Show dates and reviews from the burlesque scene in Chicago.
The past decade has seen a revival of burlesque as an art form across America. I am not talking about about lap dances in strip clubs, but rather variety stage shows, some of them quite elaborate, featuring striptease as part of the mix. Troupes have popped up in cities everywhere including, I am happy to say, Chicago. In the early 2000s I tried to cover burlesque in my city as completely as I could. In the process, I made a lot of friends, and saw a lot of fantastic shows. then I had a kid, which put a considerable crimp on my nightlife. As a result, this page has been neglected for several years, which I regret.
I will still post, when I have the opportunity, but for the most up to date news and show listings, there is a new resource worth looking at: Chicago Burlesque. As always, if you wish to submit a review or are aware of upcoming shows that I have not listed, please at burlesque at this domain. Now read on, then go see a show!
HOLY BOUNCING BOOBIES!: A Batman Burlesque
Reviews of Past Shows
Belmont Burlesque updated 5/23/04
An Evening at the Stone Burlesk reviewed 3/15/07
Dante's Voodoo Cabaret reviewed 5/21/04
Flirt Cabaret updated 6/14/05
Fluffgirl Burlesque reviewed 10/4/05 in the Rantings A touring show that fell a bit flat. Read review.
Girlie-Q Variety Hour updated 3/29/07
Gurlesque Burlesque reviewed 7/24/04
Hellcat Hussies updated 5/19/05
Kit Kat Honeys reviewed 3/23/04
Lavender Cabaret's Church of the Lavender Day Saints reviewed 8/10/04 in the Rantings Sacreligious and sexy...a fun combination. Read review.
Lavender Cabaret's FemmeTV updated 5/19/05
Star and Garter Burlesque reviewed 10/6/06
Suicide Girls reviewed 2/19/04 in the Rantings Astonishingly lame. Read review.
Special Event Friday, August 31
Chicago Teases for The Strip -The Kiss Kiss Cabaret is proud to partner with other Chicago burlesque troupes to host a unique evening of incredible performances from your favorite Chicago stars to raise funds for the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, NV. One hundred percent of all funds raised at this event will be donated to the Burlesque Hall of Fame relocation project. Click here for more information: www.burlesquehall.com/2012/08/pleasegive
Current Shows/Active Troupes as of 8/6/12
Kiss Kiss Cabaret - An excellently produced weekly cabaret show with a house band and a fairly twisted MC. Guest performers and seasonal changes, no reason not to go back again and again - Fridays, 11PM - Greenhouse Theater Center
Gorilla Tango - A variety of themed shows suchs as HOLY BOUNCING BOOBIES!: A Batman Burlesque, A Nude Hope: A Star Wars Burlesque, and TEMPLE OF BOOBS: An Indiana Jones Burlesque, on Milwaukee Ave and in the Skokie Theater.
Vaudezilla - Remounting Rollin' Outa Here Naked: A Big Lebowski Burlesque" Aug 17-Sept 22 at Viaducut Theater. (I saw a previous Vaudezilla production of this show...big fun)
Michelle L'amour - Miss Exotic World 2005 and America's Got Talent star and her troupe perform periodic shows at Everleigh Social Club and other venues.
Hot & Heavy Burlesque - Well reputed for their burlesque tribute to The Wall, they open A Burlesque Tribute to Journey August 11 at Stage 773.
Other Local Troupes/Resources
Bloody Belle (sigh...moved to NY)
Out-of-Town Performers I Have Enjoyed
Michelle L'amour has been hosting a net radio show on Monday evenings: In Bed with Michelle L'amour
Claire De Lune, aka Meredith Miller, was recently interviewed by Centerstage.
In June of 2004, Chicago Public Radio's Eight Forty-Eight aired a program on burlesque that included a brief interview with me. Listen here.
Another Chicago-area burlesque fan: Mark's Bettie Page
Jo Wheldon aka Jo Boobs