The Burlesque TOP 50 2013 is sponsored by Sublime Boudoir
Happy New Year burlesquers – Holli here at TOP 50 HQ. I have personally processed the thousands of vote forms and can now present The Burlesque TOP 50 2013.
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. There are a couple of tied positions, and as in previous years I have kept to fifty positions rather than individuals in order to celebrate as many people as possible.
(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.
I am delighted to kick off the Burlesque TOP 50 2013 with a wonderful couple; a fluorescent Fred and Ginger who spread joy and hilarity everywhere they go. As well as performing as members of the long-running Seattle super troupe The Atomic Bombshells, Kitten and Lou brought the house down at the New York Burlesque Festival Golden Pastie Awards with their drain-cleaner-downing disco spectacular, ‘Last Dance’. 2013 will be especially memorable for Kitten and Lou because of their burlesque ‘Extravaganza of Wedding Eleganza’ in July (check out the beautiful wedding video). Hooray for Kitten and Lou!
49. Angi B. Lovely
After taking the New Orleans Burlesque Festival crown last year, awesome aerial ecdysiast Angi B. Lovely returned to give a fabulous farewell performance this year. Angi also featured at the San Antonio Burlesque Festival, toured with The Ruby Revue, and took it off with Bustout Burlesque.
Xarah von den Vielenregen – a smouldering, sparkling, fire-wielding ‘chameleon of the night’ from Berlin – was awarded ‘Best Performer’ at the Milan Burlesque Award in 2013. She also performed in the Alabama Burlesque Festival, the Helsinki Burlesque Festival, and the Caribbean Burlesque Festival, and stopped off in New York to perform in the New York Burlesque Festival and appear at the legendary Slipper Room.
Contemporary genius Nasty Canasta is at 47 this year. Appearing in Gotham Burlesque and Wasabassco productions in New York, and entertaining us in her own unique way at the New York Burlesque Festival 2013, Nasty also wrote and directed WASABASSCO’s KONG, a full theatrical burlesque tribute to 1933’s King Kong in celebration of the film’s 80th anniversary. I was pleased to publish some of her excellent writing this year, which you can read from the links below.
Nasty shares No. 47 with another fabulous performer, Iva Handfull. Iva’s 2013 appearances included the Colorado Burlesque Festival, the Moisture Festival, performing in the Movers, Shakers and Innovators showcase at The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013, presenting at BurlyCon, co-producing The Burlesque Marathon in Seattle, and being crowned queen of the Kansas City Burlesque Festival. Rock on, Iva!
46. Mr Gorgeous
I finally saw this ridiculously dishy and groomed specimen in the flesh this year and was thrilled by what I saw. Whether he’s flirting with us behind a giant wafer and posing on a giant ice cream cone, or sweeping onto the stage Disney prince style to perform incredible feats of balance with Trixie Little, Mr Gorgeous is a ‘boylesque’ force to be reckoned with. In 2013 he performed at the Montreal Burlesque Festival, the New York Burlesque Festival, The Slipper Room, and was awarded ‘Most Comedic’ at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, where he competed in the ‘Best Boylesque’ category.
45. Ophelia Flame
‘The Burning Sensation’ sizzles at No. 45 this year. I’m still recovering from her incredible 1st Runner Up performance at BHoF in 2012; that costume – gah! Her 2013 appearances included sensational performances at the Toronto Burlesque Festival, the Colorado Burlesque Festival and the Minneapolis Burlesque Festival.
First at No. 44 is New York bad girl Gal Friday, who stunned us at the New York Burlesque Festival in an exquisite costume; all eyes and hair and dirty grind. In fact, she took home the Golden Pastie for ‘Dirtiest Grind’ at the Sunday Night ceremony, as well as ‘Best Nails’. She also joined the line-up for the much anticipated Wasabassco 9th Anniversary show.
British bombshell Missy Malone has also landed at No. 44. In 2013 she performed in the celebrated Candy Box Burlesque’s ‘The Final Meltdown’ in Birmingham, the Royal Burlesque Revue in Milan, Neil Kendall’s Halloween Carnival Ball, and in her own Missy Malone and Friends Burlesque Revue. She also launched Malone’s Vintage, a store full of vintage fashion.
43. Mod Carousel
What a year it has been for this new entry; the Mod Carousel boys were hard to miss in 2013. I am sure that most of us have seen their viral and highly publicised, not to mention GENIUS, response to Robin Thicke’s controversial Blurred Lines music video. Their video [opens in a new window] has had almost 5 MILLION views on YouTube so far, and they have gained masses of new international fans as a result of their hard work. Below are links to two of their new videos.
Composed of three fabulous fellas – Paris Original, Trojan Original, and The Luminous Pariah, Mod Carousel’s 2013 appearances included the 2nd New York Boylesque Festival, and The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, where Paris Original competed in the ‘Best Boylesque’ category and Trojan performed in the Movers, Shakers and Innovators showcase. The Luminous Pariah travelled to Europe to perform in the Berlin Burlesque Festival, and Trojan and Paris performed in Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker in Seattle.
42. David Bishop
Behind many of the most celebrated and successful events in the burlesque calendar, and always on hand at such events to bestow a blessing on proceedings, is the devoted, long-serving stage manager David Bishop. He has stage managed the New York Burlesque Festival since 2004, the BHoF Weekend since 2007, and has blessed shows and festivals in almost twenty US states.
In 2013, The Bishop of Burlesque travelled across the globe to BurlyCon in Seattle, the New York Burlesque Festival, the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, the Colorado Burlesque Festival, the Southern Fried Burlesque Festival in Atlanta, the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, the Alabama Burlesque Festival, Tokyo, Dublin, and the Minneapolis Burlesque Festival. Truly a prolific year for David, who continues to be such an outstanding contributor.
UK stripper/ninja/magician/all-round badass Anna Fur Laxis is at No. 41 this year. Her 2013 appearances included the Ink-N-Iron Festival in Los Angeles, performances in Northern England, teasing in Zurich, and now Anna is enjoying new adventures in Shanghai, where she is currently living. I’m sure you will join me in wishing her a happy and productive 2014.
Italian ecdysiast Scarlett Martini shares No. 41. In 2013 she performed at the Montreal Burlesque Festival, the Paris Burlesque Festival, in Berlin, and in Italy. Scarlett has thrilled audiences in Europe, Japan, Canada and the United States, and at home she is the artistic director of Burlesque Garden in Viareggio. Some of you may have enjoyed seeing Scarlett on screen in Burlesque Assassins in 2012.
40. Lili VonSchtupp
Lili VonSchtupp is a long-standing force of nature in LA burlesque. As well as producing long-running LA show Monday Night Tease, a real triumph for Lili in 2013 was the first Hollywood Burlesque Festival; four nights of showcases, competitions, classes and film screenings, boasting a line-up including Roxi D’Lite and Russell Bruner, and burlesque legends Stephanie Blake and Kitten Natividad.
Spanish siren Medianoche took the crown at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival this year with a winning performance you can watch below. She also kicked off the Friday Night show at the New York Burlesque Festival in fine style, won the Crystal Corset Award at the PA Burlesque Festival, and performed at the Kansas City Burlesque Festival. Back in New York she also performed in the Wasabassco 9th Anniversary show and WASABASSCO’S KONG.
38. Missy Lisa
Sunny Texan beauty Missy Lisa has cracked the TOP 50! She was crowned Miss Viva Las Vegas 2013 with an excellent winning routine which has received a lot of praise, including some from me when I saw it at The New York Burlesque Festival this year, where she opened the Saturday Night Spectacular with confidence, charm and energy. She also performed at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival and teased with her Ruby Revue sisters, Ginger Valentine and Angi B. Lovely.
37. Kalani Kokonuts
(Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2009)
Las Vegas showgirl extraordinaire Kalani Kokonuts is back in the TOP 50 this year at No. 37. She remains one of the funniest, most insightful, and visually stunning and creative performers I’ve come across; her exquisite Geisha number and dazzling Cleopatra routine are familiar to many of us. In 2013, Kalani joined Roxi D’Lite and a host of other burlesque stars for the spectacular Theatre Bizarre: The Procession, travelled to Munich to appear in Peepshow, and back home in Vegas she attended The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, performed in the incredible Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace, and regularly performed in the Sapphire Comedy Hour at Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club.
36. Polly Rae
The British mistress of the sing and fling is at No. 36. Polly is doing a fantastic job at the Hippodrome Casino with Between the Sheets at the Soho Burlesque Club on Wednesdays, and now a saucier Late Show on Saturdays. She kicked off the year in Perth with Lada Redstar and Gypsy Wood, teased the masses in Italy, performed the finale at the end of an amazing evening at the exclusive and luxurious Sublime Boudoir event in London in May, and frolicked with naughty elf Phil InGud at Sean Mooney’s Beyond the Christmas Cabaret.
A performer, producer, instructor and performance artist with one of the most sublime, hypnotic backsides in the business, Darlinda has appeared on television and in Off Broadway productions, and now she’s shaking it at No. 35. In 2013, Darlinda slayed us all at the New York Burlesque Festival, took it off at the Slipper Room, unleashed ‘Bearlinda’ at Bushwick Burlesque, instructed at BurlyCon and the New York School of Burlesque, and joined the Theatre Bizarre cast in Detroit in October.
34. Lada Redstar
‘The Hot Pinup from the Cold’ is at No. 34 this year. Luscious Lada hit Perth, the Berlin Burlesque Festival, and laid down vocals with the fabulous Bart and Baker, but an obvious highlight was taking home ‘Best Debut’ from the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013, putting on a spectacular display with her ‘Insectavora – Queen of the Bugs’ number. Lada’s growing collection of costumes is breathtaking and her vivacity is infectious; who knows what future awards and adventures await her.
33. Vicky Butterfly
Ethereal goddess Vicky Butterfly delivered spellbinding performances this year to audiences in Basel, Italy, and at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival (read her festival diary here), and read eloquently at Sophia St. Villier’s Naked Girls Reading London Dixie Evans Week benefit. As of 2013, Vicky offers a show based around a beautiful Faberge Egg – visit this link for beautiful images and more information. Soon she’ll be slipping on her skates and teasing on the ice, and who knows what else she has in store for us in 2014.
32. Peekaboo Pointe
‘The Fastest Tassel Twirler from East to West’ stays at No. 32 for a second year. As well as teaching at The New York School of Burlesque, presenting at BurlyCon in Seattle, and performing in the NYC Dixie Evans Week Benefit, Peekaboo joined the cast of Cabaret New Burlesque as they toured around France over the past few months, collaborating with absent CNB member Julie Atlas Muz (who was busy doing incredible things with Mat Fraser) and performing one of her numbers.
31. Kitten De Ville
(Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2002)
Kitten is one of our most recognisable burlesque stars; a towering modern-day Monroe who continues to thrill audiences with her signature shimmy worldwide. In 2013, Kitten presented at BurlyCon, performed at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, travelled to London, Paris and Venice, and put together a fabulous benefit in LA – The All Stars of Tease, A Burlesque Extravaganza! – to support Dixie Evans Week.
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Quoted in major international newspapers and held in high esteem and affection by the international burlesque community, 21st Century Burlesque Magazine has documented the contemporary burlesque scene since 2007. Founded and edited by Holli-Mae Johnson.