Las Vegas Burlesque Festival Review – lots of amazing talent from around the world

 

 

Photography by Greg Autry **

 

October  14, 2015

 

  Cory Royer  Producer and Director

 

The Las Vegas Burlesque Festival was a three day weekend event at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, October 8th–10th. The Producer and Director, Cory Royer, brings a wealth of expertise from his experience with the very successful Vermont Burlesque Festival.  Cory explained his intention to present classic burlesque style along with elements of classic Vaudeville Acts.

 

 

 

Personally I have a preference for the Classic Styles. I marvel at the Legends such as Tempest Storm, Blaze Star, Janet Boyd,  and so many others who brought a sense of fantasy and beauty to the stage, with grace and sensuality.  While those were definitely different times, I believe that the classic beauty and sensuality of great art never goes out of Style.

 

     Tempest Storm with Janet Boyd  /  Bal du Moulin Rouge

 

   Blaze Star  Google Images

 

   Janet Boyd courtesy of Retro Vegas and JSB

 

Las Vegas of course, has its own history, elevating the art of burlesque with the Showgirl, taken from shows like the Moulin-Rouge and the Casino-de-Paris from the burlesque halls of early 1900’s Paris.  Those shows, and the Vegas shows of yesteryear, used humor and slapstick Vaudeville acts, juxtaposed with the beauty and nudity of the star performers, to  highlight the visual sensuality.

 

   Google Images

 

This weekend’s Burlesque Festival at the Gold Coast Hotel in Las Vegas, took all those elements and upped the ante a bit.  The showroom was a nice size, like an intimate cabaret. The VIP tickets afforded patrons a change to get up close and personal [you know what they say about `what happens in Vegas…’].  

 

 

 

Each night featured local and imported talent.  With 50 plus acts performing over three days I simply cannot list and describe everyone. Suffice to say I did have some favorites.

 

The exotic Kalani Kokonuts  from Las Vegas, and the MC for the first night, Harry Shanoian as Elvis, also a  Las Vegas local.

 

   Kalani Kokonuts

 

  Kalani Kokonuts

 

   Harry Shanoian

 

Kitten N’ Lou is a favorite act and a mix of vaudevillian shtick and burlesque. Their costumes never fail to impress.

 

 

   Kitten N’ Lou

 

   Kitten N’ Lou

 

These following ladies, and gent, provided me with what I found most satisfying, beautiful, sensual, classic performers.

 

 

 LouLou D’vil from Helsinki, Finland astounds the audience in her ensemble of exotic, erotic, turquoise cowboy, with an edge and an attitude.

 

 

 

Mr. Gorgeous, from   New York, is seven-foot-six, and rightly deserves his title.

 

 

Bonita Danger Doll from New Zealand wins GREG’S, BEST OF SHOW AWARD. She is stunningly beautiful and I do have a thing for a beautiful face, and curves in all the right places.

 

  Bonita Danger Doll

 

    Bonita Danger Doll

 

Buttercup Delight is originally from New York and now resides in Las Vegas. She is a beautiful blonde who sparkled in her green fringe dress, along with her shimmy and a naughty twinkle in her eyes.

 

 

 

 

 Madeline Sinclaire is a Los Angeles favorite who exemplifies what classic burlesque is all about. Showing off those gorgeous gams is never a bad thing.

 

 

 

 

 The `Buxotics’  were Friday night’s headliner, featuring Las Vegas locals Aya Fontaine and Vi Vacious. These two knockouts should be preceded with signs that say, `Dangerous Curves Ahead’. They brought to mind a show from the past, called `Double Exposure’, which was the first `girl-girl’ show in Las Vegas.

 


 

This year’s Festival also featured cocktail mixers, `swap meet-ups’ [I do not know what that is – LOL], a competition which was new this year, and nightly after parties at the `Golden Tiki’, for those who needed to party till 4:00 am.  Sorry, I didn’t make it to the afterpartys.  Besides, those pictures would not have been printable I’m pretty sure !

 

 

 

 The Judges for the competition portion of the show included Melody Sweets, one of the gorgeous stars appearing in Absinthe at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and whom I’ve previously written about.    John Katsilometes, a local favorite and journalist for the Las Vegas Sun Newspaper, along with burlesque legend Dusty Summers rounded out the judges table. Dusty also performed on-stage with her favorite doves magically appearing.

 

  Melody Sweets with Mr Gorgeous

 

  legend Dusty Summers

 

A crowd favorite, who was in the audience Saturday night, was the legendary Tempest Storm. With her red hair still blazing she was the epitome of a Burlesque legend. Another Las Vegas favorite performer, in the audience, was Sweetie Bird. All the way from San Paulo, Brazil.

 

  legend Tempest Storm

 

   Sweetie Bird

 

I think that the more `The Times are a Changing’, the more they are the same. There were a couple of acts I personally thought would be better served in different venues. Something like Zombie, or Monster, Burlesque. As I said, my personal preference is classy and beautiful.

 

There is definitely a renaissance in burlesque. You can find burlesque all around the world from small artsy venues to large scale productions, there is something that harkens back to a time when sensuality and fantasy was truly a thing of beauty.  I’d also like to see some `olde-tyme’ comedy acts, like Lou Ascole and Tommy Moe Raft, who used to perform at the old Silver Slipper Casino here in Las Vegas.

 

 

 

 

The Las Vegas Burlesque Festival was a weekend of tantalizing tease, with a lot of shimmy and shake.  If you love burlesque, or if you are looking for something new for your entertainment, I highly recommend this as a first class show.  Just hanging out before the shows, was cool too. Talking with patrons and performers alike, and having a few cocktails.

 

 

You can see even more photos from the Burlesque Festival at GREG AUTRY BLOGSPOT, and on Facebook, at  Greg Autry Art & Photo. Please feel free to comment and ask questions. Sharing on social media is always welcomed.  If you are interested in any of my previous articles for Splash Magazine, take a look HERE.

 

The Gold Coast Hotel and Casino is located at 4000 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, Nevada  89103.

 

**©2015Greg Autry. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

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