Initially, fascinating, colorful and yes, tantalizing, the linear-ness of this documents begins to weigh down the carefully constructed pace.
Have you ever wondered what happens to those who depend on youth for their income, their security, or scarier yet, their identity? This documentary interviews some of the brightest stars of the burlesque; undressing, to some extent, the mystery of their grace (or lack thereof) in aging.
A tail end baby boomer, all that I knew of burlesque was the smile on the face of the adults who mentioned it. As a kid, their teasing use of the word intrigued me. There seemed to be an inappropriate aspect, because adults never defined the word beyond its mention. And yet, the smile in their eye hinted at a lighter side. How apropos, as the documentary showcases, burlesque encompassed both soft stripteasing and vaudeville humor.
Among the interesting interviewees, Alan Alda's reflections on his childhood as the son of a burlesque singer is a highlight.
A collage of interviews with old black & white or sepia clips of the dancers, strippers, and comics, the doc progresses with a peppy pace and lighthearted demeanor probably apropos of a Burly Q show. However, with no arc or build to the production, the telling loses some appeal at the three-quarter mark.
-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --