Perle Noire, New Orleans burlesque star, named Vienna Boylesque Festival headliner

Perle Noire performs at Bella Blue's "Risq" show at Harrah's New Orleans Casino. (Photo by David Lee Simmons

Perle Noire performs at Bella Blue’s “Risq” show at Harrah’s New Orleans Casino. (Photo by David Lee Simmons

Internationally acclaimed burlesque performer Perle Noire, who got her start in New Orleans and returns for shows, has been tabbed as the headliner for the 2016 Vienna Boylesque Festival, it was announced Wednesday (Jan. 13). The festival will be held May 18 and 20 in Vienna.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 1.04.31 PM

This marks the second consecutive year that a performer with New Orleans ties has been named the headliner. Bella Blue performed in 2015. Perle Noire also performed at Bella Blue’s “Risq” show this past summer at Harrah’s New Orleans Casino.

A former regular with Bustout Burlesque, Perle Noire won the inaugural Queen of Burlesque title at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, and more recently finished No. 2 in the 21st Century Burlesque magazine readers’ poll and was first runner-up to Miss Exotic World 2015 at the the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. While she’s currently based out of New York City, she still claims New Orleans as her home.

Vote for the best in New Orleans burlesque and circus performers, performances for 2015

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(UPDATE: Voting has closed. Thanks for participating. Results will be posted Wednesday, Jan. 6.)

The year 2015 became a landmark year for New Orleans’ expansive burlesque and circus arts scene. Throughout the years, audiences were entertained by new productions from weekly shows all the way up to festivals and specialty productions. (We even saw not one but two Katrina-themed shows). As part of a look back at this banner year for a scene that promises to be discussed in the same breath as the city’s vibrant theater and comedy scenes.

I’ll take a more direct look in that year later in the week, building the coverage I wrapped up while at | The Times-Picayune. But first, here are some polls to consider in terms of your favorite performers and performances. One rule, and this will probably done on everyone’s word of honor: no ballot-stuffing. Please, one person, one vote, for each poll.

Let’s start with the biggest one: the performers, broken down by burlesque performers, circus and sideshow performers, and emcees. (Please note: The burlesque performers category was so obviously loaded down with talent, for this poll I wanted to A) Focus about the top 30 in my mind, and then let the readers add in any they feel are missing, and then B) Present a “finalist” poll later in the week. The other performers are in small enough categories to remain as is. That said, the burlesque performers category:

And now for the circus performers:

And now for the sideshow performers:

And now for the burlesque and circus show emcees:

Next up: annual productions, which include multiple-day festivals that have become magnets for national touring artists (and a lot of first-timers in 2015):

Next up, we’d like to look at the “specialty” shows in 2015 — shows that also happened once in the year (more or less) but at this point might be considered unique to 2015 (until further notice at least). Some have enjoyed encore/return performances, but the general idea is, they were special to this year:

Monthly burlesque and circus shows have proved to be extremely well attended throughout the year, and help keep interest alive in the scene on a regular basis. (If only they wouldn’t suffer from so much over-lapping bookings, but more on that later.) Here are the favorites:

Weekly shows also do a great show of providing a steady, virtually daily opportunity to enjoy the burlesque and circus scenes in New Orleans, from divey bars to Harrah’s New Orleans Casino:

So let the voting begin, and again, please, one vote per person. The results will be released at the beginning of the year (which is, like, really soon). And please feel free to share with your friends on social media with the hashtag #bestnolaburlesque.