They were temptresses of tease, specialists in seduction, and experts at twirling their tassels. They were comics in outlandish garb, straight men and women working the scenes, singers with perfect pitch, and yes, even acrobats got into the act. Yet no matter what their role, burlesque performers took their cues from their predecessors who worked the various vaudeville and variety show stages; and they strove to maintain a high level of artistry and professionalism in the face of change and controversy in the industry. Remembering the time when burlesque was a larger theatrical arena including chorus lines, live music, and comedy, BURLESQUE: Legendary Stars of the Stage captures the spirit of this unique art form through hundreds of photographs, interviews, and stories.
Spurred by the deaths of some of burlesque's greatest names, this book highlights the careers of selected artists and their contributions to the art form. This second edition of the original IPPY Award winning book from 2004 includes updates and bonus chapters, as well as hundreds of additional photographs.