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Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Burlesque Hall of Fame's annual All-Star Burlesque Weekend

miss exotic worldThe Burlesque Hall of Fame's annual All-Star Burlesque Weekend will take place Thursday, June 5—Sunday, June 8 at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. A four-day celebration of the once-lost art’s thriving “renaissance,” Burlesque Weekend attracts top-flight entertainers, of both the exotic and mainstream variety.

Scheduled to appear: reigning Miss Exotic World, Immodesty Blaize (“The undisputed queen of British burlesque”—The Times UK); the legendary Tempest Storm; Michelle L’amour (Miss Exotic World 2006, America’s Got Talent); Kitten DeVille (Miss Exotic World 2002, Auto Focus); modern pinup sensations Sabina Kelley and Heidi van Horne and 100+ of the world’s top neo-burlesque entertainers, representing over 10 countries and 25 states (including Alaska!)

“Having our show at the Palms represents a real turning point for burlesque,” said Hall of Fame representative Luke Littell, “Not only is it one of the city’s best nightlife venues, but having the support of such high-profile players proves that classic striptease doesn’t have to be a fringe thing; it’s compelling, viable entertainment for a mass audience.

“Far from your average "strip show," Burlesque Weekend is where the old school meets new: where wide-eyed enthusiasts and aspiring starlets can bump and grind alongside the few surviving superstars who made their names back in burlesque’s heyday, over 50 years ago. "The new generation is eager to learn about our heritage,” says 82-year-old Hall of Fame curator Dixie Evans, dubbed "The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque" by legendary promoter Harold Minsky, “and the legends love to come back… they enjoy knowing that people care about preserving their memory,"

Among the activities scheduled for the weekend are Friday’s Striptease Reunion (now in its 51st year) and Saturday night’s “main event:” the 18th annual Miss Exotic World Burlesque Pageant. Widely regarded as “The Superbowl of Striptease” (or, more suggestively, “The Anatomy Awards”), Miss Exotic World Burlesque is the longestrunning and most prestigious event of its kind—consistently drawing top entertainers from across the globe, each vying for one of the most coveted titles in competitive bump 'n' grind: “Best Debut,” “Best Duo,” “Best Troupe,” “Best Boylesque” and “Miss Exotic World, the Reigning Queen of Burlesque.”

Of course, there’s more to Burlesque Weekend than a non-stop parade of pulchritude. There’s also amazing music, courtesy of premier Go-Go, Garage, Rockabilly, Lounge and Exotica DJs and live performances by vocal jazz legend (and newly-minted Las Vegas resident) Little Jimmy Scott (Friday); psychobilly hepcats, Tiger Army (Saturday); swing kings Royal Crown Revue (Friday and Saturday) and Pageant coemcee El Vez, (Sunday)—in a rare Las Vegas musical appearance alongside his band and singing, dancing “El Vettes.”

Additional events include a special burlesque/circus-themed Ditch Friday; a weekend long Burlesque Bazaar featuring contemporary and vintage burlesque/pinup-inspired wares; a display of items (costumes, props and other historical ephemera) on loan from the Burlesque Hall of Fame and painted breast casts from Breast Defense: Artists and Entertainers United Against Breast Cancer (; the 3rd annual Pinup Safari and Cheesecake Camera Club, hosted by Don Spiro (“The Modern Day Bernard of Hollywood”); a public Q&A session (and private Master Classes) with senior performers; daily poolside dance parties and the debut of Dr. Sketchy’s Las Vegas, a monthly live drawing event with outposts in 35 cities around the world.

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