In a city where gay-friendly is beyond the obvious, Bourbon Pub dishes regular boy-lesque shows with plenty of theatricality and high style. Every flavor is onstage during the regular Blue Book Cabaret upstairs at The Bourbon Pub, which features A-list burlesque, variety and drag artistry. Also, a kickin' dance club, this Bourbon Street venue seduces a predominantly gay clientele, but all are welcome. Drag is an art form here, with out of town performers like Lipstixx "Ladies on Parade" and the only drag queen you can see from outer space, Big Shirli Stevenz from North Carolina. During Southern Decadence, you never know what you'll see at Bourbon Pub.
Recommended for Burlesque Shows because: This popular dance and burlesque venue features peek-a-boo burlesque from all genders and in between.
Beth's expert tip: This is one of the most popular gay bars during Southern Decadence, aka gay Mardi Gras.
Live music and burlesque add up to a sizzling good time in the bar just a block off of Canal Street in the lower French Quarter. Named after the original Mahogany Hall in Storyville, a lavish bordello on Basin Street operated by Madame Lulu White. A frequent haunt of musicians like King Oliver and Louis Armstrong, the original spot inspires the music and tease at the Chartres Street venue. Decked out like a speak easy, the bar specializes in absinthe cocktails along with the usual classics. On weekends, there is usually a midnight burlesque pop up featuring a changing roster of local ladies.
Recommended for Burlesque Shows because: A great location and the option for music and burlesque makes this a popular spot.
Beth's expert tip: Burlesque dancers love to get tips - bring dollar bills if you want extra action.
How about some legs with your eggs? SoBou dishes brunch with a sassy kick every Sunday from 11 and 2 featuring burlesque star Bella Blue performing to live music. This fun brunch is SoBou's homage to this historic and beautiful art form. The leggy burlesque show begins around 11, with dancing intermittent through 2 pm. You can drink bottomless bellinis during brunch for $25 per person - good until 2:30 pm. Chef Byron Halliburton's two course menu feature dishes like rich smoked chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, king cake beignets during carnival season, shrimp and tasso corndogs and bananas foster French toast.
Recommended for Burlesque Shows because: SoBou in the French Quarter is always on the cutting edge.
Beth's expert tip: You'll want to make a reservation for this scintillating Sunday brunch as it's always busy.
Founded by Xena Zeit-Geist in 2014, The Society of Sin is a group of New Orleans burlesque and variety performers known for creating burlesque shows with a narrative. Though the Society of Sin specializes in burlesque plays, variety shows include sideshow, drag, comedy, singing, dancing, and neo-burlesque. Talk Nerdy To Me is a weekly burlesque revue featuring the dirtiest nerds in New Orleans, every Saturday at The Dragon's Den just off Frenchmen Street on Esplanade.Tickets are $15, available online or at the door. On the third Sunday of every month, SOS brings Stripped into Submission, fetish acts, stripping and spanking, at the Hi Ho Lounge on St. Claude.
Recommended for Burlesque Shows because: Burlesque takes on narrative from this creative troupe of performers.
Beth's expert tip: This troupe includes performers of all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, ages, backgrounds, orientations, and lifestyles - the idea is that all bodies are sexy and that the art of burlesque is about expressing beauty in its many different forms.
House of Burlesque takes over the HOB most Sundays, a burlesque variety show celebrating the sexier side of life. This immersive show includes psultry burlesque dancers, live music and comedy. Leave your rules, restriction and expectations at the door and have a blast. There are also performances on some Saturdays late night - check the HOB Nola site to know for sure. Opened in 1994, this historic blues house offers standing room viewing of a stage that gets concert-goes right on top of the performers. Check out the 300 pieces of folk art lining the walls and hallways of the interior.
Recommended for Burlesque Shows because: House of Blues is a large venue that can accommodate big parties.
Beth's expert tip: Burlesque is a regular happening at House of Blues but days and times change, so check the calendar in advance.
Allways Lounge is a locals' favorite bar located on the edge of the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans. In the back, there is a relatively intimate theater known for hosting some pretty risque shows. Then there's Bayou Blues Burlesque, a delicious gumbo of music, circus, sideshow and burlesque with a Southern Gothic twist and modern flair. Allways is a frequent host to top nationally touring burlesque shows like "Boobs and Goombas" a burlesque adaptation of the Super Mario Bros. if you can imagine that. Talented local dancer Lefty Lucy hosts Burlesque Bingo most Monday nights. Drag shows - including the occasional midnight jazz brunch - are also popular.
Recommended for Burlesque Shows because: St. Claude Avenue is a hot spot for locals on the edge of the Marigny with great entertainment and music.
Beth's expert tip: If you are looking for a bizarrely wonderful burlesque show at a great venue, head for one of the Freaksheaux to Geaux performances at Allways on St. Claude Avenue.
Located inside the Royal Sonesta in the French Quarter, Jazz Playhouse offers local talent seven nights a week, no cover charge, in a swank, upscale setting. Some of the city's best jazz performers take the stage, including The James River Movement, Michael Watson's The Alchemy, Luther Kent and Glen David Andrews. A few others not to miss include Germaine Bazzle, a soulful jazz singer and Gerald French and the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, a troupe that defines old school class and style. Every Friday night around 11, a few of New Orleans' best burlesque performers - yes it's Trixie again! from the city's top troupes also perform.
Recommended for Burlesque Shows because: Centrally located at 300 Bourbon, Jazz Playhouse is a classy joint whether you come for music or a lot of skin.
Beth's expert tip: The Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta is a chill spot to escape the crowds.
Carnaval Lounge is an alt music venue that rises to the top of the dive bar heap in a city that may just have invented the genre. Like most things New Orleans, Carnaval has multiple personalities. Sundays there is usually a burlesque show of some kind, Mondays it's drag performances, always fun. The bar is also a live rock and roll music venue, well not really it's a Goth heavy metal venue. Ok, forget that. You can catch a Cajun band for sure. Or if you're lucky, a somber Balkans folk trio that inspires what looks like Greek dancing. There's a convivial live and let live attitude here that is one of the best things about this town when it really comes together.
Recommended for Burlesque Shows because: Sunday and Monday nights are usually for burlesque and drag.
Beth's expert tip: Order from the kitchen for some of the best birria tacos around.
The newly renamed Toulouse Theater in the French Quarter of New Orleans is known as a quirky venue with a wide range of shows. One of those acts is resident burlesque troupe, Fleur de Tease. Created and produced by Trixie Minx, this modern twist on classic vaudeville showcases plenty of skin along with magicians, fire eaters, comedians and aerialists. The shows are well-produced and the dancers adept. Be ready for sly and funny - shows might include a burlesque Halloween Revue "We put the BOO in BOOBS!!!" and Creole Sweet Tease with a traditional jazz band. Boylesque is also featured.
Recommended for Burlesque Shows because: Sly and witty, the beautiful troupe of dancers and talented variety acts is a must-see for fans of the genre.
Beth's expert tip: Fleur de Tease entertains regularly at the Toulouse Theater, formerly One-Eyed Jacks.
From traveling business types to hard-core college students, the Howlin' Wolf draws a diverse crowd that tends to skew on the younger side. Located near the Convention Center, this live music club also features burlesque from local burlesque star Trixie Minx and her troupe most Sundays - this gal stays busy almost every night of the week. The club holds about 500 people with an upstairs balcony area as well as pool tables in the back. The ambiance is loud, the crowd energetic, and the prices for drinks and cover are affordable. The bathrooms, however, are on the rough side so be prepared.
Recommended for Burlesque Shows because: This sassy bar offers both live music and burlesque.
Beth's expert tip: Bar bites, sandwiches and tacos are served late at Howlin' Wolf's Den.