Burlesque TOP 50 2013: 20 – 11
21st Century Burlesque Magazine has documented the contemporary burlesque scene…
The Burlesque TOP 50 2013 is sponsored by Sublime Boudoir
The Burlesque TOP 50 2013 results continue.
On each results page I have included information, links and footage so that you can get to know all the people on this list, especially if you are new to burlesque or less familiar with some of the names.
(Quick disclaimer to make sure everyone is clear: The results are determined by thousands of public votes. I do not decide who makes it into this list.)
NB: All links open in a new window.
20. Ruby Joule
‘The gem you’d love to polish’ kicks off the TOP 20 for a second year. This poised, porcelain princess of tease is the co-founder of Texan troupe The Jigglewatts, and she enjoys a varied career in dance, theatre and film, as well as burlesque.
In 2013 Ruby performed at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, the San Antonio Burlesque Festival, the Colorado Burlesque Festival, the Texas Burlesque Festival, and the Alabama Burlesque Festival (read her Alabama Burlesque Festival Diary). She also went on tour with The Jigglewatts; stay tuned for a tour diary in the near future.
19. Kitty Bang Bang
World class, pointe dancing, drink stealing, bin bothering, fire breathing ‘rebel showgirl’ Kitty Bang Bang is back in the Top 20 this year.
At home in London, UK, she joined Polly Rae in Between the Sheets and led her own production, Boom and Bang Circus (and that’s just one of the shows Kitty and her partner Bioux call the shots on in London), both at the Hippodrome Casino. Across the pond she performed in the New Orleans Burlesque Festival (read her Festival Diary here) and the New York Burlesque Festival.
*BOB* has had a high profile year, sharing her remarkable, inspiring story with an even wider audience.
Amy Touchette’s new book, Shoot the Arrow: A Portrait of the World Famous *BOB*, contains an extensive series of photographs of *BOB* as she goes about her daily life, and a number of articles have covered its release. She also starred in Beth B’s highly praised burlesque documentary EXPOSED, which also stars fellow New Yorkers Tigger!, Julie Atlas Muz, Dirty Martini, Miss Rose Wood, Bambi the Mermaid and Bunny Love.
*BOB* was extremely close to burlesque legend Dixie Evans, who very sadly passed away in 2013. I published the moving speech she gave at Dixie’s memorial service, which you can read here.
In 2013 *BOB* also hosted at the New York Burlesque Festival, the New York Boylesque Festival, and, as always, the Friday Night Burlesque Reunion Showcase at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. *BOB* has come to life for hoards of new fans in 2013 through words, film and images, and your affection has put her in the Top 20.
17. Julie Atlas Muz
(Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2006)
Julie Atlas Muz, a fearless, indefinable, generous genius with a phenomenal body of work, is at No. 17 this year. A mistress of illusion, innovation, suggestion and sexuality, Julie’s creations are intelligent, provocative, often extreme, and always entertaining.
It is appropriate at this moment to also salute Julie’s husband, Mat Fraser, because their highly praised production Beauty and the Beast was such a triumph in 2013. I saw it at The Young Vic in London in December and I was so moved, laughing and crying throughout. It comes to New York in 2014 and I strongly recommend buying a ticket; you won’t be sorry.
Julie and Mat also featured in Beth B’s burlesque documentary EXPOSED, in which they discussed their lives and work in intimate domestic and theatrical settings.
Julie is a member of Cabaret New Burlesque and spent time touring around France, but due to her performance schedule with Mat, the final CNB tour of this year featured Peekaboo Pointe in her place, and the two of them enjoyed a special collaboration on the number that Peekaboo performed.
It is a privilege to know Julie; I’m more than a little excited to see what she produces in 2014.
16. Russell Bruner
Winner of ‘Best Boylesque’ at the 2012 Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, Russell has been entertaining for nearly a decade in variety arts. Russell has also spent much of his time ‘performing acrobatics, partner dance, and gentleman juggling’ with the Wanderlust Circus and Swing Time PDX in Portland, Oregon.
In 2013 Russell performed in the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, the Show Me Burlesque Festival, the Dallas Burlesque Festival, the San Antonio Burlesque Festival (read his Festival Diary), and the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, where he ended up on a chaise with Catherine D’Lish (they discuss the sexually charged encounter here.)
At the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013, Russell was amazingly successful, performing a fabulous farewell routine as the outgoing ‘Best Boylesque’ winner, and then winning the ‘Best Group’ and ‘Best Duo’ categories with Swingtime PDX and Sandria Dore respectively!
15. Indigo Blue
(Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2011)
In at No. 15, Indigo Blue has worked tirelessly for the benefit of the burlesque community and her students for years, and BurlyCon – one of her greatest gifts – gets bigger and better every year. The level of attendance this year was incredible, and 2014 will be BurlyCon’s seventh year! I can’t recommend this event strongly enough; please check it out and consider making the trip if you can.
In 2013 Indigo featured in the Australian Burlesque Festival tour, performed in the BHoF Queens Tour at the Kessler Theatre in Texas with fellow Miss Exotic World Imogen Kelly, appeared at The Moisture Festival 2013, starred in Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker, and performed as a member of burlesque super troupe The Atomic Bombshells. She also performed her captivating ‘Triple Fan Dance’ in the New York Burlesque Festival Saturday Night Spectacular.
14. Minnie Tonka
GO TONKA! Minnie has cracked the Top 20 after a busy and well-travelled 2013.
Minnie embarked on a European Tour in 2013, stopping off in Germany, Italy and Finland. You can read her European Tour Diary here.
As well as competing in the Reigning Queen category at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 (read her pre-BHoF interview here) she took the time to send me entertaining BHoF quotes and photos each day. Minnie also performed in the New York Burlesque Festival, the Minneapolis Burlesque Festival, The Stockholm Burlesque Festival, and with Schlep Sister Darlinda Just Darlinda in their annual Menorah Horah show.
Minnie has demonstrated inspiring strength, vision and resilience in 2013, and spreading the gospel of Tonka overseas has gained her an army of new fans.
13. Lola Frost
As seductive and inspiring with her words as she is on stage, Lola Frost’s star continues to rise.
Lola is, in her own words, a ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Flapper, Burlesque Performer, Bad Ass Dance Instructor, Ninja, Make Out Artist, Sass Master and Rebel with a Cause’. She is also the co-director of The Vancouver Burlesque Centre and a member of Sweet Soul Burlesque.
The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in 2013 was a busy one for Lola. She performed with Crystal Precious and friends in the Thursday night Movers, Shakers and Innovators Showcase, competed for ‘Best Duo’ with Melody Mangler, and competed for Reigning Queen on Saturday night, winning 2nd Runner Up with a fabulous performance (read her pre-BHoF interview here). She also performed in the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, in the Sweet Soul Burlesque 10th Anniversary show, and at Kitty Nights in Vancouver.
Lola also shared more of her wonderful writing with 21st Century Burlesque Magazine readers this year, which you can enjoy here.
12. Laurie Hagen
Sat just outside the prestigious TOP 10 is the truly exceptional Laurie Hagen, a London based quintuple threat (singing, hosting, dancing, acting and stripping) who astounded the audience at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend with her incredible reverse striptease routine.
London show-goers have had the privilege of enjoying this number for a while now, and I encouraged international readers to watch the official recording of it when I wrote her up in the TOP 50 last year, but I just couldn’t wait to see what the Americans at BHoF would make of it. They went CRAZY over it, as I hoped and expected. Trixie Little praised it to the skies in her BHoF Burlesque Innovation Guild Awards piece.
As well as her triumphant display at BHoF, which won her ‘Most Innovative’, Laurie performed in the spectacular Sublime Boudoir event in London, continued to host for The Folly Mixtures, joined Polly Rae and Kitty Bang Bang in Between the Sheets at the Hippodrome Casino, posed for the All Nude Cabaret Charity Calendar, and performed in Fräulein Frauke’s Weimar Cabaret. She is currently in Vegas for the foreseeable future performing in a brand new show at The Cosmopolitan, Rose. Rabbit. Lie. What a fantastic year; all Laurie’s success is so deserved, and you clearly agree.
At No. 11 are much loved and lauded burlesque power couple Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey. In 2013 they continued to produce innovative, skilful and highly entertaining performances, together and separately.
Trixie went solo at the New York Burlesque Festival, performing a brilliant tribute to an absent Monkey, complete with giant banana prop. She also blew us away at the Sunday Night Golden Pastie Awards with Mr Gorgeous in a highly entertaining and impressive duet. Monkey went on tour with Captain Kidd (BHoF ‘Best Boylesque’ 2011) and the rest of the cast of BRIEFS, and chauffeured Russell Bruner’s clown car at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. Together they performed at The Box in London and New York, on Sunset Pier with Key West Burlesque, in the Halloween Ball at the Slipper Room, in the Moisture Festival 2013, and in their own shows: Flipping and Stripping in Australia and Perth, Trixie and Monkey’s American Morons at Coney Island, and the Velvet Banana Cabaret at the Slipper Room. Another outstanding, prolific year!
<<< 30 – 21 — TOP 10 Out on Monday!
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21st Century Burlesque Magazine has documented the contemporary burlesque scene since 2007. Founded and edited by Holli-Mae Johnson.