I know that technically, Europe is the historical home of burlesque. The term first appeared in 17th century Italian, French and British opera and literature. However, the modern definition of burlesque which provides the inspiration for the current revival has its roots in the burlesque houses of New Orleans, New York and Las Vegas, right here in the good ‘ol U.S. of A.
Therefore, it seems fitting, as we approach the most patriotic of American holidays, that so many of our burlesque producers are paying tribute with 4th of July shows.
Today, we feature some of our favorite 4th of July shows along with quotes from the performers themselves on what audiences can expect. Sure, fireworks are great, but I think these shows will get your blood pumping as well. Nice thing is, most of these shows happen on Saturday, July 5th so you can enjoy a nice wholesome family Fourth on Friday and indulge your wild side on Saturday. Sounds like the perfect weekend to me!
Friday, July 4th
THE FOUNDING FOLLIES! An Evening of Explosive Independence – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Come watch as Broad St. Burlesque & company pay tribute to the greatest country in the universe the only way they know how- with glamour, glitter, and acts of undress! Broad St. Burlies’ Hayley Jane and Liberty Rose said: “To us, Philadelphia is the home of independence and no national holiday cultivates community with such vigor as 4th of July…As Philadelphia’s tag team champions of burlesque, we could think of no greater way to honor our city, our country and our freedom than to dress up like presidents and go off like fireworks!” Can’t get more patriotic than that.
Saturday, July 5th
Cyn Factory Saves America at the Bier Baron – Washington D.C. Here’s what Mary Cyn and Sarah Tops of Cyn Factory have to say about their upcoming show: “Every city has a holiday that it “owns”. Chicago has St. Patrick’s Day, New Orleans has Mardi Gras, New York and San Francisco share Halloween. 4th of July is DC’s holiday and we’re really excited to be part of the celebration. The neo-burlesque that Cyn Factory presents is especially American because, while there is burlesque all over the world, it tends to be mostly classic and dance-based. What Cyn Factory presents is largely story-based and influenced by theatre and performance art, creating an American spin on a worldwide art.”
Fireworks – Beacon, New York Fireworks producer Dr. Lucky had this to say about why Independence Day and burlesque are such natural bedfellows: “Independence is a great way to describe what so many performers and fans alike love about burlesque: independent women (and some men) creating their own personas, acts and costumes and really going for it on stage. It’s what America is built on: independence and individual free will.” Amen to that Dr. Lucky!
Black Widow Burlesque presents: America EXPOSED! – Politically Incorrect! – Austin, Texas Black Widow Burlesque‘s Ginger Snaps had this to say about their annual 4th of July production: “Black Widow Burlesque has a tradition of celebrating 4th of July with our America Exposed! shows. This year we get to take a more critical and comedic eye at American life and culture! This will include anything from political and historical figures to scandals and pop culture”
Pasties for Patriots Burlesque Show – Austin, Texas Another incredible Austin-based troupe, the Bat City Bombshells will show you their best Americana-inspired bump and grind at this show at the incredible 6th Street venue The Parish. Bat City Bombshell Sherry Bomb says: “The Bat City Bombshells have celebrated the 4th of July for the past three years with our Pasties for Patriots Show, it is our time to really celebrate everything Americana. Burlesque is ingrained in American history, so it is only fitting for this time of year to be popular in the burlesque community. Whether it is satirical political humor, classic pin-up or a salute to the troupes, a wide array of performances can be found for this patriotic holiday!
Be sure to pick up tickets to these great shows as they’re going fast and, from all of us at Brown Paper Ticket, HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!
Image courtesy of Vintage Gal’s Tumblr page.