behind the burly q press kit

'Behind the Burly Q' reveals theatricality, history of burlesque - Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Reader: "this enthralling 2010 doc opens a wider window on forgotten world of burlesque shows than anything I've previously seen. Director Leslie Zemeckis weaves together naughty vintage strip-show footage and interviews with chipper old grannies who spill the beans on their pulchritudinous pasts. . ."

"This playful and extremely thorough documentary from director Leslie Zemeckis covers the Golden Age of burlesque and gives the most detailed account of the era and the practice that I've ever seen. Naturally, the bulk of the film is devoted to the beauties that took off most or all of their clothes as part of their often-complex routines, but Zemeckis doesn't let us forget the countless musicians, comedians (including Abbott and Costello), and behind-the-scenes participants who made up an entire day's entertainment. There are countless interviews with one-time performers, and every once and a while a name pops out that I recognize, such as Blaze Starr, Sally Rand, Gypsy Rose Lee, or Tempest Storm. It's actually kind of remarkable how many of these great artists are still around and were willing to go on camera (although Blaze only did phone interviews). What also floored me was the bevy of archival photos and footage that was available, every bit of which enhances this previously dark, but highly popular, corner of American entertainment.

BEHIND THE BURLY Q is a celebration of natural bodies and curves, as one would expect. But it's also a great showcase for artistry, choreography, unforgettable costumes, and freakish talent (how do they get those tassles to twirl in opposite directions?) There are grudges between performers that continue to this day, there are tales of mobsters in New York, Chicago, and other towns that would make you nervous but also might surprise you (the gangsters would not let the dancers go home with customers). But more than anything, I loved the stories from the ladies, who still have a sparkle in their eye when they remember a time when they were celebrities in certain circles and were making more money than they could count. Weirdly enough, one of the best storytellers in the film is Alan Alda, whose father worked the burlesque circuit (not as a performer, obviously) and who as practically raised backstage at certain burlesque joints. Not all of the stories are happy ones, and Zemeckis certainly doesn't shy away from the downside of the business or the fall of certain performers. The stories she unveils in her fantastic documentary is complete, honest, and downright provocative at times." -- Capone

"This enthralling 2010 doc opens a wider window on forgotten world of burlesque shows than anything I've previously seen. Director Leslie Zemeckis weaves together naughty vintage strip-show footage and interviews with chipper old grannies who spill the beans on their pulchritudinous pasts" - The Chicago Reader, August 19

“Utterly entertaining Behind the Burly Q is a painstakingly researched love letter to the women and men who once made up the community of burlesque performers…its treasure trove of vintage photographs and performance footage is enough to make historians and fans of classic erotica swoon…insightful, fascinating.” –Ernest Hardy, The Village Voice

CRITICS’ PICK! “Intriguing…fans of theatrical history are well advised to check it out” -New York Magazine

“Charming, entertaining…a delight!” –Manohla Dargis, Behind the Burly Q

“Provides a privileged front-row seat to sample several of the form's most memorable practitioners… stories run from raunchy to touching to funny to flat-out incredible.” –Ronnie Scheib, Variety

“Taps into a world of burlesque as we've never seen it before.” - Linnea Covington, New York Press  

“Affectionate and engaging…wonderful vintage footage, a fascinating glimpse into a corner of American history.” –New York Daily News

“Fascinatingly strips away at the myths surrounding the most popular American entertainment form of the first half of the 20th century.” –Michael Musto, The Sundance Channel

“Quickly paced, absorbing.” –Kyle Smith, The New York Post

FOUR STARS(EXCELLENT)! “A fun-filled tribute which elevates the Golden Age of Burlesque to its rightful place in history.” -Kam Williams, The Leader

“RUN, DO NOT WALK, TO SEE THIS MOVIE! It is the most thorough, balanced, rich and probing documentary possible about the history of classical burlesque.” -Trav S.D., Travelanche

“History done right: informative, entertaining, funny and finally rather moving…jam-packed with juicy detail, and most of that jam is tasty indeed.” -James van Maanen, Trustmovies

“Delightful, engaging…A veritable who's who of the grande dames of the burlesque stage…for sheer fun, this is a winner.” -George Robinson, Cine-Journal

“Fascinating, colorful and yes, tantalizing… progresses with a peppy pace and lighthearted demeanor probably apropos of a Burly Q show.” –Ross Anthony, The Hollywood Report Card

“Playfully dirty…the fascinating history of American burlesque.” –

“It’s smart, brassy, sassy and charming.” –Jennifer Merin,

“Any fan of burlesque will no doubt find it thoroughly enjoyable.” -Adam Schartoff, Film Forward

“A fun and affectionate look at a subject that continues to fascinate generations.” –The Diva Review,

“Enjoyable — brassy and loud and thoroughly unapologetic. A lot like its subjects.” –

“Intimate and surprisingly interesting …BEHIND THE BURLY Q” is a highly recommended and very important cinematic endeavor… a form of entertainment that has been left out of our cultural history and one that many should know about.” –Andrew Johnson, Black Cat Media

“Burly is the only oral history recorded by many of burlesque’s greatest stars… an interesting look at some unheralded theater history.” -Joe Bendel, J.B.Spins

“Offers a delightful portrait of that bygone era, featuring an extensive roster of veterans of the scene…a well-rounded history of the era.” -Alex Roberts, TV Soundoff

“(Zemeckis) has preserved for us a lively, lovely corner of American life.” - Richard Schickel

“An absorbing, moving and cleverly constructed look at the tradition of American burlesque... the stories are rollercoaster rides!” - Emily Hourican, Irish Independent