Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story

Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story

Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story

directed by James Lester

starring Darlinda Just Darlinda, Miss Jezebel Express, Gal Friday

Greenmachine Film, James Lester Films

“Burlesque” means to parody or spoof a more serious literary theatrical form. But most people understand it as a bawdy show filled with dance, nudity, spangles and feathers. That’s the sort of burlesque this little heartfelt documentary follows. A decade ago a revival of burlesque flowed across the country; and there was one summer that burlesque made up half of the theater show listings in my town. Now it’s an established art form again, and it attracts the hip and arty more than the down and lonely crowd.

This documentary follows a number of burlesque artists working in the New York City area. We peek behind the spangles to see their hopes, their dreams, and their travails as they compete for modest prizes at the New York Burlesque Festival. We start with the basics. We learn a burlesque is a dance that either starts or ends with nudity, it often aims for comic effect, and costumes are a major part of the action. All these customs are handmade, and these performers are often skilled seamstresses. Acting is a big part of the show as well: we learn women standing around naked is exploitative, but women dancing while undressing is empowering. That’s the logic here, and I’m good with that. Clever names add to the fun; here we meet Gal Friday, the Schlep Sisters, and World-Famous Bob. There’s not a lot of money here; while tips are decent work is spotty and expenses high. But everyone one involved seems positive and upbeat, and as one of the gal’s states “This is drag without the bitterness.” I’ll bet there’s a regular burlesque in your town; go check it out.;

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Gary Wittner
    Gary Wittner

    Too Modern for Me. (Invisible Music Records) Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Willard Gayheart & Friends
    Willard Gayheart & Friends

    At Home in the Blue Ridge (Blue Hens Music). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Alex McArtor
    Alex McArtor

    Touch/Are You Alone (Bigmac Records). Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Superstar

    Sex, drugs, adultery, murder and finally, redemption – it’s all intertwined in the tale of Trent Davis, the “star” of author Christopher Long‘s latest, Superstar.

  • Moloko Plus
    Moloko Plus

    Moloko Plus is a monthly experimental music event in Orlando, Florida.

  • General Magic
    General Magic

    General Magic invented the smart phone in 2002, but just couldn’t get it to market. That’s just how they rolled.

  • Blue October
    Blue October

    Alternative 90s rockers Blue October rolled into Central Florida for a two-night run at House of Blues, and Michelle Wilson was blown away.

  • Pahokee

    Pahokee produces sugar cane and poverty, but some the brighter students might make it to the big time with a college degree and a new zip code.

  • Sumo Princess
    Sumo Princess

    When An Electric Storm. (Educational Recordings) Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Laura Valle
    Laura Valle

    Charismatic. Review by Stacey Zering.

From the Archives