When thinking of burlesque, the notion of a long-lost, vaudevillian striptease act may come to mind – and while the impression that it’s a risque sort of amusement is accurate, the full truth is that the art form also happens to have very modern legs.
Although its origins date to the 1800s, contemporary burlesque found its beginnings as nightclub and theater entertainment in cities like New York during the 1990s, and those shows – programs that starred women separating themselves from garments while enhanced by fun music, saucy routines and outlandish outfits – have remained prevalent in NYC right into 2014. Especially popular with the hipster set, there are both recurring and special burlesque shows to be found across Lower Manhattan and in Brooklyn on an almost nightly basis.
Conversely, despite its firm grasp on the Big Apple, burlesque has yet to cement itself as a draw on Long Island. However, there is an upcoming event that may provide better insight for those curious about why NYC is so fixated on these undressing undertakings.
Set for Friday, Feb. 14, The Velvet Revue Burlesque Show will be taking place at Katies of Smithtown (145 W. Main St., 631-360-8556) at 11 p.m., featuring pieces from NYC-based entertainer Sincerely Yours and the Miss Coney Island of 2011 Lefty Lucy (facebook.com/missconeyislandofficialpage) -- as well as an appearance by Long Island-based performer Betsy Propane and sideshow specialist Stitch the Geek.