I just recently went for the second time to see the Can-Can Castaways in Pike Place Market. Not only are their performances amazing…and their costumes, but the venue makes you feel as if you are stepping into a roaring 20’s speakeasy. Their current show CHICHI is a play on that very era of fringe dresses and tuxedo suits!
It called to mind films I’ve seen over the years that drew my fascination with burlesque. Here are a few in our collection:
My first introduction to the world of Burlesque was Gypsy starring Natalie Wood and Rosalind Russell. I was captivated by the story; not only the relationship between mother and daughter, but the strength of both women. They lived in a time when it was still hard for women to survive without a man financially and socially, but they did it! Also, knowing Gypsy Rose Lee was born in Seattle reaffirmed my love for the story since I’ve always found our city fascinating.
With money to spare after being recently widowed, Mrs. Henderson (Judi Dench) buys up the old Windmill Theater in the West End of London in 1937. Soon she begins putting on acts, but as other theaters begin to follow in her footsteps she decides to take on something completely new: nudity. With the war going around them the theater becomes a haven for those who perform and for those who watch. Mrs. Henderson Presents is a beautiful film with heart and class.
And of course I have to mention Burlesque starring Christina Aguilera and Cher simply because the costumes, the dancing, and the singing are breath-taking. Although the plot may leave a few people scowling you will still find yourself being entertained by the numbers in the film. I saw this film in the theater with a couple girl friends and made a night of it, but it’s also a great recommendation for a girls night in!