Most of us reading this paper are too young to have experienced a real burlesque show in the '40s, but luckily for us, the Queen Mary has opened its doors to VAMP the Lounge, giving us the opportunity to see the comparatively tame strip shows our grandfathers so willingly attended. Even luckier for us spring chickens: VAMP's performers are not the same women who danced in the '40s (though I'm sure they're all still quite lovely), and the show has been updated with contemporary Broadway show tunes and titillating costumes. If you do want to see women who performed in the original burlesque shows, you can take your $15 to Jumbo's Clown Room—oooh, rim shot!
VAMP's women may be new, but the gist is the same. Reminiscent of the original burlesque shows, VAMP the Lounge offers a dimly lit atmosphere (but not seedy—hands ABOVE the table, everyone) and women kicking and swinging their clothes all over the place, all the while telling a scandalous story—but no nudity. Okay, so for those of you who didn't just stop reading, the show is definitely worth it, nipples or not. Think of it as a good chance for you to see a Vegas-quality performance without getting price gouged. C'mon, it's art. It's a way for you and your significant other to enjoy a formal striptease, imbibe a few cocktails, munch on some appetizers and not even worry about coming up with a convincing lie for when you get home. Hell, even if you do have to hide it from your significant other, you should come see this show. Remember, what happens in Long Beach stays in Long Beach.
VAMP the Lounge at the Queen Mary, 1126 Queen's Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 499-6625; www.vampthelounge.com. Every Thurs., 9:30 p.m. 18+; Fri.-Sat., 11 p.m. 21+. $15. Reservations recommended.