Tuesday Tease: Love and Pasties – Valentine Burlesque

7deac8d54c157ffb60e86be3864f6960I know burlesque has a bit of a rowdy reputation but this week on the Tuesday Tease, we want to focus on the softer side of the shimmy. While certainly burlesque can be raunchy, funny, weird, ironic and topical, it can also be sensual, sensitive and très romantique!

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we are going to focus on some burlesque shows that are sure to provide the perfect appetizer for whatever romantic main course you and your significant other have in mind.

Friday, February 14 – Valentine’s Day

Wine & ValentineSeattle, Washington   Seattle’s Tasting Room is thrilled to invite Nickey Bourbon and her troupe of performers back to the Pike Place Market for another show! This special Valentine’s production will feature: Octavia Sexton, Alexa Perplexa, Queen O’Hart, Lana MilknHoney, Ms. Audrey Rugburn & Lesley Rialto. A special wine pairing menu is optional and will feature: Taylor Shell Fish Oyster paired with Treveri Bubbles, Beecher’s Cheese paired with Wilridge Vineyard’s organic white wine blend, Fabrique Delices pate paired with Harlequin Wine Cellars Syrah,  Salumi Salami served with Nota Bene Cellar’s Cabernet and the Symposium red dessert wine from Willis Hall Winery paired with Theo Chocolate.
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Tuesday Tease: Vermont Burlesque Festival

Champ.LogoMan, burlesque festivals are just popping up EVERYWHERE! This weekend marks the inaugural Vermont Burlesque Festival happening in South Burlington. I met the festival’s organizer Cory Royer in Los Angeles when we were down there in early December and he told me then that he’s got a great weekend of entertainment planned. Now, I can see what he meant. He’s got a bunch of fun in store for the Northeast. We’re talking three days and two nights of burlesque, comedy and variety acts: shows, classes, a film festival and BOWLING! How can you go wrong?

While the lion’s share of performers hail from Vermont, there will also be some national performers showing up; namely the lovely Lili Von Schtupp from LA, Cha Cha Velour from Vegas, the Boston Babydolls, Chicago’s boylesque sensation and member of the Stage Door Johnnies: Ray Gunn and Montreal’s Scarlett James.

While chatting on the phone with Cory today, he told me: “I am excited to be working with so many talented local, national and international people who are helping to create Vermont’s first burlesque festival.”

Judging by the schedule, I can see why he’s excited. Things kick off this Friday with the opening ceremonies and Friday night’s showcase at 5 Market Street. Immediately after the showcase will be the “Burlesque Bounce” dance party featuring DJ Irie. Saturday will bring a burlesque brunch, classes, another showcase and the Burlesque Bowling Competition at Shelburne’s Champlain Lanes. Festival attendees will have the whole bowling alley to themselves and are encouraged to dress their team in a theme and compete for the best theme, best costumes, most team shimmies, most outrageous performance in sport, worst dressed team and more. Somehow a bunch of burlesque beauties in a bowling alley sounds like trouble to me.

Sunday is reserved for recovery from the previous two days of pandemonium and a burlesque film festival. A perfect way to wind down and nurse your hangover!

It’s so exciting that burlesque festivals are no longer in major metropolitan areas but in smaller cities like South Burlington. When you see an artistic movement like burlesque spread to far reaches of the country (and world) it goes to show that it isn’t going anywhere. And aren’t we lucky to be ticketing so many of these great festivals?

If you’re in the Vermont area, I can’t recommend the Vermont Burlesque Festival enough. I think it’s safe to say that the Northeast is about to get a little heat wave this winter. Get your tickets here!

Love burlesque festivals? Check out some other great ones that we’re ticketing:
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Tuesday Tease: This Week in Burlesque

271734-250For whatever reason, October is a busy time in the burlesque world. I think part of it is because the weather is cooling down and folks need steamier entertainment to warm them on the cold nights. The other reason is because Halloween offers a myriad of themes to play with, like Rocky Horror tributes, zombies, vampires, sci fi, you name it.

Whatever the reason, our site is overflowing with great shows happening around the world and so, instead of having a “theme” for this week’s post, I thought I’d just highlight some of our picks for the first week of Rocktober. I’ll do a post later in the month that focuses on Halloween burlesque events but for this I thought I’d try and show a little of the diversity of shows that are happening this month. We got shows all around the states and even a couple in Canada and the United Kingdom worth checking out.

So, enough from me, here’s your October in burlesque:

Somerville, Massachusetts

Starts Thursday, October 3 I The W. R. Athskellar Cavalcade of Curiosities   An immersive and interactive theatrical experience, visitors to The W. R. Athskellar Cavalcade of Curiosities find themselves embroiled in an ancient battle… with the audience as the prize! Don’t miss this all-new interpretation of The Boston Babydolls’ popular Halloween show! Highlights of the evening include live music from the house band, the occasional circus stunt and, of course, burlesque from the award-winning Boston Babydolls.

The journeys of  W. R. Athskellar span the globe and countless decades, searching for one exceptional performer after another. Why, on an ordinary night, while the band plays in this 10-in-1 attraction you might see The Disconnected Twins, The Illustrative Woman, or spy the Spider-Girl descending from the ceiling. On any regular evening, you could try your eye in The Shooting Alley, test your strength on The High-Striker, or learn what your future holds in The Fortune-Teller’s Tent…but this is neither a regular night, nor is there anything ordinary about your visit this evening.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Friday, October 4 I Abracadaver Cabaret   Sisters, sisters. There were never such devoted sisters. At least, none so devoted to horror. There seems to be a growing correlation between sisters and all Abracadaver4things horror in Vancouver. The Soska Sisters, aka the Twisted Twins (of Twisted Twins Productions), have already made their mark on film. Meanwhile, also in Vancouver, The Macabre Mauchlines’ Voodoo Pixie and Mama Fortuna have been dedicated to the same theatre show for four years now. That show, of course, is the AbraCadaver Cabaret.
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Tuesday Tease: RIP Dixie Evans, The Godmother of Burlesque

dixie-week-poster-croppedOn August 3rd, the burlesque world lost the woman who is probably most responsible for the burlesque revival and the preservation of its history. A legendary performer in her own right and an inspiration for multiple generations of burlesque performers, the “Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque,” Miss Dixie Evans.

Born as Mary Lee Evans in Long Beach, California on August 28, 1926, Dixie started her career in the 40s as a model and chorus girl, eventually becoming a star dancer. She was a headlining burlesque performer by the early 50s, performing up and down the West Coast as part of Harold Minsky’s “burlesque wheel” touring circuit. Minsky encouraged her to adapt her stage persona to that of Marilyn Monroe, given her strong resemblance to the, then rising, film star. While resistant at first, she eventually adopted the Monroe persona and it was that act that would define her career as a burlesque dancer.

Evans developed a well-received tribute show to Monroe following her death in 1962 but eventually dropped the act after being mistaken for the dead film star. This was deeply disturbing to Evans and so she eventually adapted her stage show into a parody of Irma La Douce, Shirley MacLaine’s character in the 1963 romantic comedy of the same name.
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Tuesday Tease: This Week in Burlesque!

6646One thing that I love about the modern burlesque scene is that it’s constantly looking for things in popular culture to parody or pay tribute to. I mean, technically, this is what the original definition of burlesque was: “a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subjects.” This week, we have some great events that do just that. We got  a tribute to Saturday morning cartoons happening in Seattle, a Wizard of Oz-themed show set to the music of Pink Floyd in New York and a tribute to Joss Whedon in Baltimore.

Ironically, what we think of as “classic” burlesque, isn’t as much about parody as it is about sensuality and grace. We got tons of shows that feature burlesque of the early to mid 20th century variety as well. There are burlesque classes and festivals happening and even a 6th annversary party for Atlanta’s Syrens of the South! Also, Gotham Burlesque in New York is offering a special discount for this week’s show for our readers.

Basically, this week’s Tuesday Tease is just an opportunity for us to brag about the amazing producer that work with us and highlight some of the amazing burlesque events happening this weekend. I guarantee you’ll find something to get you off the couch and out supporting your local burlesque scene.

Looks like this is going to be one HOT August!
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Tuesday Tease: Back to School

indigo+blueSummer’s quickly approaching and school will be getting out soon but that doesn’t mean you should stop studying. This is the perfect time to get out and learn something new! Burlesque classes are available all over, year round, for a variety of skill levels and interests.

I recently took a little time to track down and question two graduates of Seattle’s Miss Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque about their experiences and where their burlesque education has taken them.

Carlotta Shakin completed The Art of the Tease, How to Strip for your Lover, and Burlesque 101 just a few weeks ago and had some useful advise for anyone thinking about getting involved with burlesque. “I think everyone should take at least a class or two.” She says, “The burlesque community is so welcoming and accepting and the classes are so empowering.” Although Carlotta doesn’t have any shows scheduled for the near future she is “currently brainstorming ideas for new acts and looking to become more involved in the burlesque world.”

Angelina Allure, who completed Burlesque 101 course in 2011 and will be attending the Academy’s Fan Dancing course next month has a similar recommendation. “DO IT! There are classes that do not require a performance at the end of it, and those are a great way to get your feet wet and start the glitter obsession.” Outside of class, Angelina can be found in the upcoming show Minxes of Middle Earth, presented by Midnight Menagerie Productions, on Thursday, May 9th and Friday, May 10th.

If you would like to jump into the world of glitter and pasties yourself We’ve compiled a list of classes and schools across the country where you can develop and hone your bumping and grinding skills.
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Tuesday Tease: Spring Has Sprung!

spring-pin-upYes, spring has finally sprung. The flowers are starting to bloom and the sun is finally starting to peek its head out of the clouds, promising warmer days to come…at least for those of us up here in the northern part of the country. But, no matter where you’re at, spring is the time when the birds and the bees are frolicking and folks start wearing a little less clothing. Which means it’s a perfect time for burlesque!

We have some great upcoming shows that play up the spring theme featuring faeries, songbirds, flowers and Rosé wine. There’s even a yard sale in Allston hosted by the Boston Babydolls! The majority of these events are taking place in Washington state because after months of rain and clouds, we get pretty excited when we start to see the sunshine and can look forward to a gorgeous Pacific Northwest summer!

Really though, it doesn’t matter where you’re at, spring is one sexy time of year. Enjoy!

Boulder, Colorado

Saturday, April 27 I Spring Gets Sprung! ~ A Burlesque Peep Show  Camp Wardrobe MalFUNKtion Presents: Spring gets Sprung! A burlesque peep show! Druids, faeries, Dianics, Wiccans, Asatru and ceremonial magicians, come together for an evening of pagan fantasy and debauchery in the annual Rites of Spring Burlesque show. Let’s usher out winter, and get sprung for spring! DJ’s Just Ben and Ishe from the Whomp Truck will be throwing down for an off-the-hook dance party! It’s a benefit for Camp Wardrobe MalFUNKtion, so you best dress up in your finest spring-themed costuming! Bring a costume donation for a free raffle ticke and a chance to win great prizes! Costumes and/or decadent, seductive attire are required. Dress in your sexiest spring best and party after the show, when your hosts invite YOU to express your own wild, creative, sexy self on the stage and dance floor.

Everett, Washington

Sunday, April 28 I Spring Fling Carnivale Burlesque  Siren of “Siren and the Treasured Chests” is thrilled to be bringing burlesque entertainment back to the city of Everett! Their first event will showcase the talents of Seraphina Fiero, Everett’s very own performer! They will also indulge you with the many talents of Seattle-based burlesque performers such as Sailor St. Claire and Randi Rascal. The evening’s incredible belly dancer is Ava Raqs and there will also be a very special songbird coming your way! This beauty not only sings, but plays the trumpet as well. These shows includes a free raffle ticket given at door for drawings with the opportunity to purchase additional raffle tickets at the event. There will be a boutique for items under the heading “The Other Pink” and you can only guess what that might mean? The venue boasts free parking, a full dinner menu and bar service. The show is timed just right on Sunday night that you can get home to pay the sitter, tuck the wee ones in bed and be up early to start the Monday grind….or NOT…you are welcome to stay and enjoy the full service bar after the show. Siren and the Treasured Chests guarantee that you will remember the grind of this show come Monday morn! What ever your flavor, just know that Siren is bringing “sexy” back to Everett and this is where the fantasy begins.
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Tuesday Tease: The Great Burlesque Exposition

picBurlesqueExpo130329BShanghaiPearl_0493w1050f-540x767This past weekend, our East Coast Ambassador A.J. Andrews and I had the honor of attending the Great Burlesque Exposition in Boston. This incredible showcase of burlesque talent was celebrating its 7th year of existence and both A.J. and I were bowled over by the amount of talent that was presented to us over the course of this past Easter weekend.

This week on the Tuesday Tease, I’ll give you a breakdown of, what proved to be, an incredible weekend featuring burlesque royalty and newcomers alike. I personally left Boston feeling inspired and excited for the future of burlesque and I have to give a big shout-out to Scratch and Miss Mina, the Exposition’s founders, for putting on an amazing festival.

So, without further ado, here’s what went down:

Friday Night:

Friday night’s kick-off show, The Rhinestone Revue featured a wide spectrum of burlesque talent: from classic burlesque to comedic burlesque routines to boylesque and I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite act since they were all so incredible but I will talk about a few of my favorites.

The Boston Babydolls are Boston’s “home team” burlesque troupe and Mr. Scratch, their director, is the organizer of the Exposition. The act was a Vegas-style number set to the JXL Remix of Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation.” The only lighting in the act was from flashlights that the girls were holding and they used them to great effect to create an exciting routine that had the audience on their feet screaming for more. To me the act was able to feel new and exciting, while paying homage to classic Las Vegas showmanship. Well done Babydolls!

A couple other highlights for me were two girls from BPT’s hometown of Seattle: the always graceful and stylish Shanghai Pearl (pictured) and Scandal from Bohemia, who did an act to Weird Al’s “My Bologna” that involved meat pasties and a big ‘ol sandwich. The centerpiece of Shangai’s act was an absolutely stunning peacock costume and her effortless grace impresses me every time I see her perform.

Dot Mitzvah did a great operatic routine to an Yma Sumac song. The high notes were not lyp-synced! She sang it all while taking it all off. Boylesque performer Paco Fish did a hilarious routine in a  judges wig and robe, which ended with his gavel in a most compromising position and Canadian performers St. Stella and James and the Giant Pasty, did a highly original act that was inspired and super sexy, with references to great works of art.

On the classic side of things, modern-day burlesque legend Jo Weldon did an incredible fan dance that was a tribute to Pink Light Burlesque, an organization that she founded that offers free burlesque lessons to breast cancer patients (See video below). Cherokee Rose displayed some impressive tassel twirling technique and Canadian performer Burgundy Brixx busted out a sweet boa that ended up being a robe in disguise.


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Tuesday Tease: Time Travel!

168754-250Burlesque has a long history and that history continues to unfold and evolve as time goes by. Every pastie and every speck of glitter adds to the rich and detailed story of the art. But we shouldn’t forget that burlesque does not exist in a vacuum. It is, by definition, a reflection of the society that creates it. Burlesque would not exist if it had nothing to satire.

Come with us and visit times long past. And places known only through song and story. Interpreted through the art of stripping.

Portland, Oregon

Friday, January 11 | Bergamot Burlesque featuring Toni Elling  Bergamot Burlesque is proud to present an evening of opulent, classic burlesque bringing together a living legend from the golden era of burlesque, Toni Elling aka “The Duke’s Delight” alongside a world renowned cast of elegant performers. The good folks of Bergamot are bringing Portland an entrancing evening hosted by international emcee, Vincent Drambuie. A portion of this year’s profits will be donated to the Burlesque Hall of Fame.

Fresno, California

Friday, January 18 | Burlesque Through the Ages  Maverick Burlesque Productions presents “Burlesque Through the Ages.” This show is guaranteed to please! Produced by Fleur Mystique and Bella Felina. Guest emcee Rex T. Impossible from L.A., featured boylesque performer Ron Dez Vous from Hollywood and Fresno’s own lovely ladies of burlesque as well as other variety entertainers.
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Tuesday Tease: Thank You Burlycon!

16890_10151137118003543_345915610_n-300x225This last weekend, Burlycon 2012 hit the Doubletree Hotel in Seattle and Brown Paper Tickets was there to soak up all the glitter-tastic fabulousness.

I led a workshop on Saturday morning discussing ticketing techniques and options available to burlesque producers alongside our Event Tech genius Michelle Sunnyday and my good friend, Seattle-based bellydance/cabaret producer Miss J9 Fierce. There was some great discussion on the different ways producers can approach ticketing and issues folks have had with ticketing. I learned a lot from everyone there and I want to give a special shout-out to Mr. Scratch from the Boston Babydolls who provided a ton of information as a long-time Brown Paper Tickets vet. I was surprised of the turnout we got considering the class was held at 10am on the morning following the aquatic-themed dance party “Under the Deep Blue Sea.” Attendees looked slightly hung over but were there ready to learn. Thanks to everyone that made it out.
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