Thanks to the Burlesque Hall of Fame Web site, http://www.burlesquehall.com, I was able to compile a top 25 list of what I think are the best burlesque Web sites around. Originally, this piece was supposed to be a Top 10 list; however, once I got into researching them all, there were so many great ones that I couldn’t just narrow it down to 10. While all of the Web pages are special and well thought out, I was looking for sites that popped – sites that had designs or content like no other or utilized familiar layouts in newer, fresher ways. So without further ado, here are SB’s picks for the Top 25 Best Burlesque Web sites of the year:
25) Metacafe (www.metacafe.com/tags/burlesque): this site has some of the coolest, most extensive collection of burlesque videos around
24) Daily Burlesque (http://burlesquedaily.blogspot.com): a blog run by burlesque performer Jo “Boobs” Weldon. This has everything a successful blog should have: great photos, fun videos, facts about burlesque and Weldon’s career, links to other sites and burlesque communities, and historical information.
23) The Candy Pitch (http://thecandypitch.blogspot.com): the sister blog to Daily Burlesque run by entertainers Kelly DiNardo, Ginger Valentine, and Tanya Cheex, The Candy Pitch has fun facts and interviews with some of the leading burlesque performers in the industry.
22) Lucifire (www.lucifire.com): what sets this site apart from other performers’ sites is the extreme goth look. It has a broad show list that elaborates on each theme in detail, numerous photos in the gallery, and a jam packed journal full of burlesque info.
21) Candy Box Burlesque (www.candyboxburlesque.com): this site is very girlie, with the hot pink background and showgirl in the upper left hand corner. However, this London club offers a very diverse set of performers (including a lot of men) a chance to display their craft as evidenced by their “Artistes” section. The resident troupe, the Candied Heels, and the Palookaville Burlesque Orchestra are featured.
20) Narcissister (www.narcissister.com): I really don’t know what to make of this performer’s site. To be honest, on first view, it kind of creeped me out with the whole doll-like masks in every picture and video. But this visual/performing artist does have an interesting design scheme and is easily navigatable so that’s a plus. And creepy can be good – people make careers out of it (see Marilyn Manson).
19) Flarington King (http://flaringtonking.com): what do you get when you put a woman in men’s clothing and a mustache? One of the coolest drag boy’s around, that’s what. In a sea of burlesque performers who are very feminine, King is refreshingly different. The only problem with this site is it doesn’t have a lot of substance. The layout and design could be better and there could be more pictures. Still, it’s a pretty unique place to visit while Web surfing.
18) The Curious Adventures of Kittie (www.kittie.me.uk): a beautiful girl with beautiful photographs. What really makes this site shine is the detailed sidebars that link to everything from sources on burlesque, her career highlights, videos, and information on parapsychology (she was a paranormal investigator before turning to burlesque).
17) This Is Burlesque (www.thisisburlesque.com): features some of the hottest burlesque performers in NYC. The site sets up the performer’s profiles very nicely.
16) Cheesecake Burlesque Revue (www.cheesecakeburlesque.com): the name alone would make anyone want to take a peek at this deliciously delightful group. Not only can fans find out what kind of ice cream the girls prefer or what their favorite sins are, they can also chat with the women in their entertaining fan forum.
15) World Famous Eliza Bane (www.elizabane.com): the feather fans front page with the black and white circus inspired photo of Ms. Bane harkens back to the vaudeville days of burlesque while seeming modern at the same time. That’s no easy feat. Her photos are stellar, slightly reminiscent of Bettie Page in some, and her show links have some of the best artwork around.
14) Panty Raid! (www.pantyraiddames.com): the old vaudeville/circus theme is a winner and so are the hilarious bios given for the troupe members. The downside? There are no pictures of the group in action. Bummer.
13) Deadly Curves (www.deadlycurves.com): Miss Jami Deadly is one of the better Marilyn Monroe impersonator’s I’ve ever seen. She’s also a horror hostess in her own Elvira-esque show, “Deadly Cinema.” While parts of the site are under construction, Deadly has enough biographical and performance information to keep burlesque fans satisfied, not to mention killer pictures.
12) Angie Pontani “The Reigning Queen Of Burlesque” (www.angiepontani.com): a very feminine layout and design (not to mention a super hot main photo) make this site one of the most appealing sites for a burlesque performer. Her pictures are stunning and over 30 links to other burlesque players give this page an added boost of cool.
11) Bustout Burlesque (www.bustoutburlesque.com): this New Orleans based site has everything a fan could want – photos of the group in action, performer bios, a history of the legendary revue, a list of legends that peformed on Bourbon Street, and numerous links to other communities. The diverse group of players also makes this an excellent place to check out.
10) Vienna Le Rouge (www.viennalerouge.com): more detailed show lists, gorgeous pictures, and a very feminine design scheme helps this burlesque star’s site crack the Top 10.
9) Ms. Judith Stein Presents: The Art of Burlesque (www.theartofburlesque.com): if you ever dream of being a burlesque performer, this is the place for you to go. Ms. Stein’s wonderful old timey design puts one in the mindframe of some of the classic queens of the art and has an easy to fill out registration page, to sign up for three Introduction to Burlesque classes.
8) Knicker Kittens Burlesque Revue (www.knickerkittens.com): sure, this site could be a little less…hot pink and the font could be a tad easier to read. But the Kittens have some great links, pictures, and press material. Too bad most of their news and events are written in Swedish – translations would make this a much more accessible site for burlesque enthusiasts.
7) The Whoopee Club (www.thewhoopeeclub.com): the balloon layout and design with the classic pin-up girl holding them on the home page is adorable. If you click on the balloons, you get taken to different parts of the site in another window, which is great for folks (like me) who hate having to back click to go to the page I started at. The best part? The gallery of pictures are automatic and set to a great ’30s inspired song.
6) Immodesty Blaize (www.immodestyblaize.com): this is probably one of the most sophisticated performer’s sites out there. Not only is the layout top notch, but Ms. Blaize is a thing of beauty with one of the best figures in the biz. Take a look at her pictures if you don’t believe me. She can make grown men cry and make straight women like myself question their sexual preference.
5) Big City Burlesque (www.bigcityburlesque.com): the musical intro is a great hook. The rest of the Atlanta based site is made of win.
4) Amber Ray (www.amberray.net): maybe I love this site a lot because we share the same first name, or maybe it’s the circus scroll-like Web design that makes me a fan, but whatever it is, Ray’s official home is sweet enough to give you a cavity. A boutique for fans to buy replicas of Ray’s performance attire and a place for games make this site stand out as the best solo burlesque star profile.
3) The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus (www.bindlestiff.org): the circus theme is done again, but this time, it’s cartoonish instead of feminine and sexy like Ray’s. It needs to be since this troupe is not only a burlesque act, but also a vaudeville, sideshow and Wild West hybrid revue. This site is so full of goodies, you’ll be on it for hours (trust me!).
2) Molly Crabapple Illustration & Fine Art (www.mollycrabapple.com): incredible artwork, an easy to navigate site, what else does one need?
1) SOTU (www.sotuproductions.com): this site’s awesomness speaks for itself. It’s so over the top glamtastic, you won’t want to leave.