The Ottawa Journal from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on February 3, 1979 · Page 99
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The Ottawa Journal from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · Page 99

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 3, 1979
Page 99
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V i, Gypsy Rom lee (left) not aoted for her abifty to l aithoat mh mack, later strippers, Ik Sky Aaae St. CUk-o (right), were aim raunchy. Ann Corio, mother demure performer, vilHed hm stria clubs in th early '60s ana expressed di sbelef at abet she saw. "AH the (iris mm workhig with praps, asnst af waick were so obscene I aaa't ana describe them" Horse Saloon in Paris in 1951. In Canada there were numerous burlesque palaces the Victory and Casino in Toronto, the Gaiety and Roxy in Montreal, the Beacon and State in Vancouver, and others in Winnipeg, Edmonton and other cities. Today the burlesque theatres are boarded up, victims of the so-called sexual revolution. In an age when sex no longer holds any mystery, the striptease has been rendered all but obsolete. Burlesque houses soon became white elephants when newsstands, movie theatres, taverns, restaurants and even pool halls and shoeshine parlors became meat counters stocked with Ac but it was Margie Hart who was the most daring, popularizing the panel dress that later became standard. Consisting of two strips of silk, fore and aft, the dress hung around her waist so that her hips were exposed; wearing no G-string under it, Margie kept her audiences straining for the inevitable moment when the silken curtain would open and then just as quickly close over her courageous nakedness. Because she wanted the public to know that she supported her parents, she sang "If I Shake, It's for Mother's Sake." She once stripped to the waist for press photographers in the anteroom of a courthouse. 'Tm just a wholesome, clean American girl trying to get along," she told Collier's magazine in 1941. Other top names were Faith Ba- v , , jj con, who originated the fan dance, ,and Sally Rand, who made it famous; y. Hinda Wassau, who was the first to expose ner do soma (ana later renewed her popularity with the unique way she caressed them), ana reacnes arrange, wno vi-! brated so proficiently she be came known as Queen of the Quiver (and, on occasion, the Sheba of Shimmy). The social climate began to .kanrc onrl in 1 O'l I l,aata 1 owners removed their run- ways to appease the censors. In 1937, in a massive I i -.1 ; x i K Fiorello La Guardia revoked ithe licences 01 the 14 bur- ' i i u ' xt i leatjue iiuuwa uieu lit new York, bringing the golden age to a close. The practice of disrobing onstage continued, however, in other bur- 1 M I 1 lesque cities and on fairgrounds and carnival sites across the country. The strippers who bumped and ground their ways to fame m the 1940s and '50s included the renowned Lili St Cyr of Montreal, Sherry Britton, Ann Tenna, Peppy Cola, Venus la Doll, Ineda Mann, Jan Tiffany (the Jewel of Broadway), Apple Pie (the Ail-American Dish), Bonnie Bell (the Ding Dong Girl), and Alky Seltzer (the Bumps and Burps Girl). Striptease was exported worldwide, arriving at London's Windmill Theatre in 1940 and at le Crazy lurid displays of female flesh. MISTVS, A TORONTO AGENCY that books nightclubs and restaurants in Ontario and Quebec, is headed by a former stripper who at 49 still fills in when one of her girls is sick. Misty rinds Canadian girls un- t I". Km I : ' f.".-.'.i VI J 'i iCS A'""1 '! 1 - 'WW'S mil 1' :---5y;T Stoats boasted tha earners of auny strippers, la 1953 Teal pelt Storm had pubUcHy duel Portion d, Oregaa, witn Iter ausiMad's ex-aMs reliable; most of the girls who work for her, like Dawn Delight, are Americans who brave the Canadian winters for the slightly better wages available here. Misty says that 25 percent of the modern strippers she's seen have had sex-change operations and were once men. She also says that as a result of women's lib there are now men who parade in jockstraps for women. (She might have added that there are now men who do the same for men.) Misty has about 50 girls working la the postwar years stripteasera bmod stif parties sad saiokers. At tkls cottage nay the stripper aaded p fleeaig froaj tko students for her. Yvette Evil, who cuts off her head with a guillotine, is the highest paid at $1,300 a week. Rita Atlanta, who takes a bath in a champagne glass, receives $1 ,250. Others include Golden Doll, who is 3'10"; Julie French, billed as the possessor of a 54-inch bust (only her surgeon knows for sure); Loli ta, who has a snake act; Candy Hart, who in 1974 registered in the Guinness Book of World Records for disrobing 58 times in 60 minutes; and Tanya Mitzoko, who has a banana act ("I'll leave to your imagination what she does with the banana," says Misty). Other acts involve chains, cages, candles and phallic paraphernalia. Some girls ("mostly in the States," swears Misty) smoke cigarettes with their vaginas. "Some of the girls today are hookers," says Misty, "but I don't want girls that do tricks on the side. A girl who's into hooking won't put on a good show. She's just there to show offherwaresr striptease and I j Mickey Mouse are both 50 years old. Roth wprp hnrn to make many people j happy and a few -people rich. But I striptease is the worse for age. Gone f' are the runways, i the colored lights, I the live music, the exquisite tension of the tease, and any pretensions to Art. "The strip-teasers of the '30s i vft. 7 Tempest Storm had "treason chest." In a 1970 comparison strippers eMraied 38", Pliymetes 36" were reigning sex symbols of their time," says Ann Corio . "But how innocent they were can only be described in terms of their latter-day namesakes, the strippers of today, who work mostly in night clubs and call themselves 'exotics.'" Gone is that golden sense of innocence that, like all things taken for granted, can be recognized and appreciated only after it has disappeared. -11- WRRKEND MAGAZINE. FKBWARY .1. 197SI

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