2010 April 20

Strip Tease

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Sharon Stone Sharon Stone
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(NEW YORK) Attention, Dita Von Teese: Burlesque is dead, according to Leslie Zemeckis, director of Behind the Burly Q. The film, which screened last night at the Museum of Modern Art, looks back at the golden age of the art—the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s—through the eyes of the women who were up on the stage, and no, Ms. Von Teese did not get so much as a mention. “It’s not the same thing at all,” said Zemeckis of burlesque, then and now. “Now it’s burlesque stripping—which is great, because it keeps the word out there—but it’s not a burlesque show. A real burlesque show is so much more.”

A crown-sporting Zemeckis ("it's vintage---Sherry Britton used to perform in it in the ‘40s and ‘50s," she explained) was joined by her husband, Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis, Alan Alda (who contributes to the film with his stories of growing up with a dad in the burlesque world), and Sharon Stone to fête the film, which includes interviews with creatively-monikered burlesque artists like Tempest Storm, Kitty West, and Blaze Starr. “She had this kind of touching dichotomy of these 80-year-old women and their young selves, dancing on the screen,” said Stone, “and their deep emotional and intellectual perspective on what they’d done in their lives and what it meant to them.”

Post-film, the moviegoers trekked around the corner to the 21 Club for dinner (though Stone had her driver take her the two blocks; don’t worry, darling---in those Dior shoes, who can blame you?), where Michael Douglas, Bob Balaban, Mamie Gummer, and Regis and Joy Philbin had joined the party. “I love a place where they not only don’t ask you if you’d like chicken or beef, but they serve the meat like this,” laughed one guest of the snazzy setting as she tucked into a deliciously rare steak. The Burly Q (as it’s called) may be dead, but who says you can’t still live the over-the-top life?

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