off porn and Playboy bunnies — this musical celebrates the average woman's not-so-buoyant breasts, though, ironically, it begins its North American premiere this week in the City of (Surgically-Enhanced Victoria's Secret) Angels.

“It's not a sexual show,” says Powell, a 43-year-old Australian actress. “Put it this way: I've been doing this show for five years and I still haven't gotten a date.” It portends well for the show that the single mom peppers her conversation with these deadpan comments. She explains that Busting Out! is a comedy, with a sensibility like fellow Aussie Simon Morley's Puppetry of the Penis: There's a bra fitter, boob manipulation tricks, a shadow puppet sequence and audience participation (again, mind outta the gutter, boys).

Thirteen years ago, the seed for the show was planted when Powell jumped out of the shower to answer a phone call, and heard a clapping sound. She realized it was her breast slapping against her rib cage. “I labeled it 'The Sound of One Tit Clapping.' It was like a trick!”

The musical theater actress who has performed in Mamma Mia! and Les Miserables came to a crossroads when acting work seemed to be petering out a few years ago. She remembered the shower incident, and wondered if she could get away with doing with breasts what Morley was doing with the penis. She gave herself a choice: go back to public relations and enroll in a university, or try doing this show.

Hey, twisting your tits into doughnuts in front of strangers beats pestering them any day.

Busting Out! performs at the Hayworth Theatre, 2511 Wilshire Blvd; Wed., 7:30 p.m.; Thurs. – Sat., 8:00 p.m.; Sat. – Sun., 2:00 p.m.; Sun., 6:30 p.m. Through November 6. (323) 960-4442 or

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