Show-Me Burlesque is a 3 day festival dedicated to glitz, glam, breathtaking talent, spectacular productions, and fabulous burlesque, vaudeville, circus, and variety entertainment from every gender and from around the world!
St. Louis has a rich and diverse burlesque and vaudeville history from the brilliant talent of Josephine Baker, to the heyday of Gaslight Square, where The Smothers Brothers, Phyllis Diller and Barbara Streisand got their start, and to Evelyn West and the infamous Stardust and Grand Burlesque theatres where she and many other famous burlesque dancers performed. Show-Me Burlesque is thrilled to bring St. Louis burlesque to its former grandeur with a sexy new makeover.
Today, St. Louis is blessed with an amazing and diverse group of talented entertainers who are performing all kinds of burlesque, from classic, to comedic, to edgy performance art.Lola van Ella, St. Louis’ own award winning burlesque grand dame and passionate producer, and Sammy Tramp, artistic director and visionary are proud to bring all of their favorite elements of theater, spectacle, glamour, circus, and showcasing the best talent in the world, to create Missouri’s first ever burlesque festival and now, the largest of its kind in the Midwest. In addition to four different shows, there will also be classes taught by world class burlesque educators at Van Ella Studios, St. Louis’ first and only boutique burlesque and vaudeville school. Show-Me Burlesque promises to bring a sexy and exciting weekend of fabulous and exciting entertainment and education to a wide and diverse audience. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of history!
Join us for the St. Louis event of the year!
Check out our amazing line-up!
Jo “Boobs” Weldon
Jo Weldon is the Headmistress and Founder of the New York School of Burlesque, and is one of the most recognized burlesque instructors in the world. She is a recipient of the coveted Burlesque Hall of Fame award for Recognition of Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Burlesque. Internationally renowned as burlesque personality Jo Boobs, she’s rounded her heels on stages from Coney Island to Sydney Harbour. Garo Sparo on the Sundance Channel named her one of the Top Ten Badass Burlesque Babes, and she has been voted one of the Top 10 Burlesque Performers in the World six years in a row in 21st Century Burlesque’s international poll. She’s taught thousands of women (and men!) to twirl tassels, and has conducted performance workshops producing some of the most respected new performers in burlesque. She is a mentor to both students and emerging burlesque instructors, as well as a coach for burlesque entrepreneurs. She taught burlesque to disabled performers at DaDaFest in Liverpool. She’s the winner of such exotic titles as Best Bump N Grinder, Best Teacher and Mentor, and Biggest Cougar in Burlesque! She’s appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on NPR, as well as being featured in international press on five continents. She has worked with performers from Leonard Cohen to Spinal Tap, and has been featured on television shows from CBS Sunday Morning to Gossip Girl. She’s taken it off in the grimiest strip clubs and at the most esteemed venues, including being the first burlesquer to ever strip down at The New York Public Library, and has performed and headlined at dozens of festivals all over the world, including The Vancouver Burlesque Festival, the Toronto Burlesque Festival, and the New Zealand Burlesque Festival. She is Co-Director of Education at The Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, Co-Curator of Burlycon, and conducts the Master Class in Burlesque at Coney Island USA. Her how-to burlesque DVD (via World Dance New York) is the best-selling in the world, and her critically acclaimed book The Burlesque Handbook, with a foreword by Margaret Cho, (HarperCollins/ItBooks) is the first book ever published on how to create burlesque routines. She is also the founder of Pink Light Burlesque, a program that produces free burlesque classes for breast cancer survivors and patients.
Kitten N’ Lou
What happens when a diminutive drag king and a bodacious burlesque queen fall in love? Showbiz magic is born! Kitten and Lou combine their unique and extensive burlesque, theater, and dance performance backgrounds to create a showbiz tour-de-force that celebrates and subverts everything from sexed-up classic burlesque, to glossy MGM-era musicals, to raunchy jukebox drag, to homo-fabulous twin club kids, to Fosse jazz-ma-tazz, to old vaudeville tap dance….and the many faces in between. With a combo of duet and solo acts that are equally comfortable in a sweaty dance club or a fancy opera house, their body of work is incredibly diverse, but always polished to perfection.
How Kitten N’ Lou came to be: One summer, Kitten LaRue invited Lou Henry Hoover to be a guest star with her internationally celebrated burlesque troupe The Atomic Bombshells for a run in Provincetown, MA. Kitten quickly crowned Lou the first official Atomic Boy-shell. Since then, the couple has performed extensively both with the troupe and as a tour-ready duet. Their favorite adventures in travel have ranged from performing at underground bounce clubs with Nicky Da B and the New Orleans Carnival Kings, sharing a stage with NYC nightlife legends such as Susanne Bartsch and Amanda Lepore, and jet-setting all over the country for Burlesque Festivals such as The Burlesque Hall of Fame in Vegas and the celebrated New York Burlesque Festival. Kitten N’ Lou are known as taste-makers in their set, and were among the Seattle Metropolitan Magazine’s BEST DRESSED of 2013. In July 2013 Kitten N’ Lou tied the knot (after being chosen as Seattle Stranger cover girls for marriage equality) and their wedding was featured in the UK Daily Mail, quickly going internationally viral. In addition to producing events and performances as individuals and as couple, Kitten and Lou collaborate extensively with Seattle’s Premier Fancy Lady, BenDeLaCreme as DeLouRue Presents, a production company that combines burlesque, cabaret, dance, drag, and musical performance, to create displays of glittering grandeur that have been called “”F*CKING GREAT….F*CKING HILARIOUS!” by Dan Savage of The Stranger. Most recently, they performed with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett for their PBS special.
Mr. Spring and Strongman Tulga
Mr Spring and Strongman Tulga aka Titanic Tulga come all the way from Mongolia. Mr Spring and Tulga have toured all over North America and the world. With a combined experience of over 30 years, this dynamic duo is sure to amaze. Presenting all kinds of acts such as Hand to Hand Balancing, Whips, acrobatic fire spinning, log juggling and spinning (with a 20 ft log!), Bowling ball Juggling, Acrobatics, Hand Balancing, Aerial Straps, Aerial Straps Duo, walk around magic and Juggling. Mr. Spring is based out of Chicago performing all over the city when he is not touring with the Zoppe Italian Circus. Strongman Tulga just finished four years with Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey. He was featured on ABC and many other news stations. Tulga was often the face and headliner of Ringling Bros. show “Supercharged” and is known to the world as Mr. Power. This super duo is booked frequently, so catch them while you can before they’re going somewhere else around the world!
Greta Garter, St. Louis
Greta Garter is an inimitable presence in the St. Louis burlesque scene. Starting with the Alley Cat Revue 10 years ago, she has since become a recognizable force of fierce, face, and freindly F-You attitude. Greta can be seen all over St. Louis and the Midwest not only stripteasing, but then quickly making her way to the crowd to be the loudest cheerleader in the room. Greta is a proud and beloved instructor at Van Ella Studios and is often making sure Lola van Ella isn’t falling apart at the seams…literally, and is an integral part to Van Ella Productions and the Show Me Burlesque Festival. Greta is also a respected stylist and costumier and has lovingly tassled and sparkled many a performer including Ray Gunn, Bibi Dazzle, and of course, Lola van Ella. She most recently won the coveted Shimmy Showdown Champion award and proved once and for all that the “Susan Lucci of Burlesque” eventually gets the title. Greta is also fabled to be a vampire and has arguably been performing for hundreds, if not thousands of years, and in that time has helped to end the Civil War with her Shimmy, erect the Arch with her bump and grind, and continuously contribute to eventual world peace with her tassel twirl. The woman, the myth, the legend, the “Girl with the garters that never come off,” Greta Garter!
Lola Van Ella
Lola van Ella is an international burlesque singer, dancer, producer, instructor and emcee. One of the premier names in burlesque, she performs frequently and produces many shows, including the international Show-Me Burlesque Festival, the largest festival of its kind in the midwest, The Shimmy Showdown, Spectaculaire and is one of the producers of the lauded Beggar’s Carnivale. Lola is the CEO of Van Ella Productions and Studio, which is the home of burlesque, vaudeville and variety education and entertainment in St. Louis. She also teaches at various festivals and Universities all over the country, and often travels to bring the art of burlesque and striptease to different communities around the world. Alive Magazine named her one St. Louis’ most influential people and she has been written about and featured locally in St. Louis Magazine, Vital Voice, AOL Cities Best, the Riverfront Times, The Post Dispatch and KDHX. Lola has received the 1st and 2nd runner up titles, respectively, in the Queen of Burlesque Competition 3 years in a row at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival and was voted in the top 25 performers in 21st Century Burlesque’s Top 50 Burlesque Performers worldwide for 4 years in a row and has been in the Top 50 since its inception. In reference to her performance style, 21st Century wrote, “Striptease and song is so often a marriage that doesn’t quite work. So few performers can do both to a high standard, and at the same time. But Lola is an example of how well it can be done. It’s the little gestures, winks, raising of the eyebrows and knowing smiles that make her performances special.”
As a performer, Lola has performed 3 times at Miss Exotic World has been featured and headlined at the Best of Midwest Burlesk, New Zealand, Colorado, Vancouver, Chicago, Kansas City, Ohio, and London Burlesque Festivals and in engagements and shows all over the world. Recently, Lola van Ella made headlines as a featured presenter for the largest Tedx event in St. Louis.
Jeez Loueez is an award-winning burlesque entertainer and instructor known as “The Honey Badger of Burlesque” and “The Powerhouse of the Midwest”! A lethal combination of drama, hilarity, and killer kinetics, Jeez is known for bringing audiences to their feet. She’s the 2012 Miss Viva Las Vegas, the 2013 Shimmy Showdown Champion, and was recently crowned Queen of the Southern Fried Burlesque Festival in 2014. Since 2010 Jeez Loueez has been voted as one of the TOP 50 Burlesque Industry Figures coming in at #39, #31, #27, #18!
Jeez has produced the sold-out hit show Jeezy’s Juke Joint: A Black Burly-Q Revue in Chicago and St. Louis, The 8th Degree with Tito Bonito, and most recently Dr. Sketchy’s St. Louis. She’s been involved with both the Windy City and the Show Me Burlesque Festivals since their inaugural productions as a headliner, emcee, Sponsorship Coordinator, and Education Director. Never one to rest for too long she frequently tours with Foxy Tann and the Wham Bam Thank You Ma’ams and teaches at Van Ella Studios and nationwide. JeezLoueez.me