Burlesque, to some extent, is all about the mystery. The intrigue. The exposure of the dancer is always drawn out, and the crowd never quite gets to see it all. The women are glamorous and the costumes are elaborate.
People are nostalgic for that kind of entertainment again. And for a time when some things were still taboo—a time when you couldn’t just watch the show on YouTube, or learn the performance yourself on Wikihow in seven easy steps.
Burlesque is having a moment. Not a comeback, but there’s definitely a resurgence underway.
“This is a 1950s style burlesque show,” said Rick Delaup, creator and producer of Bustout Burlesque. “It’s the kind of show you would have seen on Bourbon Street in the ‘50s, with a comic emcee, the striptease, which has kind of become the main attraction, a few singers—all backed by a live jazz band.”
Bustout Burlesque has been running in New Orleans at the House of Blues since 2005 and has been named by the Travel Channel as one of the “Top 10 Burlesque Shows in the Country.” The show also hosted a special performance with Dita Von Teese a couple of years ago.
A good burlesque show has many important elements, but the dancers are undoubtedly key. A glorious band and good lighting isn’t going to fix a second-rate strip tease. Luckily, Bustout has some of the very best ladies in the business.
“We’re bringing a cast of award-winning dancers with us,” Delaup said. “We usually bring in several headlining dancers from around the country, as well as some from New Orleans.”
There are over two dozen burlesque festivals around the world each year, and these festivals serve as a way for producers and dancers to interact and figure out if a performance would benefit from bringing someone new to the act.
Bustout, since its debut in March of 2005, has been a strictly New Orleans based show, with the exception of two performances in Las Vegas for the annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend.
“It’s such a big show to travel with that we never perform outside of New Orleans, with the exception of one weekend a year in Vegas,” Delaup said. “If the show goes over well in Florida, we’d love to do more of them. Pensacola seems like a good market for burlesque.”
The performances on Friday and Saturday night at Vinyl will host the same live jazz band that usually accompanies the shows at the House of Blues, an aspect that gives the show a more engaging tone.
“Well we don’t use recorded music, so with a live band, you can make something a little longer or shorter if you want,” Delaup said. “Sometimes one of the girls will be really into it and decide they want it to go on a little longer—with a live band, you can do that.”
The shows are practiced and rehearsed, but not to the point of having every single moment planned.
“The show in Pensacola will probably be a couple hours or so, with an intermission in the middle, but a nice full show.”
Come and see the show while it’s hot and people are still idealizing the golden days of life around the time of WWII.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9 and Saturday, Aug. 10
WHERE: Vinyl Music Hall, 2 S. Palafox