Burlesque in Los Angeles

Burlesque in LA

Boas, bustiers and barely-clad babes, oh my! Even though the would-be blockbuster “Burlesque” turned out to be a big fat flop, that doesn’t mean this form of old-school risque entertainment can’t be a good time. Au contraire. These teasy and sometimes sleazy shows are a throwback to a bygone era of backroom speakeasies, sultry jazz music, and scantily dressed girls in fishnet stockings. Here are a few places for burlesque action in Los Angeles.

Cafe Was1521 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Thursdays & Fridays, 8:30pm & 10pm
The original burlesque show to which all others are compared, Ivan Kane’s “Forty Deuce” is alive and kicking at his bohemian bistro and bar in Hollywood. Thursday nights host “Superfly Burlesque” along with a DJ spinning vintage funk and rare grooves all night, while Friday nights feature an original “Forty Deuce” performance. Make it a night with dinner and a show ($42 four-course prix-fixe menu) or just stroll into the bar and get ready to feast your eyes. There’s never any cover charge.  www.cafewas.com

Bordello901 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90012
Fridays, 9pm-2 am; Sundays 9pm, 10pm, 11pm
Located on the site of Downtown LA’s oldest bar, Bordello is rekindling its roots as the rovocative venue it was back in the day with weekly burlesque shows that feature a rotating roster of movers and shakers (literally) on the stage. Fridays feature different themes about every half hour from 9pm-2am, while Sunday nights feature the renowned Harlow Gold burlesque show.  www.bordellobar.com

Harvelle’s1432 Fourth St, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Sundays, 9:30pm
This legendary lounge might just be one block from the Third Street Promenade, but Harvelle’s feels like a world away from the tourist-laden outdoor shopping mall. Every Sunday, this dark and smoky joint hosts the “Toledo Show,” a mix of soulful jazz and, as the promoters promise, “high-heeled raw deals, guaranteed not to fail.” Who could argue with that?  www.harvelles.com

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