Ray's Guide to Chicago Area Burlesque
Show dates and reviews from the burlesque scene in Chicago.

The past decade has seen a revival of burlesque as an art form across America. I am not talking about about lap dances in strip clubs, but rather variety stage shows, some of them quite elaborate, featuring striptease as part of the mix. Troupes have popped up in cities everywhere including, I am happy to say, Chicago. In the early 2000s I tried to cover burlesque in my city as completely as I could. In the process, I made a lot of friends, and saw a lot of fantastic shows. then I had a kid, which put a considerable crimp on my nightlife. As a result, this page has been neglected for several years, which I regret.

I will still post, when I have the opportunity, but for the most up to date news and show listings, there is a new resource worth looking at: Chicago Burlesque. As always, if you wish to submit a review or are aware of upcoming shows that I have not listed, please

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at burlesque at this domain. Now read on, then go see a show!

Current Reviews

New review! 8/6/12
A masterful entry in the Gorilla Tango series of parody burlesque shows. Highly recommended. Read review.

Reviews of Past Shows

Belmont Burlesque updated 5/23/04
Intimate, funny, and at times poignant. Highly recommended. Read review.

An Evening at the Stone Burlesk reviewed 3/15/07
An interesting and fun recreation of the heyday of the Stone Burlesk Theater in Detroit, MI. Read review.

Dante's Voodoo Cabaret reviewed 5/21/04
Not a burlesque show, strictly speaking, but a concert by a local burlesque performer/singer and her band, along with a bit of striptease fun. Read review.

Flirt Cabaret updated 6/14/05
New production is more of a song and dance revue than a burlesque show, and doesn't generate a lot of excitement. Read review.

Fluffgirl Burlesque reviewed 10/4/05 in the Rantings
A touring show that fell a bit flat. Read review.

Girlie-Q Variety Hour updated 3/29/07
An enjoyable evening of spoken word, performance art, and burlesque. Highly recommended. Read review.

Gurlesque Burlesque reviewed 7/24/04
A burlesque tour de force packed with over 20 acts. Future shows are a must-see for any burlesque fan. Read review.

Hellcat Hussies updated 5/19/05
They put "the ass back in sass." Their 2004 production needed improvement, but they have turned in some fun performances since then. Read review.

Kit Kat Honeys reviewed 3/23/04
A song and dance revue in fishnets. Read review.

Lavender Cabaret's Church of the Lavender Day Saints reviewed 8/10/04 in the Rantings
Sacreligious and sexy...a fun combination. Read review.

Lavender Cabaret's FemmeTV updated 5/19/05
Slick and sexy, with lots of laughs. Highly recommended. Read review.

Star and Garter Burlesque reviewed 10/6/06
Striptease and stand-up comedy done right. Highly recommended. Read review.

Suicide Girls reviewed 2/19/04 in the Rantings
Astonishingly lame. Read review.

Special Event Friday, August 31

Chicago Teases for The Strip -The Kiss Kiss Cabaret is proud to partner with other Chicago burlesque troupes to host a unique evening of incredible performances from your favorite Chicago stars to raise funds for the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, NV. One hundred percent of all funds raised at this event will be donated to the Burlesque Hall of Fame relocation project. Click here for more information: www.burlesquehall.com/2012/08/pleasegive
Friday, August 31, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Greenhouse Theater - Upstairs Mainstage
2257 N. Lincoln Avenue | Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: (773) 404-7336

Current Shows/Active Troupes as of 8/6/12

Kiss Kiss Cabaret - An excellently produced weekly cabaret show with a house band and a fairly twisted MC. Guest performers and seasonal changes, no reason not to go back again and again - Fridays, 11PM - Greenhouse Theater Center

Gorilla Tango - A variety of themed shows suchs as HOLY BOUNCING BOOBIES!: A Batman Burlesque, A Nude Hope: A Star Wars Burlesque, and TEMPLE OF BOOBS: An Indiana Jones Burlesque, on Milwaukee Ave and in the Skokie Theater.

Vaudezilla - Remounting Rollin' Outa Here Naked: A Big Lebowski Burlesque" Aug 17-Sept 22 at Viaducut Theater. (I saw a previous Vaudezilla production of this show...big fun)

Michelle L'amour - Miss Exotic World 2005 and America's Got Talent star and her troupe perform periodic shows at Everleigh Social Club and other venues.

Hot & Heavy Burlesque - Well reputed for their burlesque tribute to The Wall, they open A Burlesque Tribute to Journey August 11 at Stage 773.

Other Local Troupes/Resources

Chicago Burlesque
Belmont Burlesque Revue
(retired from their long run of monthly midnight shows, but still mounting occasional productions)
The Flaming Dames
Gurlesque Burlesque
RIP: Girlie-Q Productions, Hellcat Hussies, Flirt Cabaret, Kit Kat Honeys, Peekaboo Revue

Local Performers

Bloody Belle (sigh...moved to NY)
Cherish - Burlesque Goddess
Michelle L'amour - Miss Exotic World 2005!
Paris Green
Red Hot Annie
Miss Tamale aka Minxy McVixen
Dominique Trixx
Miss vonLivid
Miss Vivian Velvet
Miss Holly Wouldn't
Frenchie Kiss
Fanny Tastic
Deirdre Doll
Mimi First
Kitty Victorian New!

Out-of-Town Performers I Have Enjoyed

Miss Dirty Martini - Miss Exotic World 2004
Miss Indigo Blue
Fancy Chance
The Swedish Housewife
Mr Murray Hill
Immodesty Blaize

Other Links

Michelle L'amour has been hosting a net radio show on Monday evenings: In Bed with Michelle L'amour

Claire De Lune, aka Meredith Miller, was recently interviewed by Centerstage.

Read about Michelle L'amour at Gapers Block, and hear an interview with her and Frankie from Tuesday, 9/20/05, on Chicago Public Radio's Eight Forty-Eight.

In June of 2004, Chicago Public Radio's Eight Forty-Eight aired a program on burlesque that included a brief interview with me. Listen here.

Another Chicago-area burlesque fan: Mark's Bettie Page

Jo Wheldon aka Jo Boobs

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