Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Burlesque scene...in DC

Hey there,

First off, I just want to start here: the video below is NOT burlesque (wow, did that really come out almost 2 years ago, already??):


Yes, I did see it, and loved it for what it was: a movie staring Cher and Christina Aguilera that had singing and dancing

Back to Burlesque, the art form. If you Google it, some definitions pop up on the first page of results, among links related to the movie. Those definitions include:

  • Wikipedia - ...a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subjects. The word derives from the Italian burlesco, which itself derives from the Italian burla – a joke, ridicule or mockery (read more
  • Dictionary.com - an artistic composition, especially literary or dramatic, that,for the sake of laughter, vulgarizes lofty material or treats ordinary material with mock dignity (read more)

Slate had a piece on burlesque, by Sasha Watson, "Real Burlesque Is So Much Sexier Than the Movie", and says at one point:
The word burlesque for a long time meant comedic imitation or exaggeration, in both theater and literature. To "burlesque" someone is to spoof them with bawdy, earthy jokes and barbs. (read more)
All that being said, I can't think of better city for there to be a burlesque scene than Washington, DC. Google "burlesque" and "Washington, DC" and one of the top sites on the first page will be the Red Palace, the love child of what were once two separate venues, The Red & The Black and the Palace of Wonders.

In fact, the Red Palace has a show coming up this Saturday, Strip Club Time Machine Burlesque, presented by Sticky Buns Burlesque. I have to admit, my own burlesque experience has been somewhat limited. I performed with two female burlesque dancers as a filler act for part of an evening length performance of one acts. More recently, my friend Jeremy hosted a local burlesque artist's birthday party at Phase 1, with his Mx. May Nads character (like her on Facebook). Keep an eye out, I'll be blogging about him this Friday.

Burlesque & Belly Laughs
Presented as part of the 2012
Capital Fringe Festival
And then most recently, that same burlesque artist, Lola, was part of a show in this year's Capital Fringe Festival, Burlesque & Belly Laughs. The show was great, and neat as it paired an improv troupe with a group of burlesque performers. And it got a 4.5 star review at DC Metro Theater Arts.

Not only did I love the show, but Lola came by the other day to hang out with Jeremy and myself, to discuss what she's got cooking in the proverbial kitchen. I'll definitely share more later, but in the meantime, check out and bookmark her website, as well as any of the other artists/venues I mentioned earlier.

Because DC's got a burlesque scene.

- JR
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