Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Sizzling Beach Read

As we enter the steamy month of August, The Candy Pitch wants to make your month sizzle a little more. While supplies last, I'm offering signed copies of Gilded Lili for $15 + $5 for shipping (a tad more for international requests). If you're interested, please e-mail me at kellydinardo AT gmail DOT com.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Video of the Week

According to the Writer's Almanac, it was on this day in 1954 that Elvis Presley made his debut in what is called "the first rock 'n' roll show" in history. He had played publicly before at a crowded music club, but this was his first performance at a real venue. He played at the Overton Park Shell and the newspaper ads for the performance misspelled Elvis's name as "Ellis Presley." In honor of The King, we bring you Diamondback Annie who has us all shook up with this Elvis tribute.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dita and The Prince

After Prince Charles met burlesque performer Dita Von Teese at the Cartier International Polo Day on Sunday, he asked her to appear at Prince Harry's 24th birthday celebrations in September. He didn't quite realize what the burlesque queen did for a living and, apparently, he "gnawed his fist to within an inch of his knuckle hen his aides explained what sort of dancing she did for a living."

Given the prince's owns tawdry past, his reaction seems a bit much.

Monday, July 28, 2008

All The News That's Fit To Strip

The documentary A Wink And A Smile follows several Seattle women as they go through Miss Indigo Blue's Seattle Academy of Burlesque. Film Threat spoke with director Deirdre Timmons, who reveals the film's not really about stripping:

"If you watch any film, whether it’s about tri-athletes, or skiers, or racecar drivers, it isn’t about the thing they’re doing, but about what motivates them to do the thing they’re doing. That is the case in this film. It’s not about stripping, although that is what they’re doing. But it’s a vehicle to get to the next level in their lives."

In other news ...

After, the 1996 movie Striptease, which was based on Carl Hiaasen’s novel Strip Tease, other adaptations of the author's work got the kibosh.

Dita Von Teese settles law suit against dominatrix.

Take a peak at the trailer for the burlesque flick Make It Happen

Reyna Von Vett raises Denver's fallen women of yore with her new burlesque musical revue, Leadville or Bust.

Meet the newest Boston Babydoll, the race-car loving Cheri DeVille.

Ruby Rocket, Bombshell Betty and Lady Borgia give new meaning to comic strip at Comic-Con.

Iowans are in a tizzy about striptease as performance art or indecent exposure.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Candy Gram: Little Brooklyn

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 Little Brooklyn.

What is your hometown?
Born and bred Brooklyn, U.S.A.

How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
When I was five years old I would put on puppet shows in the backyard and charge the neighborhood kids a nickel to come see the puppets dance and take off their clothes.

How many pairs of pasties do you own?
I have a "pastie drawer" if that tells you anything. I don’t have a drawer for things like tax papers and receipts, but pasties are stored away nice and safe.

What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
Hucklebuck by Calvin Owens
Mini the Moocher by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Wake Up and Breathe by Richard Simmons

What three items could you not live without as a performer?
Glitter. My bed feels like the beach from all the glitter. I love the stuff.
A roomy gig bag with a small footprint and sturdy wheels.
My girls backstage – especially Creamy Stevens.
Is that last one even considered an item? Probably not, but it’s definitely something I can not live without as a performer.

Who had the biggest influence on your career?
The original inspirations that peeked my interested in burlesque & vaudeville started when I was a kid. I would watch The Muppet Show and envy Kermit for having his own theater. I’d sit entranced by those episodes of the Little Rascals where the gang decides to "put on a show!” Tex Avery had me titillated early Saturday mornings, with strip teasing shoes, a-peeling lizards and other blatant burlesque references. Benny Hill, Lucille Ball, Pee Wee Herman, MGM, the list goes on.

Who is your favorite burly queen?
Gee, that’s like asking me what my favorite flavor ice cream is. Why pick just one?
I love Jenny Lee and Dixie Evans for keeping the fire burning. Satan’s Angel for ripping the roof off the joint like a rock star each and every time. Viva La Fever for her strength, sense of adventure and business smarts. If you want to see how hard this question is to answer, come to the Exotic World Pageant and watch the Friday night legends showcase.

What is your favorite item of clothing?
A good wrap dress....easy on, easy off!

What's the last movie you saw?
The Forbidden Zone. I am not sure how I went this long without seeing it, as it seems to be pretty close to what goes on in my brain.

What's on your must-see-TV list?
As with most live performance aficionados, I am not much of a TV gal.

What book is on your nightstand?
Honey... I don’t read in the bedroom.

If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
Chuck E. Cheese ball pit.

If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
Telekinetic powers, like Scott Baio in Zapped!

Satisfy your appetite for more Candy Grams: Victoria Veneance, Sauci Calla Horra, Penny Starr Jr., Gemma Parker, Darla DeVine, Sparkly Devil, Vivienne VaVoom, Lux LaCroix, Charlotte La Belle Araignee, Bunny Love, Amber Topaz, Amelie Soleil, Red Hot Annie, 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, July 24, 2008

Dita-licious

Bizarre magazine is Dita-licious, with a great interview with burlesque queen Dita Von Teese. In it, Dita dishes on what she thinks about when performing and offers advice to upcoming performers. She also shares some memories on her early, less glamorous days:

"I started dancing in strip clubs all over the US – some of them were down and dirty, hole-in-the wall joints, and at times I was dancing for a confused audience that was used to seeing porn-star strippers – what I was doing was alien to them. ... I’ve driven across the States and loaded and unloaded my big Martini glass from vans myself, picked up dollar bills off the floor and stayed in plenty of scary motel rooms. I was no overnight success, and no one can say I didn’t pay my dues to get where I am now. Every time I pop a bottle of expensive champagne before a show, I take a second and think, 'Damn, it was worth it!'"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Video of the Week

After yesterday's dish on Son of Sinbad, we're serving up a scene from the flick which features Lili St. Cyr dancing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bevy of Beauties

A friend sent me this post on the Howard Hughes' flick Son of Sinbad, which speculates that Hughes "must have promised a part in the picture to every stripper from Hollywood to Vegas, because they're all in it." But other than Lili St. Cyr, who played the female lead, there were very few stripteasers in Son of Sinbad.

Vincent Price, one of the film's stars, explained the movie was a way for Hughes to fulfill his commitment to various starlets and beauties. Apparently, Hughes had awarded contracts promising film roles to women all across the country. With Son of Sinbad, Hughes could satisfy his obligations at once. The script, wrote Price in his autobiography, would call for “girls, girls, girls! Instead of the forty thieves, we had the daughters of the forty thieves in a cave. Every marketplace was wriggling with girls, selling their wares, among other things. Twenty girls who had won a Midwest Hughes-inspired beauty contest at least ten years before were rooted out of their happy homes. The price had been a part in a movie--now they were to have their unwonted chance. They were exported from the Midwest to Hollywood . . . and flung onto the set embarrassed to death in the flimsiest costumes. ”

As for Lili, the Hays Office, Hollywood's self-censoring group, was unhappy about her hiring. But the newspaper columnists loved it. Hollywood columnist Sidney Skolsky spent a day on the set watching her co-stars do a scene, but admitted he was “more interested” in Lili. Skolsky was surprised to learn her voice was “kind of shrill and untrained, didn’t . . . go with her face--sexy and sophisticated--and her figure--worldly, and just about the best in town. ” Other columnists dished the fact that another actress dubbed Lili’s lines, wondered if she’d been signed to a long-term contract, and speculated on her costume--“a smile and not much else” hoped one.

Monday, July 21, 2008

All The News That's Fit To Strip

Burlesque bumps and grinds its way back into stereotypically buttoned-up Washington DC. The Washington Post reveals the Capitol's "Va Va Voom Boom."

Washington got its first taste of burlesque's new era with Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey, the vaudevillian Lobster Boy Revue and the World Famous Pontani Sisters who made regular jaunts down I-95 from New York. Today, Gilded Lily Burlesque in Baltimore, Kitty Victorian, left, and The Gurly Show keep things twirling along.

In other news ...

Virgin Mobile drops its striptease campaign.

Lola van Ella and the Alley Cat Revue and three other burlesque troupes descend on Kansas City for the fourth annual KC Fringe Festival.

Roxi Dlite "didn't even know it was called burlesque" when she got hooked.

Copious Magazine returns.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Candy Gram: Victoria Vengeance

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 Victoria Vengeance.

What is your hometown?
Los Angeles

How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
I was always interested in it someway or another. From the time I can remember I loved the films of the old vaudeville performers; watching Milton Berle, Red Skelton, and Bob Hope. They are responsible for introducing the term burlesque to me. And vintage erotic films and cinema introduced the female body, striptease and the powers that a woman posses. It wasn't until 5 or 6 years ago that I discovered the revival of burlesque/striptease. It was exactly what I wanted to do. It was then that I started performing and uncovering all of the talents I had acquired over the years and applying them to my performances. I can't say that I grew up aspiring to be a burlesque performer or a performer of any kind. I tried my hand at everything and now here I am. Burlesque/striptease is a platform that allows me to share who I am with an audience.

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

What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
Most of my acts are custom mixed tracks. I typically use music with no vocals. I work with an amazing artist who does voice over for most of my acts as well as mixes the music to suit me and the particular act.

What three items could you not live without as a performer?
Music, makeup, and high heels

Who had the biggest influence on your career?
I admire so many different people from all walks of life it's hard to say that one individual has greatly influenced my career. I think cinema and television have been the greatest influence on me.

Who is your favorite burly queen?
Legend -- Lili St. Cyr

What is your favorite item of clothing?
Garter belt

What's the last movie you saw?
All the way through??? Hmmm -- Juno

What's on your must-see-TV list?
TCM (Turner Classic Movies)

What book is on your nightstand?
The Satanic Bible & Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show

If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
Ireland

If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
Hahah I just had this conversation with a fellow dancer, I would have to say the ability to make people embrace their human instincts. I think it would be interesting to see what humanity is, without censors.

Satisfy your appetite for more Candy Grams: Sauci Calla Horra, Penny Starr Jr., Gemma Parker, Darla DeVine, Sparkly Devil, Vivienne VaVoom, Lux LaCroix, Charlotte La Belle Araignee, Bunny Love, Amber Topaz, Amelie Soleil, Red Hot Annie, 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, July 17, 2008

Silver Screen Shimmy

Make It Happen, the burlesque movie from the folks behind Save The Last Dance and Step Up and starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, shimmies into UK movie theaters August 8. Wonder when it will reach the States?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Can You See Me Naked Now

Virgin Mobile, one of the largest cellphone companies in the country, and the National Network For Youth (NN4Y), a Washington, D.C., lobbying group for more than 150 organizations that help homeless youth, kicked off a new charitable campaign. It promises to make a clothing donation to homeless youth every time five people watch the striptease videos. Virgin Mobile's "Strip2Clothe" website bares the campaign slogan, "You take off yours, we donate ours" and "Somewhere someone out there needs clothes more than you."

The website asks that there be no cursing or full nudity. "Think bathing suit, not birthday suit," it says. However, several entries feature young women dancing in bras and panties. So far, the company has received more than 72,000 donations.

Not surprisingly, the campaign has run into a firestorm of protest from some of the groups it is supposed to benefit. A national network that serves homeless youth said Saturday it is reconsidering the controversial campaign after Catholic Charities and other outraged groups in Minnesota and across the country complained that the effort is inappropriate and exploits young people.

Monday, July 14, 2008

All The News That's Fit To Strip

The Nashville troupe Panty Raid celebrated their five year anniversary this week. "Around the time that we formed Panty Raid, there was only one other burlesque troupe from the South, Dames A' Flame," said Rachel Kallas, a founding member of Panty Raid. Since then, the group has performed around the country, competing in the New York Burlesque Festival and The Miss Exotic World Pageant.

In other news ...

It's the birthday of Arthur Laurents, who wrote Gypsy.

The Assettes "use the term caburlesque because they focus on the music, singing and comedy, just as much as dance and songs."

Minneapolis swings around a pole, but in Tennessee "a local exercise studio planning to offer striptease exercise and stripper poles won't open, because code enforcement says it’s an adult business."

The Asbury Park Press talks to Pinchbottom Burlesque's Jonny Porkpie, who says: "Once the act starts [burlesque performers have] three to seven minutes on stage . . . to do an entire show that is fully their responsibility, fully their creative baby, fully theirs and the deal with that is you get to put something that's closer to your soul on stage."

In Appleseed "stripping is so not the point" of Gypsy.

UK actress Jemima Rooper has found a new hobby in burlesque.

Are you blissfully ignorant of the erotic possibilities of a ten-speed bicycle? Well, then head to BenchPress Burlesque July 25 in St. Louis.

That Tempest Storm story we told you about last week continues to heat things up in papers around the world.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Candy Gram: Sauci Calla Horra

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 Sauci Calla Horroa, who is performing in the Toronto Burlesque Festival, this weekend.

What is your hometown?
Toronto

How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
Six years

How many pairs of pasties do you own?
I can't even imagine! Maybe 30?

What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
These change from time to time, but current favorites are The Lemon Song by Led Zeppelin, The Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg (classical) and Barbra Streisand!

What three items could you not live without as a performer?
My glitter, my oversize clam shell prop for my Venus act, and my boyfriend - he's the best!

Who had the biggest influence on your career?
I would have to say Tanya Cheex, my partner-in-crime with Skin Tight Outta Sight. She helps me with creative direction for my routines, and we know each other so well now that we finish each other's sentences.

Who is your favorite burly queen?
From the early days, I'd have to say Jennie Lee. I admire her charisma and her community organizing skills. For modern day, I'm very fond of Michelle L'amour, Kitten DeVille, Angie Pontani, Little Brooklyn and Diamondback Annie. If I take a literal translation of the word, "queen," I also love Tigger! and Rose Wood.

What is your favorite item of clothing?
I love my vintage pearl bra that I use for my Venus show. It was found in a bin at a retro store in Kensington Market in Toronto. The bra eventually started to disintegrate with age, but Torchy Taboo restored it for me - thank you, Torchy!

What's the last movie you saw?
I can't remember since it's been so long. I've been working too hard....

What's on your must-see-TV list?
Old re-runs of the Japanese version of Iron Chef - I love food! I also enjoy the sick humor of South Park and The Family Guy.

What book is on your nightstand?
The Biggest Modern Woman of the World by Susan Swan. It's about a woman who works with P.T Barnum at the turn of the century. I'm also part way through a detective novel!

If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
I'm going to Estonia and Finland in the summer - I can hardly wait!

If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
Right now, I would like to be able to clone myself so I could do more work and still have time to sleep. But what if the clone doesn't want to do my laundry and dishes, and doesn't want to sleep, and just wants to do more burlesque and dance, like me????

Satisfy your appetite for more Candy Grams: Honey B Hind, Penny Starr Jr., Gemma Parker, Darla DeVine, Sparkly Devil, Vivienne VaVoom, Lux LaCroix, Charlotte La Belle Araignee, Bunny Love, Amber Topaz, Amelie Soleil, Red Hot Annie, 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, July 10, 2008

The Tempest In A G-String

Canada's Observer shimmies up to Tempest Storm. More than 50 years ago Storm was dubbed the "Girl with the Fabulous Front" and told by famous men she had the "Best Two Props in Hollywood." Since then, she's seen burlesque teeter on the brink of extinction. Her contemporaries -- Blaze Starr, Bettie Page, Lili St. Cyr -- have died or hung up the pasties. But not Storm. "No, no. I'm not ready to hang up my G-string, yet," she told the Observer. "I've got too many fans that would be disappointed."

Monday, July 7, 2008

All The News That's Fit To Strip

Angie Pontani talks about life after being crowned Miss Exotic World 2008. Traveling home after the competition with the four-foot trophy garnered some added attention. "I was coming home on the plane with the trophy and people are like, what is that for?" Pontani told The Trentonian. "Let's just say I got a lot of free drinks. And I got an emergency row so I can stretch out with my trophy."

As for future plans, the reigning burly queen said:

"I think the humanitarian effort to put forth here is to keep on doing what I'm doing and send out this positive image for burlesque and keep bringing burlesque to the people and raising awareness for the (burlesque) museum because it's gone through some tough times over the last few years - moving locations, kind of looking for a new home, so it's a big year for it. Burlesque gets a bad wrap a lot of times. But really it's one of America's oldest theatrical art forms. So I'd just like to perpetuate that."

In other news ...

The Hurly Burly Girlys's Burlesque Soiree was "brassiere loads of fun."

One fuddy duddy thinks "all this stuff and nonsense about burlesque being a fantastic new art form is also a load of old hooey."

Women pack the audiences of Australian burlesque shows.

After a "seven-bum salute," Kylie Minogue gets treated to a striptease from an adoring rugby player.

Kelly Brock wants to learn the art of the striptease.

Don't miss the Toronto Burlesque Festival Sunday June 15.

Going to be in Minneapolis July 11-12? Catch Lili's Burlesque Revue's SIZZLE: A Summer Burlesque Extravaganza.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Candy Gram: Honey B. Hind

The Candy Pitch kicks off the 4th of July with a bang -- an early edition of "The Candy Gram," our ongoing Q&A series with 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 Honey B. Hind, who is performing in the Toronto Burlesque Festival, July 11-13.

What is your hometown?
Windsor, Ontario CANADA - across from Detroit Rock City

How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
I started out as a ballet dancer when I was three. I became a member of the Windsor City Ballet Company in my teens, but I fell in love with acting and old films and went on to get a BFA from the University of Windsor. Both these skills lend themselves to strengthening my burlesque performances. I am known for my unique acts with a funny slant or twist ending. I was discovered in the audience of a Les Coquettes Nouveau Burlesque show and asked to audition. I performed with them for awhile and now I'm with Skin tight Outta Sight Rebel Burlesque. I've been performing burlesque for almost five years now and I love every minute of it.

How many pairs of pasties do you own?
So far, lucky 13.

What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
I Believe in Dreams - Doris Day
You Know I'm No Good - Amy Winehouse
Carry on My Wayward Son - Kansas

What three items could you not live without as a performer?
False eyelashes, tons of glitter, gum, booze. That's four. Screw the gum

Who had the biggest influence on your career?
I'd have to say movie/TV goddesses, strong women who had put up with a lot of crap. I love Jean Harlow, Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable, the Hepburns, Bette Davis, Shirley Temple, Greta Garbo, Anne Baxter, Rosiland Russell, Jane Russell, Barbara Stanwyck, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Newmar, Ava Gardner, Lucille Ball, Linda Darnell, Mary Pickford, Vivian Leigh, Myrna Loy, Mae West .......

Who is your favorite burly queen?
I'm torn on this one - Gypsy Rose Lee, Lili St. Cyr, Tempest Storm and I love Toronto's own Miss Lena Love and all the ladies on the Toronto Burlesque Festival Committee.

What is your favorite item of clothing?
Do wigs count? I love wigs. I have three red ones, two black and a blue one with birds in it. Oooh and anything with beaded fringe.

What's the last movie you saw?
The Undefeated with John Wayne and Rock Hudson.

What's on your must-see-TV list?
Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Corrie Street and, of course, Supernatural.

What book is on your nightstand?
The Emancipator's Wife: A Novel of Mary Todd Lincoln by Barbara Hambly.

If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
A big vacation in Greece, but for a smaller jaunt I have a love affair with the American South. I've been to Texas and New Orleans and would visit both again in a second.

If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
Mind control. I need minions to do my bidding. "Bathe him and Bring him to me!"

Satisfy your appetite for more Candy Grams: Penny Starr Jr., Gemma Parker, Darla DeVine, Sparkly Devil, Vivienne VaVoom, Lux LaCroix, Charlotte La Belle Araignee, Bunny Love, Amber Topaz, Amelie Soleil, Red Hot Annie, 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.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Video of the Week

Who's that on the screen behind George Michael?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pool Party

Summer is upon us and this picture of Dita Von Teese proves sometimes a little sizzle is a good thing.