Showing posts from May, 2008

Breast Defense in BUST Magazine!

There's an article about The Keep A Breast Foundation in the June/July issue of BUST Magazine (which also features some of my favorite busty burlesque performers!). Here's an announcement from the Burlesque Hall of Fame 'May 12, 2008, Las Vegas, NV - The Burlesque Hall of Fame and The Keep A Breast Foundation are pleased to announce the opening of Breast Defense: Glamour Girls For Early Detection, an exhibition of one-of-a-kind plaster molds cast from the busts of such legendary burlesque icons as Tempest Storm and Tura Satana (Miss Japan Beautiful, Russ Meyer's Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!), as well as modern day neo-burlesque and pinup sensations Immodesty Blaize (Miss Exotic World 2007), Michelle L'amour (Miss Exotic World 2006, America's Got Talent), Jami Deadly, Sabina Kelley and Heidi van Horne and many, many others. 'Customized by today's most exciting contemporary artists--including Amy Sol, David LaChapelle, Derek Hess, Elizabeth McGrath,

Angie Pontani's Tribute to Blaze Starr

Blaze Starr on a sofa, smmmmmmmmokin'! I've always been inspired by Angie Pontani's timing, dance ability, and sense of mischief, and I was thrilled when she began adding solo striptease performances back into her shows. One of the first numbers I saw her do as a striptease was her tribute to Blaze Starr . I love Blaze's story (the movie is fun, yes, but it's her autobiography that really blows me away). If you've ever seen Angie do the wild number with the bongo drum, that's it! Above: Angie Pontani, with Helen and Tara, Channeling Blaze Starr. Photo by Me. Angie had this to say when I asked her about the tribute number: "Blaze has always been one of my favorite stars of the golden era of burlesque. In addition to the unbridled carnality that comes across in even the most faded black and white, her life story is equally dramatic. Her affair with Governor Earl Long, her outrageous performances including the use of live panthers, the smok

I'm Officially Envious!

GEORGE MICHAEL - MICHAEL CALLS ON VON TEESE FOR NEW VIDEO I can't wait to see it!!! I don't know if envious is the right word, but who wouldn't like to dress up like one of these characters for a day! You gotta love Julie Newmar at 2.00 in the video. Since I can't embed the George Michael video, here are some catwomen (the first one is Julie Newmar--and don't get me started on Eartha Kitt , meeeee-YOW) for you: And of course I can't resist mentioning, since in the article linked above Dita credits her fabulous fitness to Pilates, that The New York School of Burlesque has absolutely unique Pilates and Pasties classes with Peekaboo Pointe! Edit May 2008: I found out that the article linked is wrong and the quote is an invention, but I'm waiting to see if I have permission to post what the George Michael connection actually is. Edit June 2008: Here's video of what the connection actually is! Posted by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of The New Y

Inspiration and Execution: Tribute Numbers in Burlesque

Every year at The Burlesque Hall of Fame Striptease Reunion , several performers bring numbers constructed to tribute their favorite superstars of classic burlesque. Sometimes they are recreations, sometimes they are simply inspired by and include elements of movement, costuming, and/or lore associated with those performers. This year I'm tributing Sherry Britton, for which I have the honor of having had her guidance and suggestions before she passed away. As the BHOF Weekend nears (or I should say, zooms in, as I'm feeling a bit behind in my preparations!), I want to make note of some of the loveliest tributes I've seen, so I've asked the performers who did them to make some comments on the experiences they had with their numbers. This is the first of two or three posts I'll make about tribute numbers. Above: BOB and Ruby at the New York Burlesque Festival. Photo by Kitty Kowalski. Video of an Interview with Liz Renay "Last year for the NYBF 2007 I de

New Blog! Burlesque Babes

Remember my interview with Sparky Lobo, Purveyor of Burlesque Memorabilia ? If you enjoyed the photos in the interview on my blog, you'll love the blog she just started under her new business name of Burlesque Babes, where she has started locating information about the women in those pictures: Burlesque Babes Above, from the new blog: Sintana, who is interviewed in Marilyn Suriani Futterman's book Dancing Naked in the Material World . I also appear in the book, with pictures of me from way back when my stripper stage name was "Cheryl," after Riff Randall's brunette sidekick in Rock N Roll High School . If you view the video I just linked, you'll see Cheryl right after Clint Howard says, "Nice set of pom poms!" And, even though I haven't yet achieved the vintage hairstyle in the book below, I did achieve Cheryl's (actually the photo below is from 1979, before the movie came out): If you're wondering about the more stream-of-co

Book Review: Vintage Hairstyling

I am pretty lame about my hair, seriously. When I was in high school--I had curly hair in the 70s, not a good thing--I hated my hair as only a high-schooler can. It took me years to learn to just tolerate it, and when I worked in strip joints I was constantly flinging it around so no one could really tell what it looked like. Now I rely mostly on hairpieces, and if I'm not wearing one, my hair is usually what I call "put away," in a ponytail or bun. However, if that continues, I have no one to blame but myself, because now there's this book: It is AMAZING. Oh boy, does it deliver. There is a section on tools and products that no self-styled diva should be without. If you've ever wondered what some of those clips in the hairstyling aisle of the beauty supply store can do for you, wonder no more! There are tips on using curling tools that anyone, whether or not they're into retro hairstyles, would be grateful to have. It features page after page of beautif

Vintage Vegas with Ruth Lewis, Former Burlesque Queen

Vintage Vegas 'Valentino's Zootsuit Connection is a shopping mecca for dedicated vintage aficionados like Liz Goldwyn. But our guide, Ruth Lewis, is Sin City's original maven of retro glamour. ' This video was recommended to me by Fancy Chance , Burlesque Terrorist! Posted by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque , for . The footer above is new. Please note, if you are re-publishing posts or substantial portions of posts or images from this blog--not that an embedded video as I used today constitutes an original article, but I'm just laying it down for future reference before I post any more articles with significant amounts of original content--you must include the footer above ("") along with its clickable links. Please respect the time and effort that goes into producing these posts (which includes time-consuming things like asking for permission to use photos

It's Time for the Coney Island USA Spring Gala! TONIGHT!

Click the image to see tons of amazing photos from last year's Gala! Come out and celebrate the 2008 season with us, as we kick off the summer with a big blowout at the Angel Orensanz Foundation. There's an Open Bar, and The Brooklyn Bombshells will teach you some swing dance moves so you can dance to to the stylings of our band: Lady Luck and the Suicide Kings. There's going to be a Photo Booth, Carnival Games of Chance, a Silent Auction, and performers including: the cast of the 2008 Coney Island Circus Sideshow; Miss Coney Island Serpentina, Diamond Donny, Heather Holiday, Angelica, Scott Baker, Nick Knack, Burlesque at the Beach's Bambi the Mermaid and The Great Fredini, Julie Atlas Muz, Tigger, Saturn, The Pontani Sisters, The Peach Tartes, Dirty Martini, Hula Harvest, World Famous *BOB*, Little Brooklyn, Brian Fisherman, Chris McDaniels, as well as Swing Dancing Sirens- The Brooklyn Bombshells, Shelly Watson, the inimitable Reverend Billy, Little Jimmy, Jo Bo


I'm editing this post so everyone who happens upon my blog doesn't have to read my rant about people who've abused my content. However, I've reposted it here because I still really, really mean it.

Re-Release of "The Night They Raided Minsky's"

Click on the image above to buy this poster! 'Minsky’s features an all-star cast, and the first signs of a budding nostalgia for the vanished world of the ‘20s and burlesque theatre in particular; the casting of Burt Lahr – the Cowardly Lion - in a small but poignant role is a tribute to that vanished tradition. Britt Ekland plays an innocent who arrives in the Lower East Side dreaming of being a dancer, who gets caught up in the desperate dramas being played out by the cast of Minsky’s, a burlesque theatre on its last legs. The rather broad little story is intercut with the cast – including Jason Robards and the great Norman Wisdom – performing burlesque routines with a chorus line of the meticulously bad dancers....' Today marks the re-release of 'The Night They Raided Minsky's' on DVD. From From the Wikipedia entry for the movie : 'Roger Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times, "'The Night They Raided Minsky's'" is being

Polynesian Burlesque?

'Burlesque: The islands' pioneer burlesque house, the Beretania Theatre, was located at 1229 Kamanuwai Lane in a congested urban slum a block mauka of Chinatown.' Here is the story behind one of Hawaii's "firsts," as noted by former state statistician Robert C. Schmitt. It's only a paragraph, but it's a good one! Above: Lucy Fur at Exotic World, 2006. I used to teach my workshops at Waikiki Wally's before I took burlesque to The Bowery Poetry Club with our Burlesque Salute to the Ramones and started doing my workshops there. There was a Polynesian woman who taught traditional story-telling Hula at Waikiki Wally's, too. I wanted so much to study it, but I was too busy putting my workshops together! Although I've still managed to study Polynesian dance a bit, I feel like I missed out by not learning from her. I love to watch Hawaiian and Tahitian dance and would love to understand it better. Tiki culture was the root of Tease-O

The Return of the Return of Burlesque

There is an article about burlesque in the New York Times today: 'Burlesque, that fabled if slightly soiled fantasy realm whose heraldic totem was the twirling pasty and whose undisputed queen was Gypsy Rose Lee, has returned to New York, dripping with rhinestones and trailing clouds of glitter. Under the rubric neo-burlesque, a Depression-era genre whose hallmarks were smut with attitude, bargain-barn glamour, rock-bottom ticket prices and a proudly stuck-out tongue is reasserting itself, flourishing in unexpected corners around the city.' The Almost Naked City This one, also from the Times, circa 2003: 'It is not surprising that there is an old-time burlesque revival in New York. Like tiki bars and the jitterbug, the striptease had to come back sometime. What is impressive, though, is that it has come back with such a vengeance. Suddenly, women in very scanty clothing are everywhere, or at least on every bijou stage in every hipster neighborhood, introduced by languid

Burlesque In Unexpected Places

In my Burlesque Moves Livejournal Community, I posted a lot of clips featuring burlesque that have since been removed from youtube, such as the Simpsons clip and the Scrubs clip. However, you get the idea; burlesque is everywhere! When I was a teenager in the late '70s and early 80's, we were fond of riding around playing cassette tapes very loudly, and in my crowd, that meant Adam Ant, Devo and the Cramps. Some of you may or may not see the burlesque obsession connections there. For those who don't, I'll explain my nerdy self: the imagery from magazines like Cabaret, as well as old Irving Klaw photos and film reels, and other memorabilia that related to burlesque and go-go, were a big part of our aesthetic. It's amazing to me now that I get to go to the Burlesque Hall of Fame Striptease Reunion and meet the very women in those pictures and film clips--not women like them, not women who knew them, but the very women! Keeping my geeky teenage years in mind, here&

Is Burlesque Demeaning to Women?

The article on Millie Dollar I linked a few posts back sparked a bit of a controversy among readers, one of whom said , 'It is mostly men who attend these shows and they are quite happy to ogle the women and treat them as nothing more than sex objects.' Sadly, the other letters intended to respond to that statement were quite inadequate as arguments. While I realize not everyone has studied philosophy, I didn't find myself admiring the persuasiveness of ANY of the letter writers. Fortunately, this article makes quite a bit more sense: 'The phenomenal rise of burlesque over the past years has been propelled by its popularity among women. There were men in the room, but mostly they were under the protective wing of female friends. It was girls’ night. ... 'There is a growing industry supporting the increasing popularity of burlesque. As satirical as it may be, it remains happily within the world of erotica. It is a fun and sophisticated branch of erotica,

Fun Flickr Stream!

From the fabulous photo stream of ppheww . Take a look!

A Very Saucy Issue of Time Out New York

Above: Harvest Moon performing at Galapagos . Photo by Darren Mayhem . If you get the May 8-14 issue of Time Out New York , you can see Harvest Moon and me fooling around at Kiki De Montparnasse (no, we didn't get to keep the clothes or the toys). The photos are on pages 37 and 42. You can also see Molly Crabapple's drawing of BD interviewees the Porcelain Twinz (my extended article on them is coming out soon in Alarm Press), and art commentary by New York School of Burlesque alum Legs Malone ! Check out one of the photos! Plus, lots of hot shots of naked New Yorkers I don't (yet) know.

Picture Post: Objectifying My Friends

I've been stalking around taking pix of burlesque performers for several years now. My friends have been infinitely patient with me and very accommodating on occasion. Here, my friends viewed in part...the whole of which is greater than, which is saying something, judging by these exceptionally fine parts. Dirty Martini's Bust Ms. Tickle's Waist Nasty Canasta's Leaf Clams Casino's Behind

News Post: Millie Dollar, Dancing to the Beat

Above: A picture from Millie's Myspace. If you've spent any time backstage with me, you know I love a girl with corset lines! 'The Australian-born 22-year-old grew up in Glasgow struggling with hearing problems. It affected her speech and ability to understand people, but boy can she dance.... ' Being a burlesque performer is all about the music and moving with its beat and rhythm, which is a huge challenge for someone with a degenerative hearing loss. ' "As long as it's loud enough, I'm fine," said Millie. "I memorise my music as much as I can, but there have been times I've missed my cues because it was too low. It will get worse with age so I'm going to keep performing as long as I can." ' Rave reviews for the burlesque babe with rare hearing condition

Lili St Cyr Interviewed by Mike Wallace

Lili St. Cyr, America's leading strip teaser, talks to Wallace about her attitude towards the men who come see her perform, her attitude towards her profession, show business, and flying saucers. From the University of Texas at Austin. Originally recorded October 5, 1957. I was recommended this video by Fancy Chance , Burlesque Terrorist. And if this video piques your interest, be sure to check out Gilded Lili .

The Lineup for Miss Exotic World 2008

BEST DEBUT: Clams Casino Evie Lovelle Gal Friday Fanny Tastic Frenchie Kiss Kitty Twist Lola Bel Aire Magnificant Liberte Belle Mimi First Perle Noir Ruby Valentine Tatah DuJour BEST BOYLESQUE: Hot Toddy Sexy Mark Brown Sin Jyn BEST DUO: Cafe Con Leche Gravity Plays Favorites Jewel of Denial & Kat Bardot Syrens of the South Tease for Two: Lily Verlaine and Miss Indigo Blue BEST TROUPE: The Amazing Knicker Kittens Foxy Tann and The Wham-Bam Thank You Ma'ams Peek-A-Boo Revue Sinner Saint Burlesque Twilight Vixen Revue MISS EXOTIC WORLD: Adonna Vichet Amber Ray Amber Topaz Angie Pontani Bambi the Mermaid Bunny Love Charlotte La Belle Araignee Inga Ingenue Little Brooklyn Lux LaCroix Ravenna Black Sparkly Devil Trixie Little Violet Eva Vivienne VaVoom From the Burlesque Hall of Fame Yahoo Group