Though it’s only been in existence for less than two years, Gotham Burlesque has been taking the Big Apple by storm. It’s made Time Out New York‘s Top 5 Nightlife Picks at least seven times, has been featured in the New York Times and Broadway World and regularly features some of the top names in the international burlesque scene. The NY Daily News even called it “Wonderfully theatrical…sometimes to the point of insanity.”
Gotham Burlesque was founded by award-winning filmmaker, artist and producer Gary Beeber in March of 2011. His intersest in live burlesque began when he featured live burlesque performers as part of the screenings for his 2010 film “Dirty Martini and the New Burlesque.”
“We did screenings all over the country and I enjoyed producing the live shows that were included with the screenings. I thought that it would be nice to do burlesque shows without the screenings, but I wanted to do something classy at an upscale venue.”
Beeber brought the show to the Triad Theatre in New York’s Upper West Side. The Triad is one of the few remaining off-broadway theatres and has been home to some of the longest running off-broadway shows. The theatre provided the perfect venue for Beeber to bring back the experience of Vaudeville to modern audiences and to challenge audience expectations of a contemporary burlesque show.
Here’s the original promotional video for Gotham Burlesque’s debut peformance back in March of 2011:
Beeber says, “I wanted to bring back Vaudeville and wanted to reach out to the same audience that attend Broadway shows, which I’ve done. You won’t see acts like The Great Throwdini (The world’s fastest and most accurate knife thrower, and holder of 32 world’s records) at any other burlesque show in NYC.”
The show has grown considerably in a short time and now hosts a rotating cast of some of the world’s top burlesque and vaudeville superstars. The Saturday, September 1 show will feature Angie Pontani, named New York burlesque’s “reigning star” by the NY Post (see video clip below). Also on the bill, international burlesque superstar Dirty Martini, alongside Nasty Canasta, Peekaboo Pointe, the World Famous *BOB* and others. Then, on Saturday, October 6, Beeber presents “Coney Island in NYC Spectacular!” with Miss Harvest Moon, Ekaterina, Nasty Canasta, Tigger!, The Great Throwdini and more. All these incredible shows will take place at the Triad Theatre and you can pick up advanced tickets for both right over here.
It’s exciting to see producers like Gary Beeber raising the bar of what the neo-burlesque scene can accomplish. It’s producers like Beeber that are shaking off the seamy history of burlesque and bringing it to whole new audiences. If you live in New York or are heading there for a visit be sure to head up to West 72nd Street and witness the modern-day vaudeville extravaganza that is Gotham Burlesque.