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: Mother’s Day Burlesque?

webnonippleI met Seattle-based burlesque producer/performer Whisper De Corvo at the Brown Paper Tickets class at The Great Burlesque Exposition in Boston a few weeks back. She told me about a Mother’s Day burlesque show she was putting on and, I have to admit that initially, I didn’t really associate Mother’s Day with burlesque. But as I talked to her more, and discovered that she was a mom herself, it started to make sense to me.

Ultimately, burlesque is a celebration of femininity and so it makes sense that daughters would want to celebrate their femininity and to pay tribute to their ultimate feminine role model, their mother. Also, as Whisper says in her interview below, it gives mother’s a chance to enjoy a night out that doesn’t revolve around child-rearing. It’s a chance to celebrate other aspects of her femininity: her beauty, her sensuality and her lust for life. And, with the burlesque revival now in its second decade, many of today’s mom’s are burlesque dancers themselves. If you want to get tickets to this one-of-a-kind show, pick them up here before they’re gone!

I tracked down Whisper last week so I could find out more about her show. Whisper also produces a number of shows around Seattle and I predict she will be a burlesque producer to watch. She certainly has original ideas and is passionate about the art of burlesque.

So, without further ado, I give you Miss Whisper De Corvo:
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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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