The Burlesque TOP 50 2015 results start right here, right now! Things have taken a bit longer this year due to an increased number of voters and additional demands, but the time has finally come to release the list. As usual there are a few ties, and the policy is to allow joint holders of a single spot in order to celebrate as many people as possible. More results to come soon!
50. Imogen Kelly
Who: Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2012. Undisputed Queen of Australian burlesque. Survivor. Badass.
In 2015: Down Under Burlesque, The Super Showgirl Show in Sydney with Sina King, Alyssa Kitt and Kelly Ann Doll, Exposé at 2015 Fringe World Festival, and knockout one-woman show Herstory. Imogen also offered special burlesque classes for breast cancer patients. Unable to attend The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, Imogen wrote this letter to attendees, published on 21st Century Burlesque Magazine.
Who: Flamboyant, feathered showman with a golden voice and razor wit.
In 2015: Captained original production Cabaret des Distractions at Cafe de Paris, London. Performed in Finland, Egypt, Berlin, Franco Dragone’s Taboo in Macau, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Boylesque Festival Vienna.
Who: The Dark Prince of Burlesque. Mr Boylesque Australia 2012.
In 2015: Appearances at Insomnia, Imperial Madness, the Florence Queer Festival, the Stockholm Burlesque Festival, Boylesque Festival Vienna, Queen Calavera in Hamburg, the Berlin Burlesque Festival and Life Ball 2015.
48. Matt Finish
Who: Burlesque Hall of Fame Best Boylesque 2015. Co-Producer at Don’t Blink Burlesque.
In 2015: Competed for best group with Don’t Blink Burlesque and won Best Boylesque 2015 at The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2015. Performances at The Great Burlesque Expo, Arizona Burlesque Festival, Hollywood Burlesque Festival and Colorado Burlesque Festival.
47. Fraulein Frauke and John-Paul Bichard
Who: Stockholm superduo. She’s a burlesque performer, he’s a celebrated photographer, and together they run the Stockholm Burlesque Festival.
In 2015: Burlesque and cabaret club Fraulein Frauke Presents continues to fly the flag for Swedish burlesque. John-Paul Bichard travelled across Europe to capture a multitude of burlesque and cabaret performers on camera. Together they celebrated the fifth successful year of the Stockholm Burlesque Festival.
46. Charlotte Treuse
Who: Seducing show-goers since 2008 and based in New Orleans since 2012, Treuse is particularly well known for her spectacular, fifteen foot absinthe fountain.
In 2015: Competed for ‘Queen of Burlesque’ at the 7th Annual New Orleans Burlesque Festival and performed in Dallas, Austin, Oregon and Florida. Gave the opening performance at the first Snake Oil Festival in New Orleans and competed in the Miss Viva Las Vegas burlesque competition.
Who: Godfather of Neo-Boylesque, first ‘Mr Exotic World’ (Best Boylesque) at Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. Boisterous, big-hearted, beautiful human being.
In 2015: Performances at The Slipper Room, Dead Sexy Burlesque and Homo Erectus Boylesque in New York, as well as the New York Burlesque Festival. Performed at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2015 and celebrated at his MAN: A TEASE! 50th birthday party. Also appeared at Boylesque Festival Vienna and the San Antonio Burlesque Festival.
44. Lola the Vamp
Who: Australian veteran with burlesque PhD. Often to be found cavorting on a huge inflatable dragon.
In 2015: Delivered talks at the Australian Burlesque Museum, performed her solo show at Adelaide Fringe, headlined the Perth Burlesque Festival and recorded an EP.
Who: “The Elizabeth Taylor of Burlesque” who turned it up to 11 in 2015.
In 2015: Tansy will go down in BHoF history for this mic drop performance. Pretty much all anyone was talking about for the next 24 hours. Also appeared at The Sexy Side of Star Wars: A Burlesque Parody in Keywest, the Berlin Burlesque Festival, and Nurse Bettie and The Slipper Room in New York.
42. Waxie Moon
Who: “An international gender-blending queer lady boylesque performance-art stripping sensation!”
In 2015: Performances in House of Thee Unholy and Homo For The Holidays in Seattle, Boylesque Festival Vienna, and the Seattle Boylesque Festival.
Who: Miss Coney Island 2009. “The Five-Alarm Fire of Burlesque”.
In 2015: Performances in New York, Philadelphia and Dallas, and featured performer for Ruby Revue in Houston. She starred in upcoming documentary Getting Naked the Movie which had a successful Kickstarter campaign. She also performed and won the ‘Eleganza’ Golden Pastie at the New York Burlesque Festival.
41. Velma Von Bon Bon
Who: Flamingo-riding, unicycle-peddling, glass-climbing, multi-talented mistress of hilarity.
In 2015: Star turn at the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival. Performances at the Belfast Burlesque Festival, North Wales Burlesque Festival, Berlin Burlesque Festival, Voodoo Deluxe in Milan, and The Wet Spot in Leeds, UK.
40. Julie Atlas Muz
Who: Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2006. Visionary, pioneering badass.
In 2015: Julie’s highlights include the fabulous Sisters Follies with Joey Arias, joining Tigger! and friends for MAN: A TEASE! 50!, and reigning as Queen Mermaid at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade with husband Mat Fraser as King Neptune. She also performed at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, joining her fellow queens for the Queen’s Parade to open the Miss Exotic World pageant. Other appearances include The Box and The Slipper Room in New York.
39. Coco Framboise
Who: Co-producer of the Toronto Burlesque Festival and founder of the Coco Framboise School of Burlesque. She has appeared frequently on television as a guest expert.
In 2015: Headliner at the Ottowa Burlesque Festival and created new cabaret play The Lost Toys which was performed at the Toronto Burlesque Festival. Her role for the Toronto Burlesque Festival has expanded to Director of Programming.
38. Zelia Rose
Who: Awesome Aussie who wowed the crowd at Burlesque Hall of Fame 2015, winning Best Debut. Miss Burlesque Australia 2014.
In 2015: As well as smashing it at BHoF, Zelia performed in The Cooch Tent in Sydney, the Australian Burlesque Festival, and teamed up with Mr Burlesque Australia 2014, Charlie D Barkle, to produce Royal Flush in Victoria.
Who: Porcelain princess Betsy Rose is a British burlesque performer and established model.
In 2015: Betsy performed in Austria, Amsterdam, Italy, The Seychelles, South Korea, Sweden and the UK. She is also one of the founding creators and members of brand new 2015 show Gin House Burlesque, a 1930s inspired revue.
37. Judith Stein
Who: Beloved Canadian burlesque legend Mama Beaver!
In 2015: Mama Beav’s appearances included the Ottowa Burlesque Festival, Calgary International Burlesque Festival, Edmonton Burlesque Festival, San Antonio Burlesque Festival, Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, and a performance at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. Listen to Bazuka Joe interviewing Judith Stein here.
36. Russell Bruner
Who: Prolific boylesquer with armfuls of Burlesque Hall of Fame trophies to his name, including Best Boylesque 2012.
In 2015: Russell entertained at the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival, Caput Mundi International Burlesque Award, the New York Burlesque Festival, Michigan Burlesque Festival, Colorado Burlesque Festival, Seattle Boylesque Festival, Fringe World Festival in Perth, and duetted with Michelle L’amour at the Royal Burlesque Revue Milan.
35. Lou Safire
Who: “Born somewhere between London and Hell, international vaudevillian Lou Safire has been strutting his stuff across the UK since 2008.”
In 2015: Some outstanding highlights for Lou in 2015 were performances at the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival, The Big Burlesque Event in London, and star turns at Vivacity Bliss’ Cabaret Roulette.
34. Polly Rae
Who: British big-hitter with a West End show under her belt and a reputation for top drawer collaborations.
In 2015: Polly appeared at the Royal Burlesque Revue Milan, continued her residency the Hippodrome Casino with Soho Burlesque Club, starred at The Savoy in London, and lead an outstanding revamp of Between the Sheets at London Wonderground. She also won the London Cabaret Award for Best Burlesque 2015.
33. Minnie Tonka
Who: A performing and producing “One Woman Riot” from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Based in New York, Minnie is one half of The Schlep Sisters, who have performed together for over a decade.
In 2015: Minnie’s highlights include the 9th Annual Menorah Horah with Schlep Sister Darlinda Just Darlinda, instructing at BurlyCon, starring in Getting Naked The Movie, performing at Wasabassco in Nashville, Queen Calavera in Hamburg, the New York Burlesque Festival, the Minneapolis Burlesque Festival, and Boylesque Festival Vienna.
32. Missy Lisa
Who: Miss Viva Las Vegas 2013. Founder of The Ruby Revue which won Best Troupe at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2014.
In 2015: Missy performed with the Ruby Revue at House of Blues Dallas, at the Dallas Burlesque Festival, New Zealand Burlesque Festival, New Orleans Burlesque Festival, New York Burlesque Festival, The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend and the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender. She also celebrated the Ruby Revue’s 6th Anniversary.
31. Bella de Jac
Who: The newly crowned Miss Burlesque Australia 2015.
In 2015: Winner of Miss Burlesque Australia and Miss Burlesque Victoria 2015. Opened the premier exhibition of the Australian Burlesque Museum alongside Elena Gabrielle and The Strawberry Siren. Launched her first co-produced theatre burlesque show Beast Burlesque, which toured at Adelaide Fringe, then Melbourne. She also spent three months as part of the The Living Museum of Erotic Women.