From the latter half of the 1800s to the first half of the 1900s, a common form of entertainment in the U.S. was burlesque shows, which incorporated musical theater parody, bawdy comedy, and exotic dances. By the 1930s, striptease had become the main act in the variety shows, launching the careers of Gypsy Rose Lee and Blaze Starr. By the 1950s, the burlesque era was over, but what happened to those who had made a career from it? Filmmaker/author Leslie Zemeckis decided to find out. In her recently released book Behind the Burly Q, Zemeckis documents the history of burlesque using stories from the original stars — comedians, singers, variety acts, and strippers — of the stage shows. Zemeckis will give a talk and sign books Thursday, September 5, 7 p.m. at Granada Bookstore, 1224 State St. Call 845-1818 or visit


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