Las Vegas has always been known for hot weather, gambling and even hotter entertainment. The burlesque community in Las Vegas is no exception to bringing the heat. Whether you are a local or a tourist, you never know what you’ll see on a stage, but you can bet it’ll be amazing.
From celebrating the Golden Age, with performers like Tempest Storm, to the newest stars still earning their pasties, there’s a little something for everyone. Whether you’ve never been to a show, or you think you’ve seen them all, Las Vegas’s burlesque scene has something for you. But, what is burlesque? Here’s five things you need to know.
- It’s not stripping. While the performers do remove layers of clothing, the end goal is not to see everything. Most performers end in pasties and a variety of bottoms. Some performers start on the stage that way and add layers of clothing. The main point of burlesque is to tease and titillate, rather than expose all.
- Ladies aren’t the only performers. There are several male performers gracing Las Vegas stages including Mr. Big Stuart and Jack O’ Hearts. They wow and entertain with a musicality and rhythm that’s enough to make Betty White blush.
- Audience participation is encouraged. At a standard burlesque show, cat calls and shouting positive things at the performers is almost always met with a smile and wink from the ladies and gentlemen on stage.
- Sometimes, the performers bring the show to their audience and it gets even more exciting. Some shows have games during the intermissions where audience members can win free drinks or, as was the case at the February Ridiculesque Dating game, an on stage date with one of the performers.
- Shows happen every night. Las Vegas is a 24/7 city so it stands to reason that everyone can’t make it to a Friday or Saturday night show. Sundays can play host to a bingo themed show. Wednesdays might find you at the Double Down Saloon catching live music and variety acts at the Weenie Roast (where free hot dogs are provided). Not all shows start late at night either.
Some shows start as early as 7:30 p.m. Even more enticing, many shows are free to the public, or have a cover fee of around $10-20.
- Nerds are encouraged. One might think that burlesque is just a group of girls dancing around on stage in choreographed numbers, thanks to the unjustifiably named movie starring Christina Aguilera and Cher. Thankfully, burlesque is so much more than that. Las Vegas hosts some of the finest nerd-themed burlesque shows that you can think of and the themes change monthly.
From bride to horror, there’s a little something for everyone. Into Harry Potter? Game of Thrones? Serial Killers? You name it, chances are there’s a show for that. Local hosts (or foul-mouthed femcees) like Miranda Glamour and Penni Piper guarantee top notch quality entertainment for their shows and you can believe that they will tickle your funny bone. Every month you can find Nerdlesque, Ridiculesque, and so many other shows to tickle your fancy.
BONUS: Dirty mind? You’ll fit right in. The names and acts are meant to be suggestive of either the performers skills, act or overall demeanor. With names like Man’s Ruin, Audrey Humpburn, The Sweet Siren, and Cherrii the Mouth, you can only imagine what they might bring to the stage.
Looking for Burlesque in Las Vegas?
From the large scale productions on the Strip, to the downtown homegrown shows, there’s a definitely something for everyone. Check out the Zombie burlesque, or look at the local facebook pages to see what’s coming to a venue near you. Looking less for a show and more for the history of the art form known as burlesque? Explore the Burlesque Hall of Fame, where you can also take classes to learn the art.