New York City Burlesque blends the original burlesque and pinup culture with today's community of vintage enthusiasts in New York City. We curate a calendar of inspiring local events, small productions, and sell vintage-inspired products .

A brief history of burlesque

Burlesque was originally a show that poked fun at lowbrow society;  it had everything from comic sketches to dancing skits, with women as the actors. It was a show for the upper class to go and enjoy and evolved from there. The genre regularly mocked such fundamental entertainment types as opera, Shakespearean drama, ballet, and musicals. 

Burlesque shows followed a three-act structure: the first act consisted of song and dance performed by women, the second act focused on lowbrow humor from male comedians, and the third act delivered a grand musical finale. While burlesque was seen as inferior to vaudeville by most performers, many vaudeville performers had started their careers as burlesquers. Burlesquing was considered a training ground where amateurs could prove they had what it took to have a career in show business.