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Burlesque has a storied history in the city of New Orleans. Against a soundtrack of early jazz, the city's first burlesque performers pleased and teased in the Storyville red light district as early as the beginning of the last century.
Every since Storyville, visitors have been coming to New Orleans looking for racy entertainment. Scantily clad women bumping and grinding in a performance that combines striptease, comedy, costumes and showmanship is burlesque in a nut shell. There are plenty of intimate venues around town to enjoy the sassy performance art.
Whether a venue has an in-house troupe like the House of Blues does with Bustout Burlesque or hosts nationally touring acts like the Allways Lounge does, there are plenty of options. You can choose from an authentic retro performance, or experience neo-burlesque which may have elements of circus arts, variety acts and always music. There are burlesque pop-ups too - or is that pop-outs? at places like Bar Redux in Bywater and Gravier Social Club in the CBD, with dates and times varying and always subject to change.
Burlesque has experienced a revival in New Orleans and across the country, thanks to its combination of production values, sex appeal and hard working entertainers who don't take themselves too seriously. Shows are usually inexpensive, and involve a lot of audience participation. Most of the venues that harbor these acts are small, so you can get up close and personal with the performers as they strut their stuff.