The Burlesque TOP 50 2014 continues with 30 – 21…
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.
Please Note: The results are determined by thousands of public votes. I do not decide who makes it into this list. Please resist emailing me to complain or campaign.
NB: All links open in a new window, so you won’t lose this page.
The Burlesque TOP 50 2014 is sponsored by Sublime Boudoir
30. Kitty Bang Bang
Professional liability Kitty Bang Bang kicked off 2014 in Perth in Comic Strip alongside Gypsy Wood and Polly Rae. She remained a regular performer in Polly Rae’s Soho Burlesque Club at the Hippodrome Casino in London and teamed up with Polly again for a special new version of Between the Sheets at London Wonderground.
Her own show, Boom and Bang Circus, co-produced with husband Bioux, came to the end of its residency at the Hippodrome at the end of 2014, but the highlight was a special edition at the Roundhouse in Camden – a huge achievement for the production. With a cast including boylesquer Phil InGud and a musical cameo from Bioux, they sold the place out and put on a fun-packed, enjoyably chaotic, but undoubtedly skilful show.
Kitty and Bioux enjoyed the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in Las Vegas in June, and Kitty reviewed the Debut and Miss Exotic World categories for 21st Century Burlesque Magazine (Debut review here, MEW review here.) They stayed on in Vegas to get married in a lovely venue with friends and family around them. It goes without saying that she looked smoking hot in her wedding gown.
She rounded off 2014 in Polly Rae’s RED at The Royal Albert Hall, stealing the show in stunning outfits and abusing audience members with mistletoe shoved down her pants. One of the best Christmas parties I’ve ever been to!
29. Indigo Blue
(Miss Exotic World 2011)
The fabulous Miss Indigo Blue’s 2014 highlights included The Atomic Bombshells Valentine’s Day show J’Adore and their 10th anniversary celebration CAKE! A Decade of Decadent Dazzle, Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann’s Through The Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice In Wonderland, Paula Now’s House of Thee Unholy, and Lily Verlaine and Nadine DuBois’ Visions of Sugarplums: A Burlesque Nutcracker.
Indigo also spent time in Europe, instructed students at the Indigo Blue Academy of Burlesque, and oversaw another successful BurlyCon in Seattle. I can’t recommend BurlyCon enough to anyone who wants to develop as a burlesque performer, connect with the community and dedicate themselves to the craft.
Indigo is a shining light of leadership and progress in the community, and I wish her another year of inspirational success in 2015.
They just made it onto last year’s TOP 50 list at No. 50, and since then their global profile has just exploded. Kitten ‘n’ Lou are adored, and rightly so.
In 2014 they competed in the Small Groups category at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend and were honoured with the title of ‘Most Comedic’ for their draino-drinking disco spectacular ‘Last Dance’. They also covered the Sunday Night showcase for 21st Century Burlesque Magazine (read their report here). Earlier in the year they performed at the Helsinki Burlesque Festival and wrote a diary about their adventures, which you can read here. They debuted their new western themed act at the New York Burlesque Festival, performed with RuPaul’s Drag Race favourite BenDeLaCreme, and appeared at WorldPride 2014 in Toronto and Queen Calavera in Hamburg. Lou enjoyed success with solo show Lou Henry Hoover: There Once Was a Man, and Kitten celebrated the 10th anniversary of her tremendous troupe, The Atomic Bombshells.
So yeah, I think that covers it.
But wait, wai… who is that behind Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett on their PBS special…? IT’S KITTEN AND F*CKING LOU!!
What a year.
Kitten and Lou: The Art of Artifice (City Arts).
Kitten ‘n’ Lou at the New York Burlesque Festival 2014 [VIDEO].
Lou Henry Hoover at the New York Burlesque Festival 2014 [VIDEO].
Kitten LaRue at the New York Burlesque Festival 2014 [VIDEO].
The Kitten ‘n’ Lou Fan Site (yeah, they have a fan site now – they’re that awesome.)
(BHoF Best Boylesque 2006)
Always a brilliant, busy man, boylesque pioneer Tigger! enjoyed a well travelled 2014.
He entertained an adoring crowd at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in Las Vegas; joined Russell Bruner and the Stage Door Johnnies in DIXEY at the Edinburgh Fringe; headlined the Vienna Boylesque Festival, Stockholm Burlesque Festival and the Turku Burlesque Festival; produced another successful MAN: A TEASE! on Coney Island, and appeared at the 2nd annual Fierce: International Queer Burlesque Festival and the 3rd Annual New York Boylesque Festival.
Tigger! also appeared alongside Dirty Martini, Rose Wood, Julie Atlas Muz, Mat Fraser, Bunny Love, World Famous *BOB* and Bambi the Mermaid in Beth B’s excellent documentary EXPOSED: Beyond Burlesque.
26. Imogen Kelly
(Miss Exotic World 2012)
The queen of Australian burlesque earned even more love, respect and affection from the international burlesque community at the end of 2013 when 21st Century Burlesque Magazine published an article from her discussing her thoughts and experiences following a double mastectomy (read here). In 2014 she was as wise, innovative and awesome as ever.
Imogen wrote another thoughtful, personal piece documenting her experience at the 2014 New York Burlesque Festival, where she performed at BB Kings in the Saturday Night showcase. Early in the year she headlined spectacularly at the Helsinki Burlesque Festival and appeared at Queen Calavera in Hamburg.
In 2014 Imogen completed a special new act – a stunning firebird tribute to burlesque legend Lili St. Cyr. She also offered an intensive burlesque workshop on classic glove and gown, ‘For the Love of Lili’.
Imogen is an inspiration on and offstage, and I can’t wait to see what she delivers in 2015.
The Burlesque TOP 50 2014 is sponsored by Sublime Boudoir
25. Gal Friday
Crowd-winning, ravishing redhead Gal Friday’s 2014 highlights included a performance at the Burlesque Legends Mothers Day Brunch in New York with burlesque legends Jean Idelle, Kitten Natividad and Shannon Doah in attendance, star turns in Wasabassco productions and the New York Burlesque Festival, a duet with Peekaboo Pointe at the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend, and an appearance at the Great Canadian Girlesque Expo (read her diary here).
24. Nasty Canasta
Whether she’s abusing (plastic) babies or clenching a waffle cone between her buttocks, you are guaranteed an unpredictable, unforgettable ride with Nasty Canasta. 2014 was no different.
As well as disrobing for Naked Girls Reading NYC and performing at Nerdlesque Fest 2014 and Diversi-Tease 2014, Nasty continued as a co-producer alongside Doc Wasabassco, and wrote a new and original scripted sci-fi striptease adventure as part of the Wasabassco 10th Anniversary Extravaganza.
Nasty also penned an extremely popular piece in 2014 which was published on 21st Century Burlesque Magazine: Time to Put Your Glitter Where Your Mouth Is.
23. Scarlett Martini
In 2014, striking Roman goddess Scarlett Martini performed across Italy, as well as at the Amsterdam Burlesque Award, the Paris Burlesque Festival, the Como Lake Burlesque Festival, and at Queen Calavera in Hamburg. Her Instagram account is full of sexy photo shoots and candid snaps from her adventures throughout the year.
Scarlett also makes handmade, vintage inspired fascinators and accessories through Bloody Sparkling Creations.
22. Ginger Valentine
Gorgeous Ginger is at No. 22, and who doesn’t want to be her Valentine when she’s doing her thing?
In 2014, Ginger was a vision in pink competing for Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend and was awarded 2nd Runner Up! On top of that, her troupe the Ruby Revue won ‘Best Troupe’! With Missy Lisa’s ‘Most Classic’ award thrown in, it was champagne for everyone in Team Texas.
Ginger also performed at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, the Kansas City Burlesque Festival, the Dallas Burlesque Festival, and at the 6th Anniversary of Peaks and Pasties in Colorado. With the Ruby Revue she performed in the Hubba Hubba Revue in San Francisco and rounded off the year at House of Blues in Houston.
I am confident that there are greater awards and achievements to come in 2015 and beyond for Ginger Valentine.
21. Lola Frost
Ready to pounce just outside the TOP 20 is the feisty Lola Frost, who approaches everything she does with dedication and intelligence, with dazzling and inspiring results.
In 2014, Lola competed again for the Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque title at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in Las Vegas, and with Rita Star in the Small Groups category.
She also performed at the Colorado Burlesque Festival, Vancouver International Burlesque Festival and the Calgary International Burlesque Festival.
In June, Lola produced La Belle Pêche Nue, which “presented striptease in an amalgamation of high-art theatrics, sensuality and grace, aiming to challenge conceptions surrounding contemporary burlesque standards of never revealing all.”
As one of the most articulate burlesquers around, Lola was invited to speak on the topic of ‘Sex’ at the TED style talk series Creative Mornings, and you can listen to it here.
The Would-Be Queens: 20 Questions with Lola Frost (BHoF 2014).
Lola Frost performs ‘Fancy Flapper’ at the Colorado Burlesque Festival 2014 [VIDEO].
Lola Frost performs ‘Frost Bite’ at the Colorado Burlesque Festival 2014 [VIDEO].
Lola Frost at the Calgary International Burlesque Festival [VIDEO].
Video interview with Lola Frost.
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.