Marking a decade of dazzling entertainment delights, the Hollywood Burlesque Festival returns to elevate and celebrate the art of strip tease-driven performance. The event, which used to take place every other year (COVID put the kabosh on the 2021 edition) will now be an annual affair, so they’re going big for the comeback.
Over 70 performers from across the country are scheduled to appear over the weekend, showcasing the breadth of burlesque– from thematic dance to comical cabaret. In addition to nightly shows, there’s a red-carpet photo op-packed pre-party Friday night, an afterparty on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday, plus classes and workshops from the biggest stage stars.
The event is perfectly timed for Women’s History Month, especially in 2023, when conservatives continually seek to stifle female sexual expression (and body autonomy). As we’ve written before, burlesque is about empowering women to honor themselves and their sensuality. It’s about spotlighting all forms of beauty with movement, mood and music.
“Lili VonSchtupp [who created the event] was my mentor and under her, I watched this fest build and grow, attracting attention and a buzz for the Los Angeles burlesque scene. When she came to me and told me that she had to retire, we both knew that there was no way I was going to let this festival die. She really encouraged me to make it my own, which is the kind of mentor that she is, and I took the reins and jumped into the deep end,” new event producer Miss Spent Youth tells LA Weekly. “ I am so fortunate to have such an amazing team of fellow performers and mentors that all jumped in to help make this happen. It’s time the Los Angeles burlesque scene takes its place as one of the top in the country. This festival is bringing in so many of the performers that have inspired me and I’ve idolized throughout my burlesque career. It’s pretty unbelievable that they’re all going to be on one stage, for one weekend, in our city.”
Schedule of events (not a complete list of performers or participants so check their social media for more additions):
Friday, March 17: Red-carpet opening ceremony and “Classic Showcase” featuring: Ginger Lee Valentine, Foxy Lexxi, Audrey Deluxe & Madeline Sinclaire, Miss Spent Youth & The Hollywood It Girls, Miss May, Kyla, Nadia Lotte, Mx. Pux A’Plenty- hosted by Tito Bonito; followed by cocktail hour; then late night “Neo Showcase” featuring: Lux LaCroix, Matt Finish & Raisin Wood, Veronica Yune, Dulce D’Jour, Stella Sin, Arabella Boop, Gadiel, Renaissance Noir and Tas Al-Ghul hosted by Vanity Halston.
Saturday, March 18: Classes and workshops from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; followed by Hollywood Burlesque Festival Competition and crowning of titles including Miss Hollywood, Mr. Hollywood, Hollywood Starlet & Hollywood Chanteuse. Plus Most Erotic, Most Classic and Most Comedic – hosted by Natasha Estrada; After Party with live music from Babylon Cabaret.
Sunday, March 19: Brunch Showcase at 3 Clubs (12pm – Doors 1pm) with Lola La Minx, Vixen De Ville, I.L.Y Royale (w/cheese), Brandi Glass, Maggie ThrillEmAll, Vixen Valentine, Dolly Marlowe, Zetta Laveau, Hosted by Peggy Bush Ridder ( FKA Lili St Byr). Closing Showcase at North End, Hollywood 4:30pm- Doors 5pm – Closing Showcase Featuring Egypt Blaque Knyle & the House of Knyle, Emma Vauxdevil, Anastasia Arsenic, Portia Favro, Roxy Rockette, Bella Fire, Atomic Cherry Bombs, Blanche Bourgeois, Amaya Absynthe, Scarlett Folds. Hosted by Scarlet O’Gasm.
At the Vermont, 1020 N. Vermont Ave. Tickets and more information at events.humanitix.com/the-hollywood-burlesque-festival/tickets.
Check out some of the scheduled performers below. (All photos courtesy Hollywood Burlesque Festival).
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