No-Guilt nudity. (Burlesque in Los Angeles)
Beginning in the early 18th century, the term burlesque was used throughout Europe to describe musical works in which serious and comic elements were juxtaposed or combined to achieve a grotesque effect. Early theatrical burlesque was a form of musical and theatrical parody in which a serious or romantic opera or piece of classical theatre was adapted in a broad, often risqué style that ridiculed stage conventions. In 20th century America the word became associated with a variety show in which striptease is the chief attraction. Although the striptease originated at the Moulin Rouge in 1890s Paris and subsequently became a part of some burlesque across Europe, only in American culture is the term burlesque closely associated with the striptease. These shows were not considered 'theatre' and were regarded as 'low' by the vaudevillians, actors and showgirls of neighbouring theatreland. A new generation nostalgic for the spectacle and perceived glamour of the old times determined to bring burlesque back. This revival was pioneered independently in the early 1990s by Billie Madley's "Cinema" and later with Ami Goodheart in "Dutch Weismann's Follies" revues in New York, Michelle Carr's "The Velvet Hammer" troupe in Los Angeles, and The Shim-Shamettes in New Orleans. In addition, and throughout the country, many individual performers were incorporating aspects of burlesque in their acts. Furthermore, the contemporary roller derby revival features elements of burlesque.
So, there's more than one way to watch women take their clothes off. If the only option was what they call gentlemen’s clubs and have not much gentleness to it, we'd all have that guilty, penniless look that comes with false alibis and rip-off lapdances. But there is burlesque. While there's still plenty of nudity, burlesque is a lot more than just stripping, and often incorporates elements of acrobatics, live music, magic, comedy and even pyrotechnics. It's the kind of sexy experience that you're encouraged to bring your significant other to. Here we have some of the best, driving distance away for all adult Angelenos night out. Ladies and gentlemen, Los Angeles has its own burlesque:
The Pussycat Dolls are the ultimate burlesque show success story, and while their new weekly revue at the Viper Room might seem like another testament to their growing omnipresence, it's really more of a homecoming. After all, this is where it all started for the PCD back in 1993, when the Viper Room was still synonymous with Johnny Depp. The Pussycat Dolls return to the Viper Room stage after a 15-year hiatus from the Sunset Strip, during which they conquered the "burlesque pop" market. Apparently, international success and multi-platinum singles is all it takes to get your show moved from Thursday to Friday and Saturday in this town.
Silverlake’s own El Cid presents something hot, too, every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. Could be, from the warped mind of Lolita LaVey, burlesque performer, fire dancer and Velvet Hammer alumnus, a shocking spectacular of fire and flesh. A venture into the dark under-belly of 1930's German cabaret, this show is a mixture of bizarre circus sideshow acts and sizzling, sultry burlesque performances. Fire-eaters, sword swallowers and snake charmers meet slithering seductresses. Or “high-fallutin' low brow" variety show which ain't your grandpa's burlesque show! Featuring striptease, sideshow, comedy and live music with performers from all over the country, Victory Variety Hour takes burlesque to the cutting edge of sex and black comedy.
The Lucent Dossier Experience is what happens when the gloves come off, the thinking is taken way outside of the box, and limitations are shattered. On Wednesday nights, at 15 minute intervals from 9 p.m. to midnight, the internationally acclaimed troupe puts on a show that includes everything from fire dancers, aerial silk performers, belly dancers, contortionists, burlesque dancers and "actors who hang from the rafters." The list might look like a mash-up of strange and dangerous things, but they seam to know what they're doing. All of that in downtown’s The Edison.
Burlesque gets a punk makeover at Speakeasy Sundays. From 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., this punk staple in Downey gives cabaret the full treatment, with live music, beautiful women dancing against the establishment, and no cover.
Three Clubs, LA’s original martini lounge holds the longest running LA’s burlesque show “Monday Night Tease”. In July we’ll have the opportunity to view the homage to the genius of Quentin Tarantino – burlesque show based on episodes from his movies. Yummy.