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  • Behind the Burly Q

  • The Story of Burlesque in America
  • By: Leslie Zemeckis
  • Narrated by: Julia Farhat
  • Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Behind the Burly Q cover art

Behind the Burly Q

By: Leslie Zemeckis
Narrated by: Julia Farhat
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Editor reviews

As burlesque has experienced a cultural renaissance in the past few years, listeners may be interested in discovering its long and storied history. Leslie Zemeckis provides a unique oral history of the art form in early-20th-century America, told by the women and men who experienced it firsthand. Julia Farhat's performance is wonderfully unobtrusive, allowing the listener's focus to be on the wild tales of the performers, musicians, and nightclub owners who express the bawdy thrills present in those early shows. Though they may be long gone, in Behind the Burly Q, their stories remain in all their glory.

Summary

By the director of the hit documentary Behind the Burly Q, comes the first-ever oral history of American burlesque - as told by the performers who lived it, often speaking out here for the first time. By telling the intimate and surprising stories from its golden age through the women (and men!) who lived it, Behind the Burly Q reveals the true story of burlesque, even as it experiences a new renaissance.

Burlesque was one of America's most popular forms of live entertainment in the first half of the 20th century. Gaudy, bawdy, and spectacular, the shows entertained thousands of paying customers every night of the week. And yet the legacy of burlesque is often vilified and misunderstood, left out of the history books.

By telling the intimate and surprising stories from its golden age through the women (and men!) who lived it, Behind the Burly Q reveals the true story of burlesque, even as it experiences a new renaissance. Lovingly interviewed by burlesque enthusiast Leslie Zemeckis who produced the hit documentary of the same name, are former musicians, strippers, novelty acts, club owners, authors, and historians - assembled here for the first time ever to tell you just what really happened in a burlesque show. From Jack Ruby and Robert Kennedy to Abbott and Costello - burlesque touched every corner of American life. The sexy shows often poked fun at the upper classes, at sex, and at what people were willing to do in the pursuit of sex. Sadly, many of the performers have since passed away, making this their last, and often only interview. Behind the Burly Q is the definitive history of burlesque during its heyday and an invaluable oral history of an American art form. Funny, shocking, unbelievable, and heartbreaking, their stories will touch your hearts. We invite you to peek behind the curtain at the burly show.

©2013 Leslie Zemeckis (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Behind the Burly Q

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  • The Louligan
  • 17-08-14

JUST WAY TOOOOO LONG!

This is a great and interesting subject matter. However, it is absolutely not TWELVE-PLUS HOURS interesting!!! Much of the book is repetitive and unnecessary. I saw the documentary based on this work a couple of years ago. It is much, much better than this book! This is truly a account "better served abridged"! Or see if it is still available on Netflix and save almost 10-1/2 hours of your life!

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  • Wednesday
  • 13-10-22

Extremely well researched

delightful read while commuting. Kudos to research AND presentation. I've heard of Storm and Blaze before but the author's treatment included so many it was amazing. I found their personal stories fascinating.

Her research inspired me to seek out the few Q movies still in extant while not even close to an actual live performance the framework allowed me to form my own opinion...this is art NOT trash. Why is the human form OK in a painting or charcoal but not on stage?

While the tapestry of American culture weaves onward shaped by our attitudes and hang-ups, this book offered my first glimpse into a world that will never be lived again. It has enriched my understanding of what it means to be American, yesterday, today and into the rumor called tomorrow

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  • Jon
  • 25-09-16

amazing story of an amazing art form

Narration wasn't the best, but the story was still fantasic. As a burlesque perfomer, it's awesome to hear the back stories of this profession.

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  • Ray
  • 20-06-15

WELL RESEARCHED

It is good that the author was able to interview some of the former stars before they passed away. I found it interesting to Google pictures of the dancers as the author discussed them.