With a wink and a smile, a new generation of burlesque performers is giving a fresh spin to this classic American art form. NY1's Stephanie Simon recently went behind the scenes of the latest neo-burlesque show to hit the city and filed the following report.
When the women of "Burlesque To Broadway" entertain, it's hard to not be a fan. This theatrical concert celebrates the history of American Burlesque. NY1 caught a recent rehearsal as it prepares for a run at Gramercy Theater
“It really celebrates the journey of the icons that went from burlesque to Broadway and beyond like Gypsy Rose Lee, Mae West, Sally Rand, Fanny Brice,” said Quinn Lemley.
Since audience members tend to get dressed up for the occasion, I to came with some false lashes and high heels.
Stephanie Simon: But I feel like I’m missing something.
Quinn Lemley: Yes, you are. You need feathers!
Burlesque was a popular American art form from the mid 1800's through the 1940's that included bawdy jokes, magic acts and of course, sexy song and dance numbers, including the strip tease. And while this show does have some brief nudity, it's more of a musical extravaganza
“We've picked some of the most exciting music, it’s one show stopping hit after another, said Lemley.
While some may say all this skin objectifies females, Lemly insists the show features many body types and celebrates strong talented women.
“Women come together in groups and they come dressed up and ready to celebrate themselves and have a good time,” said Lemley.
And with many pop stars and stage shows revisiting the art form, burlesque is in the midst of a real revival.
“I think our society feels that it needs to be uplifted and needs to start celebrating itself and not take itself so seriously and have fun,” Lemley said.
Like the songs says, if you've got it, flaunt it and if you've got feathers, well even better.
The show runs from February 5th through 8th at the Gramercy Theater. Tickets start at $30.