21st Century Burlesque Magazine is pleased to present your Burlesque TOP 50 2017 – the 50 most influential burlesque industry figures of the past year, voted for by thousands of burlesque peers and fans worldwide.
This year, all results will appear on this page, with updates each day.
All TOP 50 figures will be contacted as they are announced and asked to reveal their personal highlight of 2017.
Since its inception in April 2011, Sublime Boudoir: Seduction of Senses has brought audiences elegant burlesque, cabaret, and circus performances in fantastical settings, while entertaining the senses with unconventional visuals and signature cuisines.
Founded with the intention of highlighting well-known performers as well as up-and-coming artists, Sublime Boudoir provides a collaborative creative environment for industry professionals.
The company seeks to redefine and challenge traditional ideals of the industry by combining burlesque with complementary artistic mediums. Painstaking research and attention to detail provide audiences with an immersive and multidimensional experience, Seduction of Senses.
Constructing annual events on a global level, the creative team represents a vast range of cultural histories and perspectives, from Europe to Indonesia to North America. They have travelled the world in search of inspiration and the most exciting new performance artists. Complemented by breath-taking floral design, music, and cuisine, every production epitomizes luxurious elegance, underlined by cabaret’s signature playful humor.
THE BURLESQUE TOP 50 2017
Musette The Mistress of Mischief
2017 Highlight: “I can now die happily after having the chance to create art on stage and off for the 2017 Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender’s Tournament of Tease and their poster art. I am a very lucky gal! Also great to be bedazzled by Theater Bizarre the greatest masquerade in the world, (everyone needs to see it!) and to check off my bucket list Trapeze in SF when i visited my burly-sister Redbone for the first time!”
2017 Highlight: “I would say my highlight of 2017 has been performing for more burlesque audiences in general! Working with long time inspiration Dita Von Teese in the Art of the Teese as well as headlining the Vienna Boylesque Festival and the Minneapolis Burlesque Festival!”
2017 Highlight: “My all-time burlesque highlight (including 2017) is the time I’ve spent working with the Dita tours, I love our ‘strip family’! This group of performers and pros is such a pleasure to be a part of, and I love seeing the show/tours continue to evolve. We also had a great time in ’17 cooking up some surprises for 2018! ”
2017 Highlight: “2017 was a big year for me with two major highlights including having the opportunity to compete for Queen of Burlesque at the Burlesque Hall of Fame; and co-curating the Australian Burlesque Museum exhibition at the inaugural Congress of Undress.”
Miss Indigo Blue
2017 Highlight: “I had a really fun year performing, especially for the first time in Alaska with Mod Carousel, and at CREAM with Milk, and in Brazil for YES! Nos Temos Burlesco. But the highlight of my year was celebrating Burlycon’s 10th Anniversary and having the opportunity to bring back two of our first Legends, Dee Milo and Toni Elling.”
2017 Highlight: “15 years in, I feel incredibly fortunate to still be asked to do new and exciting things, so maybe It’s something a bit closer to home… the opportunity to start working as half of a magic duo with my partner. This job is still full of surprises!”
2017 Highlight: “My 2017 highlight was, of course, representing the UK and big fat fabulous queers in best debut at the Burlesque Hall of Fame! And in the last moment of my act I was looking out at the audience, who you can barely see, and Dirty Martini was on her feet, cheering. My heart swelled!”
2017 Highlight: “Being part of the cast of Between the Sheets during the summer at at the Underbelly Festival with Polly Rae, Kitty Bang Bang and Beau Rocks (to name just some of the cast) as performer and not as a stage manager really meant so much to me. I’m so grateful to work with some of the best of the industry.”
2017 Highlights: “Performing our group act ‘Habanera’ at BHoF. Beyond the honour of being on that stage again, it was an amazing opportunity to show art that I created with some of my best friends, Ray Gunn, Lola Van Ella, Midnite Martini, Gaea Lady, Honey Cakes, and Dahlia Fatale. That’s an experience I’ll never forget!”
2017 Highlight: “…the SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE! Headlining the Brazil Burlesque Festival w/Indigo Blue for Yes, Nós Temos Burlesco!; bringing Taylor Mac’s Obie-winning “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” to Melbourne; and headlining the Santiago Burlesque Festival in Chile.
2017 Highlight: “2017 was amazing! I was able to work with so many phenomenal performers, producers, and staff. The AZ BurlyPicks, the Arizona Burlesque Festival, Don’t Blink Burlesque, The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender, and the birth of (Un)Helpful Burlesque Tips continue to show me that there is no end to the amount of creativity and energy that striptease brings out in all of us!”
2017 Highlight: “It has been a rollercoaster of a year! I had such an incredible time at the Vienna Boylesque Festival. Doing Godzilla acapella after my music cut out at the Nerdlesque Festival was hilarious. And I was overjoyed to have Dee Milo and Toni Elling at the Tenth Anniversary of BurlyCon, and deeply honored to win The Dixie Evans Award at The New York Burlesque Festival!”
2017 Highlight: “Producing the Legends Showcase at BHoF is always at the top of my list, but I’d also add getting to travel to perform more than I ever have in my career, and falling in ever deeper love with this art, our community, the cities and all their audiences along the way. 2017 was my best year yet. Bring on 2018!”
Lola Van Ella
2017 Highlight: In addition to producing the Show Me Burlesque Festival, Shimmy Showdown, and numerous other large events in St. Louis, Lola also toured her original, immersive show, The Van Ella Bordella across the US, and co-produced a successful European tour of Kaleidoscope in the fall.
Sassy Von Straddler
2017 Highlight: “2017 was an incredible year filled with loud activism and plenty of sparkles. My highlight was performing in New Year’s Noire: a weekend of shows that partnered Perle Noire, Poison Ivory, and Pearls Daily with the amazing burlesque talents of the Minneapolis scene!”
2017 Highlight: “2017 has been one of the most profoundly rewarding and soul fulfilling years of my life. This came from a personal transformation that offered the ability to return to my deepest love, performing and teaching! I was deeply honoured to receive this year’s Sassy Lassy Award at The Burlesque Hall of Fame. I also spent quality time with family, deepened my commitment to teaching, tried new things and surrounded myself with as many hilarious, talented, ridiculous, beautiful and joyful nut jobs that I know. Such an honour to be a part of the top 50!”
2017 Highlight: “My highlight of 2017 is not a singular event but rather the realization and gratitude for all the work I was given, the travel I was able to do, and the people I was able to connect with through burlesque, exotic dance and teaching. This year saw me teach my first successful full weekend intensive, be a featured presenter at BurlyCon, and give workshops and perform in five different countries. I wish you all success in your goals in 2018 and can’t wait to unfold some of mine to fruition.”
2017 Highlight: “My biggest burlesque highlight for 2017 was winning New Orleans Burlesque Festival’s ‘Queen of Burlesque’. It seemed like such an unreachable goal especially since the line up was stacked with some of the most talented and beautiful performers from all over the world. To win that title among such talented colleagues and stiff competition means the world to me!”
2017 Highlight: “Besides competing for Miss Exotic World at The Burlesque Hall of Fame, I was a featured/headlining performer at over 10 festivals and showcases throughout the US and Canada, launched Nudie Nubies SF, and made a big splash with Glam Jam this past year.”
2017 Highlight: “Winning best large group at BHOF with The House of Noire gems. I also produced and choreographed a theatrical dance show called 7 Deadly Sins in NY, which starred the House of Noire gems. I am also proud to say that my Healing through Seduction workshops and mentorship programs made my 2017 spectacular!”
2017 Highlight: “Well, I can’t lie, 2017 has been a total shit show on all levels. As we fight to keep making art in a political form, the world feels too serious and the stakes too high. My highlight has been the wonderful people I have met after shows and online. I have had the privilege of performing in Dita Von Teese’s fabulous roadshow, and small political theatre in NYC. In 2017 I read my writing aloud, acted, sang and danced. I sewed and cooked and loved and drank – a lot. I wish all of you reading this hope, love and the fulfillment of all of your crazy dreams. If we can do that under the current circumstances, we can do ANYthing, but let’s all do it together.”
2017 Highlight: “2017 has been a year of growth and adversity. I produced my first (of many to come) one woman show, The Jeez Loueez Variety Hour. The accomplishment I’m most proud of is being featured on the Netflix Original Series Easy with Jeezy’s Juke Joint, and my most cherished memory is my first European tour and headlining events in the UK, Italy, and Germany.”
Kitten ‘N’ Lou
2017 Highlight: “2017 was a momentous one personally and professionally, despite living in a near constant state of frustration and anxiety over the state of our country. We opened our new show Holier Than Thou in Australia, headlined some truly INCREDIBLE festivals all over the world meeting and working with so many gorgeous talents, and a certain Drag King with a certain glitter mustache was crowned the first non cis-male King of Boylesque at the Burlesque Hall of Fame, heeeeeyyyyy! So much love.”
2017 Highlight: “My highlight of 2017 was being crowned Miss Exotic World / Reigning Queen of Burlesque at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. To have been recognized for my art and been given a voice with which to lift my peers has made this year a breathtaking journey!”
Non-Performer and National Charts
TOP 10: Non-Performing Figures
1 Neil Kendall (Photographer/Producer)
2 David Bishop (Stage Manager)
3 Christina Manuge (Costumier)
4 Holli Mae Johnson (Journalist/Business Coach)
5 AJay Strong (Producer)
6 Angel Leggas (Photographer)
7 Jen Gapay (Producer)
8 Tigz Rice (Photographer)
9 John Paul Bichard (Photographer/Producer)
10 Front Row Paul (Superfan/Producer)
UK/UK Based Chart
1 Lilly Snatchdragon (TOP 50: 28)
2 Rubyyy Jones (TOP 50: 30)
3 Lolo Brow (TOP 50: 32)
4 Vicky Butterfly (TOP 50: 33)
5 Betsy Rose (TOP 50: 36)
6 Bettsie Bon Bon (TOP 50: 41)
7 Polly Rae (TOP 50: 46)
8 Havana Hurricane (TOP 50: 47)
9 Kitty Bang Bang (TOP 50: 48)
11 Eliza DeLite
12 Reuben Kaye
13 Beau Rocks
14 Tom Harlow
15 Missy Malone
17 Missy Fatale
Europe/Europe Based Chart (Exc. UK)
10 Nuit Blanche
20 Giuditta Sin