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New Burlesque Hall of Fame Fund

PERSEPHONE BurlesqueBrown Paper Tickets has long supported the sassy, sultry, outrageous-in-the-best-way burlesque community. We want to ensure that the burlesque story (your story) is told with care and that legends live on to inspire its future.

We’re excited to announce our new Burlesque Hall of Fame Fund.

Established from a friendly acquisition of GlitterTix, this new program allows event producers the option to add $0.35 or $1.00 donation amounts to their ticket prices—100% of which goes directly to the Burlesque Hall of Fame (BHoF), a nonprofit museum on a mission to “preserve, celebrate and inspire the art of burlesque.”

The Burlesque Hall of Fame Fund carries on the good work of GlitterTix—a ticketing portal for burlesque and variety art shows. In the wake of GlitterTix dissolving, its co-founder Will Longfellow approached Brown Paper Tickets and asked that we continue its fundraising efforts, since we have such close ties to the burlesque community.

“GlitterTix service fees were among the lowest in the ticketing industry, but with Brown Paper Tickets, attendees of burlesque events will see ticketing fees go down, while donations to the Burlesque Hall of Fame increase,” said Longfellow on why he chose us.

It all comes down to Brown Paper Tickets and GlitterTix sharing the same goals to grow the burlesque community and pay tribute to its legends.

Speaking of legends…

The Ladies, the Dream, the Museum

Jennie Lee Vintage BurlesqueLegendary tassel-twirler, Jennie Lee dreamed of a “Burlesque Hall of Fame” back in the early 1950s. Lee wanted to honor burlesque’s memory and its future. She envisioned a world-class museum, affordable housing for retired dancers and a school for aspiring performers.

Lee passed away before she was able to see her dream come to fruition. Dixie Evans, Lee’s friend and the “Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque,” took up her efforts, opening a museum in California in 1990, 15 years after Lee’s death. In 2006, the Burlesque Hall of Fame moved to Las Vegas.

Today, it occupies a space in the Emergency Arts building in Downtown Vegas. A small part of the several-thousand-piece collection of costumes, stage props, photographs and personal effects is on display to the public. The museum continues to foster awareness and understanding of burlesque as an art form. Visit our donation page to donate directly to the Burlesque Hall of Fame.

The Burlesque Hall of Fame, GlitterTix and Brown Paper Tickets hope to continue what Dixie started and realize Lee’s vision for a supportive and educational infrastructure for burlesque artists.

Jennie Lee photo courtesy of Burlesque Hall of Fame

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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: 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: 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: Chicago Burlesque Queen, Michelle L’amour

Chicago has a thriving burlesque scene, and without a doubt, the biggest name in that scene is Michelle L’amour. She’s appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” she founded the award-winning Chicago Starlets, she co-founded Naked Girls Reading (which now boasts 16 chapters around the world), and she’s trained future burlesque stars for the last nine years. Four years ago, Michelle established her burlesque “dojo,” Studio L’amour which just celebrated its fourth birthday with a Summer Student Striptease Showcase. I got the opportunity to sit down with Michelle and talk about Studio L’Amour, her history in burlesque, the Chicago scene and the Chicago Starlets’ upcoming show at Joe’s Bar on August 2nd, “Live NEW’D Girls.”

Can you tell us a little about the history of Studio L’Amour? 
Studio L’amour just celebrated its four-year anniversary with the Summer Student Striptease Showcase. The girls performed burlesque for an audience for the first time. It’s always such a fun show because the energy is so exciting and new!

What inspired you to start teaching burlesque?
People asked, really. I used to teach kids ballet, jazz, and hip hop. I was doing burlesque on the side and kept getting more opportunities. It seemed like a natural progression to begin teaching burlesque. I’ve been teaching this primarily for about 9 years. I no longer teach children!

What can a burlesque novice expect to get out of a class at Studio L’Amour?
Ladies can expect a huge burst of confidence! It takes a lot to overcome those first class jitters, but after that first hour of class, I see a remarkable difference. The first couple classes are more about the basic moves of burlesque and the history. Then you progress on to learning full routines with props, such as boas, gloves, bras, etc. The props and choreography change every session.
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Tuesday Tease: A Wink and a Smile

In 2008, filmmaker Deidre Timmons, followed ten ordinary women as they learned the art of burlesque at Seattle’s Academy of Burlesque under the tutelage of Miss Indigo Blue, who most recently won the esteemed title of Queen of Burlesque at this year’s Burlesque Hall of Fame. This resulted in the documentary film “A Wink and a Smile,” which follows a home-maker, a reporter, a doctor, an opera singer, a taxidermist and a student as they transform themselves into burlesque divas over the course of six weeks. Their story is complemented by performances from Seattle’s finest burlesque divas strutting their stuff on Seattle stages.

While this incredible documentary sheds light on the unique burlesque scene that exists in Seattle, it also illustrates the powerful role burlesque plays in helping these women better understand their bodies, their sexuality and their social identity. This film is not only an expose of the burlesque revival, it shows how the neo-burlesque movement has taken the art form and transformed it into a powerful, creative and sometimes hilarious expression of gender and sexuality.
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