Hi readers! This year I'm digging up some fun burlesque tidbits from the past to share with you all. The bricks (or brixx, haha!) of modern day burlesque. To start, here's a description of what a burlesque striptease looked like circa 1937. Also a fun remark from Ann Corio on the contentious story of the origin of the burlesque strip!
Laredo Times - Laredo Texas June 20, 1937
“Hollywood goes for the strip-tease, but in a perfectly nice way”
By Paul Harrison – Hollywood
“In any case of this department’s parishioners are unfamiliar with the technique of the strip-tease in burlesque, here is an explanation: the girl enters, walking slowly if for a parade strip, fast if it is to be a fast strip. During the first minute she sings. If she can’t sing, she talks the lyrics of her tune.
Next, quite casually, she begins a tour of stage, smiling winsomely, pirouetting with a maximum of umph, and idly plucking at her hooks and eyes, her buttons and her buckles, her zippers and her bows.
A drunk in the second row applauds. Thus encouraged, and just at the end of the second chorus, she takes off her dress, after first passing her fur-piece and other accessories into the wings. More strutting and smiling, together with soft lights and soft music. Then her single remaining whatnot is discarded as, simultaneously, she departs.
The strip-tease… is the backbone, the breastbone and every other bone of modern burlesque. Several performers, contemporary and ex, claim to have originated it. But Ann Cori, who ought to know, attributes it to no individual but to a song.
Writing for Zit’s Theatrical Newspaper in 1934, she said: “This style of entertainment sprang up from a song popular in burlesque circles several years ago which announced: “If you want to see a little more of us, clap your hands like this’. The audience would applaud until the girls removed their outer clothing, then made a hasty exit clad in silk union suits that reached from head to heel.”
This stunning photo of Ann Corio is one of the pictures that accompanied the original article.