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Signs of Scott Ewalt by Jo Weldon (Part 1)

minskysshuttered

Burlesque signs have always rocked my world. As a child, every time I saw a burlesque sign on a lounge I got an illicit thrill, imagining women of impossible repute removing stockings with a knowing wink. I could picture the heavy lashes, the big hair, the chiffon robes. I was mesmerized. As a teenager, I was excited by the signs on strip joints in Atlanta. I knew that the Domino Lounge was one of the last of the old school burlesque venues in town, but the contemporary signs got me riled up with promise—one day I’d be of age, and I’d know where to go by the signs...
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Dorothy Dorne: A Life in Pictures by Jo Weldon

Last winter I spent some time going through paper archives in the Burlesque Hall of Fame collection in Las Vegas, with the help of Laura Herbert and Brian Newman. I was particularly interested in the sheet music and the notations on it. I intend to share more about the sheet music project later, but I got to see something so unexpected and charming and lovely that I want to share it with you. It’s a collection of scrapbooks from an early 20th-century burlesque and cabaret performer who went by various names, among them Dorothy Dorne. I spent hours going through them, taken to another world, amused and enchanted by the way her scrapbooks brought her to life, and took a few snaps...

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Performance Archetypes: The Half-and-Half

While I’ve yet to find conclusive proof of its origin, the Half-and-Half—in which a solo performer utilizes clever, vertically divided costuming and skillful choreography to create the illusion of a duet—has long been a staple of classic burlesque performance. Most commonly associated with dichotomous male/female numbers (like Zorita’s racy “Bride & Groom,” top), countless interpretations of the theme exist, including a wide variety of abstractions on Beauty and the Beast, from the ridiculous to the sublime: Devil/Angel,  Lion/Tamer, Savage/Virgin, etc. More on the history of the Half-and-Half, courtesy of Frank Cullen’s Vaudeville Old and New: an Encyclopedia of Variety Performers, Vol. 1:  “Almost always a dance act, in a half-and-half act, a solo performer was cos...

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Winners Interviews: Lou Lou D’vil, Best Debut

Finnish beauty, LouLou D’vil looks back on her BHoF 2011 experience…

LouLou D'vil (©Don Spiro)

LouLou D'vil (©Don Spiro)

Congratulations LouLou! Did you imagine when you set off from Finland that you would return with a trophy?
Thank you! I really didn’t expect to win, not at all!

Are you keen to return and compete for Reigning Queen? Do you feel ready to take on that category?

Of course, it’s my dream come true and I couldn’t be more thrilled! I’m so delighted to compete in the main category next year and I’m ready for that. There’s still time, almost a year, to develop and get better and better. By then everything will be polished and ready.

Did you enjoy competing? Did it affect or change the mood backstage amongst the debut competitors, or was performing at BHoF nerve-wracking enough as it is, competition or n...

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