Before Christina Aguilera and Cher made a horrible movie, The Box created an exclusive, late night sexy alcohol fueled show, and I had my 30th at a dinner during which, ladies shook their pasties on the stage, there was one original. The first one; the biggest trend setter of her time who started a century of dancing sexy, without sex, was Gypsy Rose Lee, the most famous and, original burlesque dancer. Many have played her; Ethel Merman on stage, Natalie Wood in the movies, and many have tried to emulate her, surpass her or use her as a source of inspiration. But there can be only one Gypsy Rose Lee, who would have turned 100 years old this past January.
I became suddenly and randomly obsessed with burlesque back in November- I cannot for the life of me remember why, but suddenly I was dying to go to a burlesque show- preferably while eating a meal- b/c who doesn’t want to have boobs slapping in their face while munching on a salad.Of course, back in November I researched, and googled my little heart out, not too much success, and finally found Duane Park. An enticing little gem in Tribecca that puts on an amazing burlesque show and 3 course dinner on weekends.
Now suddenly, it seems that burlesque has returned front and center- I realized it was suddenly “popular” again, when a featured article in Time Out NYC was “best burlesque shows in NYC”. All of a sudden, they seem to be EVERYWHERE. Recently, the newly opened Affaire in the east village, which boasts a Wednesday night burlesque act, another at The Delancey, and the slipper room which is about to reopen their famous doors, and famous show.
This past Saturday night me and 6 of my girlfriends, at my slight prodding all put on our cutest Saturday night outfits and went to Le Scandal, in Times Square, NY’s longest running burlesque and variety act. We saw “mama”, the host, an energetic emcee, a cute nerdy stripping male juggler, 2 amazing burlesque dancers, and one crazy oddly sexy, scary, sword swallower. Don’t ask. This is just something you have to see for yourself… Or not.
Jazz, the one burlesque dancer put on an amazing act in a Black swan theme- tightly curling her fingers and perfecting her poses, while stripping down to her glittery panties, and black heart shaped pasties. Yes, she was half naked in front of a an entire audience, but you could also see in her face that for her, it was about her art, her performance. The taking off her clothes part seemed to just be an afterthought, as if to be a a power point presentation at a pitch meeting. We were watching her strip on stage, but she was somewhere else. Alone in an abandoned dance studio, dancing in the mirror, every move a step closer to perfecting her act. Afterwards, when she turned into a normal girl in jeans and a t-shirt, I told her how amazing I thought her act was. “oh, really, wow, thank you so much”, in a humble soft little voice was the responses, and it made me like her persona even more.
After the show, 2 of us bought pasties, one for her man, one for, well herself…. We all seemed to be a in friskier mood at the end of the show, and the 3 of us took the party downtown to Maru in K-town where I introduced what I have declared my new signature drink; the cherry bomb. So all in all, a night filled with glitter, pasties and cherry bombs– What else could you ask for in a NYC night? I have to run now— there’s a mirror at home expecting me any minute now, to perfect my secret burlesque act.
And to complete the outfit and perfect that BURLESQUE Look, you can find some great ideas and TIPS here: