How Burlesque Works

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Author's Note: How Burlesque Works

As part of my research for this article, I attended a burlesque show at a place called Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret in Denver. The performance was called "Burlesque on Broadway: Tophats and Tassels," and I brought my delighted husband with me. I had no idea what to expect, either from the performance or from me. Was I about to watch a strip show? Would I enjoy watching a strip show?

Sort of. And it probably depends.

There was definitely stripping, always down to pasties and G-strings, but to me, at least (I can't speak for my delighted husband), the atmosphere was more one of bawdy fun than of titillation. There were noisemakers on the table, and my enthusiasm for using them during each performer's finale surprised me (and my delighted husband). I didn't feel like I was watching women get naked. I felt like I was watching women dance. The evening's MC, a potty-mouthed guy with a bouffant, was hilarious. I highly recommend the experience. And I still won't be attending a strip club any time soon.

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