Everything’s Coming Up Roses

This month, the Naked Girls had the honor of dedicating a show to Gypsy Rose Lee, the Grande Dame of Burlesque.  We celebrated her life not only by reading many amazing excerpts, but also with a couple of tribute performances – a first at a Naked Girls event!  A few of the readings were from Karen Abbot’s newly released “American Rose: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee”.  This book is fantastic and gives a lot of insight into Ms. Lee’s complex life.  The following is a piece from “American Rose”.

“And here she is, dressed in an outfit that evokes gaslights and horse cars – a welcome glimpse of nostalgia, on the eve of World War II – the ruffles under her voluminous gown swishing with each step, hands folded primly at her waist, eyes batting beneath the shadow of her hat.  Her inside-out strip, as she calls it, is inverted in both deed and word:  she first sheds the layers closest to her skin, all the while explaining the aristocratic origins one must possess to become a stripteaser.  Like Gypsy herself it is a double-sided creation, the nuances intriguing to many but understood by few, a tragic fable wrapped inside a brilliant joke.

Peeling off white, elbow-length gloves, she cranes her languorous neck and speaks as if the words were a poem:”



~ by Greta Layne on January 20, 2011.

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