Don't Call 'em Girlie

Old-school burlesque shows of the Gypsy Rose Lee variety are popping up at venues that have traditionally booked only musical acts. With nary an old lech in sight, ladies are doing the organizing--and tipping the audience gender-balance scale to watch this often underappreciated dance art. Rudolpho's in Silver Lake transforms into the "Va Va Voom Room" monthly, the Dragonfly in Hollywood presents its quasi-blues/burlesque "Toledo Show" every Sunday, and now the Viper Room in West Hollywood is tossing in the tassels Thursday nights for Prima's 500 Club, named for the famous New Orleans bump-and-grind joint. The unwritten code: no waifs, no implants, no metal. Explains Elvia Lahman of Velvet Hammer Productions, which filled the El Rey Theater to capacity last fall and will present its next evening of burlesque this spring: "It's nothing more than some curvy girlies putting on pasties and having a little fun."

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