Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Video of the Week

Just in case you missed the much-buzzed about burlesque segment on CBS Sunday This Morning here you go.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Burlesque Redux

Last week a group of performers including Bambi the Mermaid, Rose Wood, World Famous BOB, Dirty Martini, Bonnie Dunn and Tigger took part in a panel discussion at the Slipper Room in New York. Neil O'Fortune sends us this dispatch:

Kate Valentine, Julie Atlas Muz, left, and Jo Boobs all sat together on the stage of the Slipper Room, to take part in a panel discussion about the development of New York burlesque over the last ten years-and longer. Dr. Lucky was the evening's moderator and kept the conversation moving with plenty of humor and insight. The evening was organized by Legs Malone, Clams Casino and myself, and we were thrilled to be in the audience for it. It was a truly unique and special evening, that everyone in the packed house was lucky to share with this group of brilliant and inspiring performers, each one of a kind.

The conversation roamed over the ways that a group of performers, venues and producers created shows in the formative years of New York burlesque, where many of them performed for the first time, met each other, or first discovered that what they were doing could be called burlesque. Asked what made the New York scene distinctive in its history and growth, they talked about New York's unique early to mid-1990s confluence of dance clubs, drag queens, gay bar go-go scenes, downtown theater and post-NEA crisis performance art bringing performers together and inspiring them. They discussed how the distinctive grittiness of the city influenced the New York style and attitude.

The group also talked about how the influence of the legendary performers of yesteryear, the donning of the iconic Marilyn wig or the first time picking up feather fans was the beginning of an entirely new persona. New York's early neo-burlesque shows allowed these performers to hone their skills and develop their performances over a long time.

An audience question led to an enlightening conversation about what they would like to see from new performers: true passion, a distinctive voice and a commitment to truly giving the audience their money's worth.

Much more ground was covered in nearly two hours than I can summarize here of course, but I'm happy to report that there was video recording and transcribing going on to record the evening for posterity.

Thanks for the report Neil! If the video gets uploaded to YouTube, we'll be sure to post some of it here on The Candy Pitch.

Monday, April 28, 2008

All The News That's Fit To Strip

Viva Las Vegas winner Dizzy Von Damn talks about VLV, how she chose her stage name and burlesque around the country.

"I don't know about a coastal difference, but individual cities certainly have different approaches over all. In my experience, New York has a much edgier, performance art sort of feel. That's not to say there aren't classic performers there, but as a whole, there's just an air of the avant-garde. LA has its rebels (whom I love) but as a whole it seems to be more on the pretty side. Perhaps that is the east/west split."

In other news ...

Dita Von Teese shuns the sun.

The Pussycat Dolls get an extra dash of Spice. Victoria Beckham plans to take the stage with the burlesque troupe at Caesar's Palace Hotel & Casino in June.

Tickets to 2008 Miss Exotic World Pageant are on sale now.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bottoms Up

Dita Von Teese mixes up a new cocktail for Cointreau and dishes all about it to Nylon. Here's the recipe:

1 ½ oz. Cointreau
¾ oz. apple juice
½ oz. Monin violet syrup
½ oz. fresh lemon juice

Shake and strain into a martini glass with a ginger-frosted rim; garnish with a violet. Cheers!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Video of the Week

Victoria Vengeance made quite an impression on Candy Pitch correspondent JD at VLV 08. Perhaps this fan dance by Victoria will help cool things off.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

Candy Pitch correspondent JD had the grueling task of attending Viva Las Vegas for all the tassel-twirling, hip-shaking fun. He sends in this dispatch about the festivities:

It was a night of glamor, flesh and even the super natural at the 2008 Viva Las Vegas Burlesque Competition. The Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend is an annual gathering for thousands of fans of an era long past. Fans come from around the world with as many styles as there are slot machines in the casino – it’s beatnik to ballgown.

The climax of the weekend was the burlesque competition. The largest ballroom at the Gold Coast Casino was standing room only for the big strip-down showdown. It was difficult to hear the host over the screaming audience so I will apologize right now for my lack of performers names.

The show started with last year’s winner and two runners-up performing. The 2007 champ was up first; her grand proportions and sexual maneuvers were greatly appreciated by all. She was followed by this reporter’s personal favorite of the evening -- Victoria Vengeance. Her routine began inside the fortune-teller booth from a nickel arcade machine (like the one that made Tom Hanks Big). The music started and she, in her small booth, started looking into her illuminated crystal ball. As the music picked up she left her booth revealing moves that were sensual and well choreographed. It was a shame she had to go back in to her little booth.

Then this years contenders started the competition with Diesel, a sexy blond on – wait for it – roller-skates. We also had dancers playing the innocent, as did Ravenna Black, who started out in her little gingham dress churning butter. By the time she was done the dress was gone. The final kitten for the evening was Dizzy Von Damn, a woman who really knows how to move.

The competition was tight, a clap-off by the audience decided between Dizzy and a Bumble Bee girl. It was close, but Dizzy was the clear winner. After the show ended this reporter spoke to Dizzy about the big win and what was ahead for her as the newly crowned Miss Viva Las Vegas. “I’m going to the Star Trek Experience," said Dizzy. But when spotted at the VLV Tiki Pool Party the next day Dizzy said she still hadn’t made it to the Star Trek Experience but it was on the top of her list of things to do. Dizzy says she got her nickname because she, on occasion, comes off a bit dizzy.

Monday, April 21, 2008

All The News That's Fit To Strip

Dita Von Teese chats about her "retro chic" style, men and performing with The Daily Mail.

"I just think that when you take a minute to look your best, you get what you want," she said of her glam look. "And, I pretty much get what I want."

And to her detractors who think removing her clothes on stage is anti-feminist, she says "Most of my fans are women and my whole thing has been about finding sexual power rather than abusing it."

In other news ...

Is Marilyn Manson cloning ex-wife Dita Von Teese?

Forget the "powdered, robust, zaftig ladies spilling out of sprayed-on sequined dresses and twirling elbow-length gloves over their heads." The boys are "getting in on the business of being sexy."

Australia's tassel twirling picks up speed.

Dancer Sarah Vernon is studying for a doctorate of striptease.

Mark your calendars: This Wednesday, April 23 at 8:00 at the Slipper Room in New York City, Clams Casino, Legs Malone and Neil O'Fortune are producing a panel discussion called the T'n'A Q & A: 10 years of New York City Burlesque. The panel brings together a one-of-a-kind group of performers including Bambi the Mermaid, the World Famous BOB, Dirty Martini, Tigger, Jo Boobs and more.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Candy Gram: Red Hot Annie

In our ongoing Q&A series --"The Candy Gram"-- we ask the same quirky questions of burlesque's various performers. If you want to be added to the mix, drop us a line at kellydinardo AT gmail DOT com. Today, say hello to Red Hot Annie.

What is your hometown?
Chicago

How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
At least five years, but I just started in December!

How many pairs of pasties do you own?
At least 15 pairs

What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
More and More and Then Some" by Nina Simone, Teach Me Tiger by April Stevens and Chick Habit by April March.

What three items could you not live without as a performer?
Feathers, rhinestones, and tassels

Who had the biggest influence on your career?
The girls at Belmont Burlesque in Chicago

Who is your favorite burly queen?
Tempest Storm.

What is your favorite item of clothing?
Stilettos

What's the last movie you saw?
The Big Lebowski (again and again and again!!)

What's on your must-see-TV list?
I don't really like watching TV. I can't handle the commercials! I used to love Sex & the City, though.

What book is on your nightstand?
Towing Jehovah & Blameless in Abaddon by James Morrow

If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
Paris!

If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
Oooh! Easy! X-Ray Vision. Hello, hotties!!

Satisfy your appetite for more Candy Grams: HoneyLu, Kimberlee Rose, Vicky Butterfly, Dominique Immora, Yasmine Vine, Cherry Bomb, Millie Dollar, Joanie Gyoza, Bonbon Vivant, Lola Martinet, Frankie Boudoir, Vixen Violette, Ravenna Black, Veronica Lashe, Amber Ray, Beatrix von Bourbon, Angie Pontani, Tanya Cheex, Bloody Belle, Clams Casino, Trixie Little, Michelle L'Amour, Margaret Cho, Miss Dirty Martini, Princess Farhana, Miss Delirium Tremens, Paris Green, Jo Boobs, Jack Midnight, Heidi Von Haught, Diamond Minx, The Titillation Twins, Scratch, Creamy Stevens and Gina Louise.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Foot-Tastic

Dita Von Teese put her best foot forward for photographer Ed Fox. The burlesque performer shows off her naked body and tiny feet in new shots in the photographer's new foot fetish book. Fox wrote: "The attractions of the foot, like the rest of a woman's body, are intriguing and a mystery. I really don't know why."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

All The News That's Fit to Strip

Rumor has it, Nintendo's Wii might get a saucy makeover. Peekaboo Pole Dancing, the company behind the Carmen Electra home pole dancing kit, is looking to bring a pole dancing game, complete with pole, to the gaming system. Whee!

In other news ...

“We were bawdy and tawdry,” former burlesque dancer Toni Alessandrin said in an interview with the Daily Press. “We filmed live with beautiful costumes and a lot of feather boas. The audience thought they would see us naked but behind all those ruffles and feathers was a sheer body suit.”

Legs Malone heard a voice in her head that prompted her into burlesque.

"Wolf-whistling revelers greeted a showdown of ostrich feathers, satin corsets and red lipstick" at the International Burlesque Festival in London.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Candy Gram: HoneyLulu

In our ongoing Q&A series --"The Candy Gram"-- we ask the same quirky questions of burlesque's various performers. If you want to be added to the mix, drop us a line at kellydinardo AT gmail DOT com. Today, say hello to New York's HoneyLulu.

What is your hometown?
I was born in Italy, but London is what I call home. I have been here for over 10 years.

How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
My background is in photography and as a young photographer I used to take lots of self portraits and was interested in the relationship between photography and performance. At the same time I was interested in alternative and retro culture and the progression into burlesque became natural. When I first saw the film Gilda a few years ago, seeing Rita Hayworth taking off her gloves in such a sexy way, made want to be a burlesque performer.

How many pairs of pasties do you own?
About 15, but I don't use all of them. I just can't bring myself to give them away. I get sparkly pasties specially made for each of my acts, in different shapes. I have umbrellas, teapots, perfume bottles etc.

What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
Sway -- one of my favorite songs ever
Night Train
St Louis Blues

What three items could you not live without as a performer?
Red lipstick, spirit gum, my smile.

Who had the biggest influence on your career?
Jo King as she is such a positive and inspiring person, besides being a great performer, and my talented collaborators who help me with costumes and props.

Who is your favorite burly queen?
I don't have one in particular, there are many performers past and present I admire: Lili St Cyr, Satan's Angel, Dirty Martini, Immodesty Blaize, Sally Rand, Dixie Evans, Tempest Storm, Jo Boobs, Blaze Starr, Jo King, to name but a few

What is your favorite item of clothing?
I just bought a fabulous 1950's sequined showgirl dress, so that's my favorite at the moment.

What's the last movie you saw?
No Country For Old Men at the cinema.

What's on your must-see-TV list?
I don't have much time for TV, but I'm a Sex and the City addict, I still watch repeats if they're on; Curb your Enthusiasm, it's hilarious and sometimes painful to watch, but I love it!

What book is on your nightstand?
Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, written in the 1920s, a very witty read. I'm also reading Candy Girl by Diablo Cody, about her life as a stripper; it's hard to put down, I really recommend it.

If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
I love traveling. I would love to go on a Trans-Syberian railway trip.

If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
Teletransportation! Imagine all the time one could save without having to travel from one place to the other: no buses, trains, taxis. No heavy suitcases stuffed with costumes to carry, and free world travel!

Satisfy your appetite for more Candy Grams: Kimberlee Rose, Vicky Butterfly, Dominique Immora, Yasmine Vine, Cherry Bomb, Millie Dollar, Joanie Gyoza, Bonbon Vivant, Lola Martinet, Frankie Boudoir, Vixen Violette, Ravenna Black, Veronica Lashe, Amber Ray, Beatrix von Bourbon, Angie Pontani, Tanya Cheex, Bloody Belle, Clams Casino, Trixie Little, Michelle L'Amour, Margaret Cho, Miss Dirty Martini, Princess Farhana, Miss Delirium Tremens, Paris Green, Jo Boobs, Jack Midnight, Heidi Von Haught, Diamond Minx, The Titillation Twins, Scratch, Creamy Stevens and Gina Louise.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

So You Think That's Burlesque

Recently, I stumbled across this clip from the Australian So You Think You Can Dance. For me, this routine does not qualify as burlesque. I wouldn't agree with the judge who described it as raunchy, but there's no tease and no tongue-in-cheek sass. Thoughts?




Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Video of the Week

I think I just heard the cocktail bell ring. And it looks like Dita Von Teese is pouring.


Monday, April 7, 2008

All The News That's Fit To Strip

Last week, clips from a fetish film featuring Dita Von Teese leaked onto the interwebs. The clips from the 1999 film Pin-Ups 2, as well as the other erotic videos, are hardly secret an affair as several are listed on Dita's film credits on IMDB and Wikipedia. And Fleshbot.com claims the video has even previously been sold through Von Teese's official web site.

Of the footage, which shows Dita being spanked and romping with two attractive women wearing corsets in the footage and using a stiletto pump as a sex toy, Dita said:

"Amateur pornography is a great thing. You can find anything for everyone on the internet. So long as no one's hurting anyone or involving children then hey, what's wrong with that? People love watching other people having sex. I'm no different."

In other news ...

A treasure trove of Mike Wallace interviews is posted on the Web, including his 1957 chat with Lili St. Cyr.

Madonna and Justin Timberlake do a little striptease in the Material Girl's newest video

Prince William and his girlfriend partied at a burlesque-themed bash, but were apparently quite bashful themselves.

Java's Bachelor Pad serves up cocktails and cheesecake this Friday in Vegas, baby.

Sherry Britton passed away last week. Here are more obits.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Candy Gram: Kimberlee Rose

In our ongoing Q&A series --"The Candy Gram"-- we ask the same quirky questions of burlesque's various performers. If you want to be added to the mix, drop us a line at kellydinardo AT gmail DOT com. Today, say hello to the Muppet of Burlesque Kimberlee Rose.

What is your hometown?
I grew up an army brat but now consider California my home state.

How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
I've always been interested in larger than life-fabulous performers, wishing I could be like them: glamorous, graceful, beautiful. I've been performing myself a little over a year after realizing I could just be myself and in my own way-be glamorous & beautiful. I'm still working on the graceful part, but that could be overrated.

How many pairs of pasties do you own?
Eightish? There are also scarves & googley eyed bikini tops.

What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
Harry Belafonte's Coconut Woman, Joan Jett's cover of Let's Do It,
and Mahna Mahna.

What three items could you not live without as a performer?
My smile, a sense of humor and wigs. (Not every costume matches with my natural pink hair. Besides, it's kinda fun being the Sydney Bristow of burlesque)

Who had the biggest influence on your career?
Kitten DeVille! If it wasn't for her Burlesque for Beginners class, I never would've considered trying my hand at burlesque. I can't say enough about how wonderful & supportive she is!

Who is your favorite burly queen?
She wasn't officially a burlesque performer, but I love that Bettie Page just had a fun time. I think that's the key. Have fun! It's contagious. There are tons of performers that I admire for their colorfulness/imagination/gender-teasing/kickass props/humor. Too many to list and I wouldn't want to leave any out!

What is your favorite item of clothing?
My Bride of Frankenstein Lightning LED bra! It has a setting where it flashes to sound. I could spend hours sitting in the dark singing into my bra and cracking up.
Of course I'm not selfish, I'd happily let others sing into my bra for amusement too!
I bet that'd be a hit at parties, I should wear it out more.

What's the last movie you saw?
Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium It made my heart feel good. Oh li'l sock monkey!

What's on your must-see-TV list?
I'm hooked on Flight of the Concords, Mighty Boosh, The Office and Pushing Daisies

What book is on your nightstand?
Benazir Bhutto's Reconciliation.

If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
A day of clumsy surfing, hiking through a rainforest for waterfall hunting and then watching the sun go down on the beach in Hawaii sounds nice.

If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
To be like The Flash: fastest woman alive. I'd have so much time during the day to push people out of harm's way AND be able to whip out a few costumes. That would do a lot in solving my procrastination issues. Plus, I'd have Queen sing my theme song. Wait, that's a different Flash, damn.

Satisfy your appetite for more Candy Grams: Vicky Butterfly, Dominique Immora, Yasmine Vine, Cherry Bomb, Millie Dollar, Joanie Gyoza, Bonbon Vivant, Lola Martinet, Frankie Boudoir, Vixen Violette, Ravenna Black, Veronica Lashe, Amber Ray, Beatrix von Bourbon, Angie Pontani, Tanya Cheex, Bloody Belle, Clams Casino, Trixie Little, Michelle L'Amour, Margaret Cho, Miss Dirty Martini, Princess Farhana, Miss Delirium Tremens, Paris Green, Jo Boobs, Jack Midnight, Heidi Von Haught, Diamond Minx, The Titillation Twins, Scratch, Creamy Stevens and Gina Louise.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Great Britton

Burlesque queen Sherry Britton has died. Until burlesque was banned by New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia she "peeled off chiffon evening gowns to the strains of Tchaikovsky [and] sometimes she balanced glasses of water on her breasts." She later performed in 39 plays, including 14 musicals, sang in nightclubs and made numerous television appearances. She entertained troops during World War II and, in 1944, was named an honorary brigadier general by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

According to her obituary in The New York Times, in an unpublished memoir that she titled The Stripper, by the Hon. Brigadier General Sherry Britton, she wrote: “There seemed to be two of me. One, onstage, undressing. The other saying, ‘What are you doing, taking your clothes off for those morons?’“

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Margaret Cho Hangs Up Her Pasties

After more than sixty performances of The Sensuous Woman, Margaret Cho blows a big, wet kiss goodbye to burlesque. Cho's on the road with a new standup routine and will star in a new TV series on VH1 this summer. Of her spin through the burly world, she said:

"It was really exciting and fun to do The Sensuous Woman, but I am glad to say that I am now a retired burlesque dancer because I don't want to do it any more. I have these huge, horrible scars around my nipples and around my (pubic area) because I wore pasties and a prosthetic penis for 62 performances in a row and I had to use heavy-duty carpet tape to make them stick. So I salute the women of burlesque for what they go through, but I'm over it now."

For more Cho-licious fun, sink your teeth into our Candy Gram with Margaret Cho.