When I was a kid my dad always promised to take me to a burlesque show on my 21st birthday. Sadly, by the time that rolled around there were no such places left.
What got me thinking about this was the movie meme I posted earlier in the morning. The list so far is of actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Deni's addition being James Cagney. That got me thinking about Vaudeville, and then burlesque came into my thoughts.
There are a few women who perform genuine burlesque, but none so well as Vienna La Rouge. Her act is pure vintage--from the 18th century to 1940s Hollywood--and she never loses her ladylike quality. Sure, she strips, but there's pasties and a thong beneath those big feather fans. In an age when Britney Spears flashes her bare wowzer just getting out of a car, and women in strip clubs bend over and shake their booty four inches from a man's face, Ms. La Rouge's act might seem pretty tame. What she understands though is that the most powerful sexual attraction begins in the imagination, and that there is an art that appeals on more levels than just the mere physical. Today's strippers lack art; Vienna La Rouge is an artist.
My grandfather, who was a Vaudeville performer from childhood used to say, "A woman standing bare naked is okay, but put a wisp of fabric on her and yowza! That's something!"