Full disclosure: I’m related to one of the board members.
It was about a year ago when I was watching New Orleans burlesque performer Bella Blue work an audience before a show, peppering the audience with a lot of “Who’s been to a burlesque show before?”-type questions that had me scratching my head. Why was it so difficult to understand?, I thought. But as she began her performance, you could tell several men in the audience, and a handful of women, didn’t quite know how to react, and so came the occasional cat-call. (Those more in the know responded with eye rolls.)
When she performed for the 2015 Pirate’s Ball for Odyssey House, the crowd, though still a little taken aback by striptease taking over the House of Blues’ Parish stage (despite the regular presence there of“Bad Girls of Burlesque”), soaked it up. Hopefully, increasingly, mainstream audiences are getting it: that burlesque has proven to be a vital component of all kinds of entertainment options in New Orleans, from the various clubs around town to Voodoo Fest to, yes, fundraisers for worthy causes.
That’s why it’s so cool to see another one of the top performer-producers, Roxie le Rouge of Big Deal Burlesque fame, serving as one of the entertainers for the Odyssey House’s Pirate’s Ball on Saturday (June 5) at the Hyatt French Quarter New Orleans.