New Orleans Burlesque Festival, September 20-23

Photo by Darrell Miller. Courtesy of New Orleans Burlesque Festival.

If you’re in town during the third weekend of September, check out the annual Burlesque Festival, an international event that brings together the best of local talent and some big international names. Dancers, emcees, comics, singers, and variety-act performers.

Photo by Darrell Miller. Courtesy of New Orleans Burlesque Festival.

Burlesque was one of the main attractions in the French Quarter in the 1940s-60s, featuring the largest concentration of burlesque clubs than anywhere in the country. It’s made Bourbon Street famous and launched many careers. Some of the most famous burlesque dancers to this day have performed in clubs on Bourbon Street — Evangeline the Oyster Girl, Lily Christine the Cat Girl, Blaze Starr. It’s only fitting that New Orleans is now the epicenter of the modern-day burlesque revival, with this festival carrying on the tradition of the golden age of burlesque since 2009.

Photo by Darrell Miller. Courtesy of New Orleans Burlesque Festival.

The festival’s Opening Champagne Gala gets things going on Thursday, September 20 at the Ritz Caarlton Hotel. The two main shows on Friday are the Mondo Burlesque show at Civic Theatre and the Bad Girls of Burlesque at the House of Blues.

The main event will be held on Saturday at the Civic Theatre. The winner will be selected by a celebrity judge panel and crowned as the “Queen of Burlesque.” The festival ends on Sunday with the Belle of the Ball party at the House of Blues and another location to be announced. You can also check the festival’s Facebook page for more details and updates or by visiting neworleansburlesquefest.com.