Tuesday Tease: Boylesque – Part 1

332984-250In this special, two-part series, James Ulness, Brown Paper Tickets Client Services Representative and an avid, enthusiastic member of the Seattle burlesque community, prepares to make his début as a boylesque performer. James has been a regular presence backstage at local burlesque shows for years but this will be his first foray onto the stage.

Over the years I’ve spent quite a bit of time working around the edges of the burlesque world. I’ve written about shows, photographed them, worked backstage, constructed props and have even been a prop myself. But one thing I have never done is perform onstage. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and planned on doing but never quite got around to it. “Someday,” I told myself, “Someday I’ll get up on that stage and I will be amazing.” It took a lot longer than I thought it would but that day has finally come. Or rather, that day is March 22, 2014.

One of the philosophies I try to live my life by is the idea that you should never ask other people to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself. And with all the time I’ve spent around burlesque it would be hypocritical of me to not put myself on a stage. But there was a problem. I had absolutely no idea where to start. The logical starting point would be to take a burlesque class, which is what I was planning on doing as soon as my schedule permitted (and I still recommend it for anyone who whats to jump into burlesque). But while I was pondering when and where to go to burlesque school opportunity came knocking at my door. Chameleon Productions, one of the groups I’ve gotten to know in my time hanging around burlesque folks, announced that they were accepting submissions for there new production, Morsels for a Mongrel.
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Tuesday Tease: Mardi Gras with a Side of Southern Fried Burlesque

20140131223844-1669879_283701681793257_1260797718_oIs it that time again? Can you believe that Fat Tuesday is just a week away? Things have been raging in New Orleans since the 15th but in the rest of the country, this is the week for Mardi Gras madness.

This week I thought I’d highlight some Mardi Gras events happening both north and south of the Mason Dixie line. I also wanted to feature some great burlesque events happening in the South itself, the American home of the Mardi Gras. We all know that Southerners know how to party and this week you can be sure they’ll be strutting their stuff.

If you’re in the North, party like you’re in the South. If you’re in the South, just do what you do and show that Southern pride.

Friday, February 28 to Wednesday, March 26 I The Mason Dixie Burlesque TourVarious Cities  The Mason Dixie Burlesque Tour brings you the hottest vixens from both sides of the Mason-Dixon! In the spring of 2014, these four award-winning ladies will be crossin’ state lines, eight pasties at a time!​ Starring: Deanna Danger (Richmond, Virginia), Üla Überbusen (New York City), Porcelain (Raleigh, North Carolina) and Hazel Honeysuckle (New York City)​. Co-producers Deanna Danger and Üla Überbusen bring you a show that’s got class, sass and a whole lotta ass!

Shows being ticketed by Brown Paper Tickets are Washington D.C.; Charleston, West Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; St. Louis, Missouri; Wichita, Kansas; Gainesville, Florida and Orlando, Florida.

Also, check out this great interview we did with Deanna Danger last year on the Tuesday Tease too! She offers some great advise for touring burlesque performers.


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Tuesday Tease: 90’s Retro-Americana

tank_girl__oil_change__anyone__by_mj_chan-d3l2d9pPop culture is always an odd and fascinating thing to behold. Completely unpredictable fads and fashions slip in and out of the public’s consciousness like a pinball, bouncing rapidly from thing to thing in a tempest of lights and sound until it finally drops between the flippers. But neither the ball nor the fad is truly gone forever. They are just sitting in their hold, waiting for their turn to be shot back out onto the playfield.

The 1990s were an… um…. interesting time for pop culture politics and music. This was a time in history when Pepsi was clear, Beanie Babies were an investment and Tank Girls roamed the earth. And now it looks as if it’s the ’90s turn in the ball shooter of retro-Americana with this weeks featured burlesque events.
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Tuesday Tease: Improvisational Burlesque!

stage-questionWhen you go to a burlesque show, you never quite know what you are going to get. There are a few guarantees (rhinestones, pasties, music and horrific puns) but beyond that the night is a glitteringly bedazzled mystery for the audience to experience.

For the three shows that we’re featuring this week, it will be a mystery for the performers as well! Burlesque is usually a meticulously choreographed and rehearsed activity, but these brave performers have thrown caution to the wind and will come to the stage armed with nothing but guts and talent to bring you improvised acts to excite and amaze. Think of it as a slightly sexier, live version of the TV show Who’s Line is it Anyway?

Norfolk, Virginia313734-250

Friday, January 30 and Saturday, February 1 | Focus Fox Burlesque presents Whose Pastie Is It Anyway?

Ever hear a song and think to yourself I would really love to see a burlesque routine done to this? Here’s your chance! Focus Fox Burlesque is putting the teasing in your hands. The foxes are coming to the stage with absolutely no preparation. You, the audience, have the opportunity to pick the music and the dancers will have no clue until they walk onstage!

The two night program will be hosted by Rob Floyd and feature Eevee Bravura, Ellie Quinn, Lacey LaBare, Lily Liqueur and Siren Sivette.
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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: Portland’s All That Glitters Burlesque Academy

DSC_3544-e1384568325700Exciting news! Portland, Oregon’s getting a brand new burlesque school!

I recently got an e-mail from Holly Dai, who used to be with the Frim Fram Foxies, (who we did a feature on back in July of 2012) among other troupes, and she told me about her exciting new venture: the All That Glitters Burlesque Academy. Her partner in this new venture is Tana the Tattooed Lady, who is a veteran of the Seattle burlesque scene and a former member of one of the pioneering Northwest burlesque troupes, the Atomic Bombshells.

It’s always an exciting time when you see burlesque schools start to pop up in towns like Portland because it’s a sign that the scene is growing and certainly, will continue to grow as students leave to produce their own shows and form their own troupes. I’ve certainly seen the Portland burlesque community grow significantly over the last three years. While the scene still remains relatively small, I think in a couple years, Portland’s burlesque scene will rival that of Seattle or San Francisco. I also have a feeling that All That Glitters will be, in no small part, responsible for that growth.

Holly also teased (how appropriate!) some exciting news. Oregon may be getting its very first burlesque festival! They aren’t saying much at this point but we’ll be waiting with bated breath to hear more news on this exciting development.

We sure appreciate Holly and Tana taking time out of their busy lives to chat with us about All That Glitters, their influences, their history, the Portland scene and more. They even offer a little advice to those of you out there that’d like to start your own burlesque academy.

So, without further ado, I give you Holly Dai and Tana the Tatooed Lady!
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Tuesday Tease: Hooray for Hollywood!

1461051_10152129697148993_692879185_nHey teasers! Hope everyone’s New Year’s was safe and celebratory.

Now that the holidays have passed and we’re settling into our normal lives again, I want to, finally, post my review of the Hollywood Burlesque Festival, which took place from December 6 to December 9. Me and fellow BPT-er Michelle went down to LA for four days of hanging with the City of Angels’ best burlesque talent. It was all brought to us courtesy of the incredible Lili Von Schtupp, the woman the LA Times dubbed “The foul-mouthed, buxom Godmother of LA burlesque!”

Lili has been ticketing her Monday Night Tease shows with us for the better part of the last decade and she’s the shining example of what’s possible with a little hard work and a deep love for your chosen art form. Lili hosts Monday Night Tease every week and somehow manages to pack ’em into The 3 Clubs show room week after week, which is no small feat for a show that’s been running for almost a decade. She also runs Lili’s School for Wayward Girls and gives new talent a safe and supportive environment within which to hone their skills. The love the community feels for Lili was more than apparent during the first ever Hollywood Burlesque Festival and I have to say, it’s well deserved.
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Tuesday Tease: New Years’ Resolutions!

vintage-new-years-eve-312013 is coming to a close and 2014 is rapidly approaching. It’s time to start making your New Years’ Resolutions. And, if you’re going to make a resolution, you should make one that you are definitely going to keep. Odds are you aren’t going to finish writing that novel or learn to play the theremin. You may manage to be more organized, but where’s the fun in that?

If you want to make a resolution that you know you are not only going to keep but have fun keeping, resolve to go see more burlesque! To help you out, here are some wonderful shows that are coming up in the very near future.
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Tuesday Tease: New Years’ Tease!

sanjuannewyearIf there is a proper way to celebrate the new year it’s with music, dancing, costumes, glitter, drinks and fun. And there is one thing that always promises to deliver all those things: burlesque. So this year celebrate the new year right with some of the country’s top burlesque stars!
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Tuesday Tease: The Christmas Special Gets Burlesqued!

295088-250In case you hadn’t noticed, Christmas is coming soon and that means that this year’s Christmas specials have arrived! Christmas specials are heralds of the approaching holiday, announcing it’s impending arrival with song and dance. Elves and Grinches blaze a trail into our hearts and minds which Christmas day fallows. In short, Christmas specials are special.

With that in mind, and since this is the Tuesday Tease, here is a light smattering of burlesque Christmas specials that are happening this year!

New York, New York

TONIGHT! Tuesday, December 17 | Hotsy Totsy Burlesque’s tribute to the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special  One of, if not THE, most infamous holiday specials ever created. The program told the story of Han Solo and Chewbacca racing against time to get to the Wookie home planet, Kashyyyk, in time for Chewy to spend Life Day with his family. The Star Wars Holiday Special was broadcast in its entirety only once, in the United States and Canada, on November 17, 1978, pre-empting Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk. It has never been rebroadcast or officially released on home video. David Hofstede called it ‘the worst two hours of television ever.’  George Lucas has reportedly said:  ‘If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.'”

The folks at Hotsy Totsy Burlesque have made some improvements. Rather than featuring left over cast, props and footage from the original Star Wars, Hotsy Totsy Burlesque’s tribute to the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special will showcase performances by Brief Sweat, Clara Coquette, Hard Corey, Ivory Fox, Jenny C’est Quoi, Rosey La Rouge, gogo by Erika Rodgers and will be hosted by Herry Pitz and Handsome Brad.


New Orleans, Louisiana

TOMORROW! Wednesday, December 18 | Naked Girls Reading Christmas Carol  What would Christmas be without Charles Dickens’ 1843 classic A Christmas Carol? The number of adaptions of the story are too numerous to count. Everyone from Patrick Stewart to Mr. Magoo have portrayed the books tight-fisted protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge. However, one aspect of the story is almost always missing from the storytelling. The live reading of the story. Charles Dickens himself had a long tradition of public readings of A Christmas Carol, a tradition that has been almost lost to time and technology. But fortunately Naked Girls Reading has brought this tradition back, with improvements that would have been unheard of in Victorian England.
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