As a burlesque performer for over four years, I went to the “Burlesque” screening with a different perspective than the average viewer. I knew was going to kinda suck before stepping foot in the theater. I didn’t know that it would have absolutely NOTHING to do with actual burlesque, except for the name. A more accurate name would be “Cabaret” but that wasn’t available. There was hardly a striptease and not a single set of pasties. Not only no striptease, but real routines, just dance numbers.
The other major thing that made it un-burlesque were the body types. Not a sign of cellulite or stretch marks or real women anywhere. Burlesque is all about body acceptance and everyone in the cast had a dancers’ body. Yeah, everybody was hot, but there was no variety.
And for what the dancers were wearing? The costumes were sub par. For a Hollywood movie budget, there weren’t nearly enough sequins and rhinestones. Some where pretty, but nothing that could be stripped out of, unless it was right before the big reveal. But since there wasn’t any stripping, that wasn’t an issue, I guess.
Other things that made me want to scream “Yeah! Right!” were: dressing rooms (only in my wildest dreams), live band for every number (could work, but pretty unlikely), the stage, lights, performing every night, charging $20 for a show, the singing, backup dancers. The list could go on.
I won’t even go into the tired, overdone plot or the one dimensional characters or the predictability. I will say that I wish Alan Cummings had more screen time.
Part of the reason for my rant is for the untrained, uneducated audience it’s hard enough to explain burlesque, but now we have this movie making it more difficult. No, we don’t sing, no there’s no big, flashy lights and stairs on the stage and backup dancers. I’m really interested to see how this movie affects the scene and community. To anyone who has been to a burlesque show or knows about burlesque, they will know how ridiculous it is. It’s the other people I’m worried about.
If the movie wasn’t called “Burlesque” I think I might have liked it, on some level, the camp and glam. It’s Cher, so come on! She’s fucking Cher! Overall, I’m glad I saw it, but I wouldn’t have paid to see it.
*Also, there wasn’t nearly enough drinking and cursing for it to be real burlesque women. And it’s pathetic when “Gypsy”, which is performed as a high school musical is more risque than burlesque, unless you count women in lingerie risque.