"We need more examples of women at different stages of beauty," says Von Teese, who at 44 is still shattering stripper stereotypes and elevating the art of burlesque for a new audience.
Saucy striptease and masked wrestling returned to the Mayan Theater for Lucha VaVOOM's annual Cinco de Mayo festivities. Blaine Capatch and Drew Carey hosted a night of sexy, sinful and funny performances by aerialist Veronica Yune, Tanya Gagne, Jessabelle Thunder, Marawa the Amazing, Silverio, Mariachi Alma y Corazon, Grandeza Mexicana Folklorico's traditional Aztec Dancers and many others. Once again laughs, near nudity and violence made a winning combo.
All photos by Timothy Norris
Sultry Sweet Burlesque and Variety Show returned to El Cid on Sunday, April 30, bringing Drop Dead Gorgeous sponsored by Girls & Corpses Magazine. The bloody yet sexy burlesque show featured a wide range of entertainment, with performances by Scott Land, Blanche Bourgeois, Harley Harpurr, Miss May, Angel Baby, Audrey Deluxe, Mystic O'Reilly, Angie Cakes, Maya Papaya, Dolly Danger, Sin Twisted and Erica Snap.
All photos by Ernie Manrique.
On Saturday, April 8, Peepshow Menagerie brought Hamiltease, a burlesque parody of the Broadway smash musical Hamilton, to Fais Do-Do in West Adams. The sold-out show featured performances by Tas DeVille, Nox Falls, Sgt. Die Wies, Kitschy Koo and others, as well as a Hamilton sing-along featuring members of the Hamiltunes L.A. Cabinet.
Performer DeVille has wanted to put on this show ever since she listened to the Hamilton soundtrack last year. Shortly thereafter Peepshow Menagerie offered her the opportunity to co-produce Hamiltease, and she jumped at the chance. The mission of her company, Vamptastic Productions, is to present audiences with beautiful and thought-provoking performance art that features performers who are typically less represented in the arts world. Tas DeVille, herself a plus-size woman of color, put together a cast for Hamiltease that was as diverse as it was skilled.
If you weren't sure why Absinthe L.A. is an 18-and-older show, the 5-minute-long dick jokes will certainly explain things.
Designed as a dirty Cirque du Soleil–type show, with lots of aerial work and a bit of old-fashioned smut, Absinthe has been a smash hit in Las Vegas for the past six years. Setting up their Spiegeltent on the edge of L.A. Live, the cast of Absinthe do many of the wonderfully superhuman feats of the modern circus we have come to know and love, but with 10 times more chutzpah and in lingerie. There is a striptease, an erotic green fairy, a sacrilegious roller-skating duo and every kind of aerial act, all done on or above a 9-foot-wide circular stage. Opening night saw a red carpet with everyone from Katrina Law to Wil Wheaton to Perez Hilton walking into the dirty, sexy, circus that is Absinthe L.A.
All photos by Star Foreman.
The performers of the Hollywood Jane Revue has proven themselves to be masters when it comes to themed burlesque. The revue takes the classic performance cycle format and integrates a new concept for the performers to play out onstage. At Burlyquest on Tuesday, the troupe flexed its creative muscle in terms of routine conception, song pairing and flexibility in tone.
The show opened with musical parody duo Library Bards turning modern pop hits into nerd anthems; for instance, Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" became "PokeBall." But the show that followed served up more obscure '80s fantasy. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were obvious inclusions, but the surprise was in seeing sendups of Highlander and Legend (an underrated Ridley Scott classic). Even Artax's horrific death scene from The Neverending Story made it into the mix.
The troupe demonstrated a new level of maturity, taking on Tolkien with one performer as Smeagol and producer Blanche Bourgeois as Smaug, performing a fiery fan routine. Two different interpretations from one writer's catalog, both handled expertly.
All photos by Daniel Sliwa