Burlesque Hall of Fame 2013 – Icons & All-Stars

Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 Day 3, Finale

by Photolena

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Orleans Casino Showroom, Las Vegas, Nevada

AWARDS

Sassy Lassy Excellence in Promoting Burlesque presented to Catherine D’Lish by special guest Dita von Teese

Sassy Lassy Innovator Award presented to Katie K by Dirty Martini

Sassy Lassy Award for Perpetuating the Art of Burlesque worldwide presented to Scott Ewalt by Paula Swedish Housewife

Winners of the Legends Challenge were:

1. Boylesque Idol, Anchorage AL

2. Sepia Seduction, NY

3. Starstruck with Velvet Ice

So we’ve come to the last evening of the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender — the Icons & All-Stars big extravaganza. You would think that after the seemingly endless excitement of Saturday’s competitions that this would be a nice relaxing production, a way to just come down from all the crazy sexiness but this festival doesn’t let you do that. No way! It just keeps going and going, never slowing down, never letting you down, and drawing you in night after glorious night. You’ll just have to go home and sleep it all off for a couple of weeks — you’ve got vacation time, right?

I wish I could go over every single act, but there were just too many fabulous ones, so here are some highlights from the evening….

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Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 Celebrates Sparkly Devil

Jo "Boobs" Weldon And Co.

by Photolena

The Orleans Casino Showroom

The Orleans Casino Showroom was packed for the first performance of the festival – Movers, Shakers & Innovators. As guests took their seats, you couldn’t help but notice that everyone was sporting a variety of devil’s horns, and some quite ornate at that. They had all heard the call. Before we even made it out to Las Vegas, it had gone out over Facebook, Twitter, and through word of mouth at The Orleans – let’s all wear horns in honor of Sparkly Devil, who was originally set to perform that evening.* They were available for pickup by anyone who needed them at the venue so that no one would be left out, although many put their time and talent – and probably all their heartfelt love – into producing some truly fantastic horns. The international burlesque community had come together in a monumental show of support and strength to remember and celebrate one of their own.

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Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013–MISS EXOTIC WORLD 2013

Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 Day 3, Finale

by Photolena

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Orleans Casino Showroom, Las Vegas, Nevada

Winers:

  • Most Dazzling: Sweet Pea

  • Most Classic: LouLou D’Vil

  • 2nd Runner Up: Lola Frost

  • 1st Runner Up: Sydni Devereaux

  • Winner: LouLou D’Vil

We’ve come to the end of a very long evening with the big competition, the one we’ve all been waiting for, the one with the longest title (really, does it have to be so long?) — Miss Exotic World 2013 Reigning Queen of Burlesque. With such an impressive roster of competitors, I hunkered down for what was to be a truly inspirational set of performances. Herewith the highlights of the evening — and I’ll do my best to give a tidbit of all the competitors, but with so many it’s hard to squeeze them all in…

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Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013–Tournament of Tease: Best Group, Best Duo, Best Boylesque

Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 Day 3, Part 2

by Photolena

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Orleans Casino Showroom, Las Vegas, Nevada

Winners:

  • Best Duo: Sandria Dore & Russell Bruner

  • Best Group: Swing Time

  • Best Boylesque: Ray Gunn

  • Most Comedic: Mr. Gorgeous

After the sizzling heat and frenzy of the first competition of the evening — Best Debut — we cannonballed right into the the next 3 categories of contenders — Best Duo, Best Group, and the one I was waiting for all night, the super smexy, mucho muscular, oiled upped and rubbed down Best Boylesque. Each of these sets had 4 fantastic and award-worthy performances for the judges to pick from and Blanche DeBris, our dazzling gowned pixie host for the evening, did a fantastic job introducing each of them…

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Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013–Tournament of Tease: Best Debut

Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 Day 3, Part 1

by Photolena

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Orleans Casino Showroom, Las Vegas, Nevada

Winners:

  • Most Innovative: Laurie Hagan

  • Best Debut: Lada Redstar

Saturday at Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend—the big night for the performers competing in the Tournament of Tease in four different categories. Considering the amazing talent that I had already witnessed at the Movers, Shakers & Innovators evening, I could not imagine what level of creativity was needed to become a competitor and I had no idea how the judges could possibly pick just one winner from each category. But these were no ordinary judges—among them the likes of vintage burlesque photographer Neil Kendall, author and producer of Behind the BurlyQ Leslie Zemeckis, burlesque legend Shannon Doah, and Miss Exotic World 2010 Roxi DLite. Now that’s a roster of burlesque and cabaret showmanship and support!

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Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013–Titans of Tease Reunion Showcase

Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 Day 2

by Photolena

Friday, May 31, 2013

Orleans Casino Showroom, Las Vegas, Nevada

There’s breakfast, then there’s breakfast in Las Vegas! How appropriate that on the morning of the Titans of Tease Reunion, I enjoyed my eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns in the company of burlesque legends Delilah Jones, my roomie for the weekend Tiffany Carter, and her mentor Angel Carter. Tiffany is such an amazing and generous lady, and getting to meet her close friends, these fabulous legends, in such a relaxed and comfortable setting (with a side of bacon) was an experience I’ll never forget! What a way to start my day. Some highlights from this amazing (and very long) evening…

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Burlesque Hall of Fame 2013–Movers, Shakers & Innovators

Burlesque Hall of Fame 2013 Day 1

by Photolena

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Orleans Casino Showroom, Las Vegas, Nevada

After covering Toronto’s and Montreal’s burlesque festivals for a handful of years, I knew it was time to come out to the mother of all burlesque extravaganzas and see how they throw down in the City of Sin. Showgirls, outrageous costumes, and bling, bling, bling! I was ready to take it all in. I read the Burlesque Hall of Fame Survival Guide, brought some comfortable shoes, extra memory cards, and figured I was ready for anything. I never knew what hit me.

With a name like Movers, Shakers, and Innovators, I knew I was in for a gut-punching, no-holds-barred show. The opening act was a step down by last year’s Best Group winners Peek-A-Boo Review. A big troupe, they reminded me of an eccentric circus troupe — something dark simmering under all the stockings and crinoline. They tumbled, somersaulted, twirled and gave us a sinful fanny peek to the lyrical tune of You Gotta See The Show. Boy, now there’s an understatement!

Host for the evening Johnny Porkpie did a fantastic job of keeping the show moving along all evening. He spoke beautifully about the community’s loss of Sparkly Devil (more in tribute article) and reminded everyone that when a tragedy strikes, we tend to think “Oh no!” but Sparkly was not a woman of “Oh no!” She was a woman of “FUCK YEAH!” This was to be our chorus for the rest of the evening, for the rest of the festival.

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Dixie Evans, The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque, Needs Our Help Now

If you haven’t heard Dixie Evans growl, you’re missing out on one of the greatest tangibles of the burlesque phenomenon worldwide. People love to talk about all the great “stuff” that they enjoy about burlesque—empowerment, community, blah-de-blah-blah—but I just live to hear a lady growl about keepin’ a trick waitin’ at the stage door—especially when said lady is in my grandmother’s generation, and especially when that lady is Dixie Evans. Would you ever have gone out to Vegas to celebrate glitter and pasties if it weren’t for Dixie Evans? I doubt it.

So here’s the bad news, if you haven’t heard. In January, Dixie suffered a stroke. She’s now in an assisted-living facility—and doing well—but what with healthcare being what it is in this country (i.e., not socalized) and what with Dixie being, um, not wealthy, there is some concern that she will continue to recuperate.

So here’s the good news: You can help! This isn’t a kickstarter for some new piece of Bad Downtown Theatre, and this isn’t passing the hat for a single Wednesday-night striptease. No, this is digging deep, remembering your roots, and plying some old-fashioned shoe leather—and hustling some old-fashioned greenbacks—to help out an older woman who all y’all know busted her ass for all y’all. Please donate now. Neo-burlesque is nothing without the legends, peeps. Without the legends, there’s no legacy.

—JDX

(from the D.E.W. press release:)

Opportunities to join include:

Burlesque Instructors: To teach classes to benefit Dixie throughout the month of August, please contact Jo Weldon, Headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque and author of The Burlesque Handbook at NewYorkSchoolofBurlesque [at] gmail.com.

Producers, Performers & Troupes: Want to host a show as part of Dixie Evans Week? Request a Producer Questionnaire at Angie [at] pontanisisters.com.

Online Funding: An online fund drive with www.youcaring.com will begin the first week in July, and run through Monday, October 7th.  This site will be used for collecting donations on-line (and where producers and teachers participating in the Week will deposit their earnings).

Please join our Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/DixieEvansWeek and visit us at www.DixieEvansWeek.com,

Burlesque Hall of Fame, 2013–PHOTOLENA DOES VEGAS or A Canadian in Vegas

Wednesday, May 29, 8pm

Toronto’s Pearson Airport

I’ve been to Las Vegas before. Twice. Once with my other, extremely patient, and some may say, better half. We stayed at the Westward Ho right next to Circus Circus. The “Ho” as we affectionately called it, was just somewhere to sleep while we explored every buffet possible, drove out into the desert, and I growled at David each time he tried to get me to leave the $2 Blackjack table at the Flamingo (I was on a roll, I swear). The other time was with my mother. That trip I learned just how long you can sit at a slot machine, and that little old ladies who “reserve” and play 3 slot machines can get really nasty if you try to play on one of them. Don’t mess with their mojo.

When I was given the opportunity to cover the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend I was more than thrilled! What a new experience this would be for me. Vegas is so glamorous and BHOF has always been a glamorous glittery mystery, with a stellar reputation. Vegas was made for this sort of spectacle and I wanted to be a part of it for just one whirlwind weekend.

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Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 — Winners of the 23rd Annual Tournament of Tease

Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013

Congratulations to our winners!

MOST DAZZLING
Sweet Pea

MOST CLASSIC
LouLou D’Vil

MOST COMEDIC
Mr. Gorgeous

BEST DEBUT
Lada Redstar

BEST GROUP
Swing Time

BEST DUO
Sandria Dore & Russell Bruner

BEST BOYLESQUE
Ray Gunn

MISS EXOTIC WORLD 2013
2nd Runner Up – Lola Frost
1st Runner Up – Sydni Deveraux
Queen – LouLou D’Vil