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  • BURLESQUE IS BACK

    We carry many costume pieces and accessories for today's burlesque performers, but first, a historical digression. 

    Washington DC was a big town for burlesque from the 1910s through the 1950s. Ninth Street NW used to be the home of many burlesque venues, including the famous Gayety Theater, as described in this article in the "Lost Washington" series.  Legend has it that President Warren G. Harding was a discreet regular at the "burlesque palaces" that were walking distance from the White House. Old-time burlesque gave us some of the great comics such as Fanny Brice, Abbott and Costello, and W.C. Fields, as well as acts combining bawdiness with comedy, as exemplified by Gypsy Rose Lee.

    Over the past five years there has been a resurgence of interest in burlesque as an art form. As noted in Wikipedia's article about Neo-Burlesque, "the acts tend to put emphasis on style and are sexy rather than sexual. A typical burlesque act may include striptease, expensive or garish costumes, bawdy humor, cabaret and more. Unlike professional strippers, burlesque performers often perform for fun and spend more money on costumes, rehearsal, and props than they are compensated."

    Burlesque items

    At American Backstage, we offer an excellent selection of burlesque wear: bustiers, corsets, ruffled tanga panties, garter belts, and stockings, sized from petite to 3X. Occasionally you can find these items at intimate apparel shops, but we carry only the higher quality items that will be more comfortable and durable. We have wigs, masks, and feather boas, and can custom make or order feathered head-dresses and fans. For the Master of Ceremonies, we have sequined and lamé bow ties and vests, and for the "top bananas" (clowns) we have all kinds of irresistible accessories and costume pieces.

    Anything we don't have, we can get for you!



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