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Friday, June 13, 2008

50th Annual Striptease Reunion Showcase

Striptease Reunion ShowcaseThis weekend the Palms Ghost Bar played host to the annual Exotic World Weekend, which is connected to the Burlesque Hall of Fame. I dropped by the Ghost Bar for the 50th Annual Striptease Reunion Showcase.

I chatted briefly with Tura Satana (right, with "reigning queen of burlesque" Immodesty Blaize). To the men with well-shined shoes and the many Bettie Page-styled women present, Satana is an icon for her role as Varla in Russ Meyer's "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!."

Blaize's "reigning queen" title would be up for grabs the following night. I asked Blaize what life was like for a professional burlesque dancer in 2008; Is there still enough interest to make a career out of performances that offer striptease? According to Blaize, "It is a fantastic time. It is even more full of diamonds and feathers than it was before. This is my full-time job and has been for the last decade. I am totally busy and have my first novel coming out. They say write about what you know, so there will be some showgirl secrets in there."

Satana, on the other hand, seemed surprised by the continuing interest in her film work, especially honors for movies like "Faster, Pussycat!." "No, I did not think it would even go past a year," she says of that legendary film. "All of the sudden it just keeps going and going and picks up new fans every year. I think it is because we show a woman can be sexy and tough as hell too."
Satana pointed out that, aside from film roles, she has a long history as a burlesque dancer in Vegas. "I used to dance here all the time at the Silver Slipper. And then I danced at the Dunes as a headliner."

By Richard Abowitz, photo by Sarah Gerke

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