1)Most commonly understood today as a bump-and-grind entertainment featuring strippers and comedy, burlesque in the 19th century derived from 18th-century travesties (satires) of well-known works. This spilled into minstrel shows, which often featured burlesques of other forms and popular songs, and into vaudeville and musicals. Sometime in the mid-19th century, due in part to the runaway success of The Black Crook (1866), which featured a line of ballerinas in pink tights, and Lydia Thompson's British Blondes, the more recent form of burlesque began to evolve. When producers Tony Pastor and B. F. Keith attempted to rid vaudeville of its more prurient elements, those entertainments found their way into burlesque houses, thus creating a clear separation between family-oriented vaudeville bills and increasingly risqué burlesque shows.
   Two burlesque circuits formed: The Empire, established in 1897 to service the western part of the United States, and the Columbia Wheel, founded in 1902 by Sam A. Scribner to cover eastern cities. Scribner attempted to cut back the more vulgar aspects of burlesque, but he failed. The suggestive dress (or undress to the point of nudity) and bawdy low comedy became the most lucrative aspects of burlesque productions in the first half of the 20th century. Striptease artists were particularly appreciated, with the Minsky Theatre's "ecdysiast" Gypsy Rose Lee translating her burlesque fame into legitimate stage and motion picture opportunities. Other performers rose from burlesque, including comedians Bobby Clark,* Willie Howard, Fanny Brice, Phil Silvers, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, and Jackie Gleason, while many others were never able to leap the chasm separating legitimate stages and burlesque houses.
   2)) "Burlesque"
   This three-act play by George Manker Watters and Arthur Hopkins was produced and directed by Hopkins at the Plymouth Theatre, where it opened on 1 September 1927 for 372 performances featuring Hal Skelly as comic Skid Johnson and a very young Barbara Stanwyck as Bonnie, his loyal partner. The couple is featured in a mediocre burlesque troupe where Skid overindulges in drink and flirts with tough-cookie chorus girl Sylvia Marco. Marco is preparing to leave the show to appear in a Broadway revue and wants Skid to go with her. This causes Bonnie to flirt with a wealthy Texas rancher to get Skid's attention, but the relationship of Bonnie and Skid is put to a severe test when Skid is offered a role in the Broadway revue and Bonnie learns that he may be having an affair with Marco. She decides to marry the rancher, but when Skid learns of this, he goes on a bender and loses his job in the revue. Bonnie realizes that Skid loves her, and they are reunited as the good news comes that a friend will produce a Broadway musical to star them. The success of Burlesque was matched by a 1946 revival, also directed by Hopkins, starring Bert Lahr* and Jean Parker. The original Skid, Skelly, appeared in a 1929 motion picture version titled The Dance of Life. Burlesque was also adapted for a 1936 Lux Radio* Theatre broadcast starring Al Jolson and his wife, dancer Ruby Keeler, and adapted into a 1948 screen musical, When My Baby Smiles at Me.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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  • burlesque — [ byrlɛsk ] adj. et n. m. • 1666; bourrelesque 1594; it. burlesco, de burla « plaisanterie » 1 ♦ D un comique extravagant et déroutant. ⇒ bouffon, comique, loufoque. Un accoutrement burlesque. Farce, film burlesque. ♢ Par ext. Tout à fait… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Burlesque — is theatrical entertainment of broad and parodic humor, which usually consists of comic skits (and sometimes a strip tease). Some authorsFact|date=September 2008 assert burlesque is a direct descendant of the Commedia dell arte; the term… …   Wikipedia

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  • Burlesque — Bur*lesque , n. 1. Ludicrous representation; exaggerated parody; grotesque satire. [1913 Webster] Burlesque is therefore of two kinds; the first represents mean persons in the accouterments of heroes, the other describes great persons acting and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • burlesque — BURLESQUE. adj. de tout genre. Qui est propre pour la taillerie. Une chose burlesque. vers burlesques. style burlesque. cela est burlesque …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Burlesque — Bur*lesque , a. [F. burlesque, fr. It. burlesco, fr. burla jest, mockery, perh. for burrula, dim. of L. burrae trifles. See {Bur}.] Tending to excite laughter or contempt by extravagant images, or by a contrast between the subject and the manner… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Burlesque — Bur*lesque , v. i. To employ burlesque. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • burlesque — 1660s, derisive imitation, grotesque parody, from Fr. burlesque (16c.), from It. burlesco, from burla joke, fun, mockery, possibly ultimately from L.L. burra trifle, nonsense, lit. flock of wool. Modern sense of variety show featuring striptease… …   Etymology dictionary

  • burlesque — n *caricature, parody, travesty Analogous words: mimicry, mockery, imitation (see corresponding verbs at COPY): *fun, jest, sport, game: satire, sarcasm, humor, *wit: derision, ridicule (see corresponding verbs at RIDICULE) burlesque vb… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • burlesque — [adj] farcical caricatural, comic, ironical, ludicrous, mock, mocking, parodic, satirical, travestying; concept 555 burlesque [n] bawdy show; vaudeville burly*, caricature, farce, lampoon, lampoonery, mock, mockery, parody, pastiche, peep show,… …   New thesaurus

  • burlesque — [bər lesk′] n. [Fr < It burlesco < burla, a jest, mockery] 1. any broadly comic or satirical imitation, as of a writing, play, etc.; derisive caricature; parody ☆ 2. a sort of vaudeville characterized by low comedy, striptease acts, etc.… …   English World dictionary

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