“A well-researched, intimate portrait of burlesque and the women who teased and seduced their ways into the hearts of the American public” (Nancy Powell).
Burlesque was one of America’s most popular forms of live entertainment in the first half of the twentieth century. Gaudy, bawdy, and spectacular, the shows entertained thousands of paying customers every night of the week. And yet the legacy of burlesque is often vilified, misunderstood, and left out of the history books.
Behind the Burly Q is a painstakingly researched love letter to the women and men who once made up the community of burlesque. Its dish on backstage rivalries and treasure trove of vintage photographs is enough to make historians and fans of classic erotica swoon. The personal and surprising stories of the women and men who lived it—through their own salty reminiscences—reveal the true story of the golden age of burlesque, even as it experiences a new renaissance.
“This rich history, rife with vibrant quotes and first-hand insights from burlesque’s biggest dancers, is indispensable for fans of the ribald pastime.” —Publishers Weekly
“An affectionate and historically valuable document of an intriguing, little-served corner of American entertainment.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Utterly entertaining . . . Insightful, fascinating.” —Ernest Hardy, The Village Voice
“Charming . . . The present-day interviews with these women are a delight and also poignant, partly because of the contrast between their older and younger selves, though mostly because of the lives they lived.” —Manohla Dargis, The New York Times