Burlesque is back!

The Southern Jezebelles in AROUND THE WORLD...OR BUST

I get strange looks all the time. My boyfriend looks at me like I’ve got three heads when I roll out of bed of my own free will at 5:00 every morning. My co-workers look at me like I’m speaking Tagalog when I try to explain the basic principles of HTML. And tourists look at me like I’m the seventh Spice Girl of the Apocalypse when I’m staggering down the dimly lit sidewalks of the French Quarter, drunk and screaming like a big ol’ sissy.

By far, though, the funniest looks I get come from my homo friends when I tell them how much I love burlesque shows. To them, watching girls take off their clothes seems about as much fun as watching a flogging demonstration at a fetish party: maybe interesting for the first five minutes, but after that, the magic’s gone.

What can I say, though? I enjoy ’em. Not the low-rent, b-level, pole-dancing kind that you find at most of the skeezy places on Bourbon, but the real burlesque shows–the ones with girls who can actually dance, with a live jazz band and a few novelty acts thrown in for good measure. They walk a fine line between naughty and lewd–and unfortunately, they’re also hard to find.

Luckily, my favorite burlesque show recently re-launched. The Southern Jezebelles just opened their new show, AROUND THE WORLD…OR BUST, at One Eyed Jacks (formerly the Shim Sham). Look for me on Sunday nights–I’ll be the sloppy queen in the back row, screaming for more.

And yeah, I know Metblogs isn’t really intended as a what’s-happening-around-town kinda blog, but since everyone else seems a little busy right now, I figure I can sneak this one in and nobody’ll mind. Mea culpa.

6 Comments so far

  1. Mike Hoffman (unregistered) on October 19th, 2004 @ 7:40 am

    I’m glad they brought the show back on Sundays…about time.

  2. Laura (unregistered) on October 19th, 2004 @ 11:12 am

    I have to say, I don’t find burlesque anymore interesting than regular old stripping. I don’t have a problem with it, but I don’t think it’s some elevated art form.

    Dress it up with a jazz band and some girls with Betty Page bangs but it still is what it is: women taking off their clothes on stage.

    I think in 50 years, there will also be people trying to put some “artsy” spin on women in hot pink g-strings, dancing around a pole to a Ludakris song.

    I also don’t think old burlesque “dancing” takes any more talent than some of the insane acrobatics I’ve seen strippers do.

    I’m sorry for this post being so disjointed.

    My final thought: Burlesque = Strippers with played out Rockabilly Styling

  3. richard (unregistered) on October 19th, 2004 @ 12:28 pm

    Well, with all due respect, you obviously haven’t seen the Southern Jezebelles show, Laura. If you had, you’d know that what separates it from a lot of burlesque shows is that it’s not all about stripping. I’m not just talking about the MC and the variety acts: even the girly dance numbers have some variation, and there are a couple in which the dancers don’t remove anything at all.

    The enjoyment I get from it (and I don’t think I’m alone in this) is primarily nostalgic: in watching the show, I get a sense of what used to constitute an evening on the town. For my grandparents–and yours, too–the idea of “dancing girls” had a very different connotation than it does today. For them, “burlesque” was slightly naughty entertainment, not the pole-humping sleazefest that “stripping” became over the late 60s and 70s.

    As for the talent issue, excuse the mixed metaphor, but it takes serious balls–not to mention skill–to undress en pointe. I highly encourage you to check it out…

  4. oyster (unregistered) on October 20th, 2004 @ 3:16 pm

    My wife took me to the Southern Jezebel’s when they were at the Shim Sham last year for my birthday.

    Great rollicking fun!

  5. TiKi (unregistered) on September 4th, 2005 @ 11:28 am

    Sure hope all the great New Orleans strippers, burlesque or otherwise, made it out of the city safely after Katrina. I personally favor the burlesque style of stripping because it tends to be less about appearance and more about the tease. When it’s all said and done (and I assure you it’s all been said and done in the stripping business), the tease is all that matters!

  6. crusty (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 4:04 pm

    Anyone know if the show is still there? I have a bach party dinner I would like to hire the show for in March.


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