Our Babes of Burlesque: Celebrating OC's Cabaret Girls with a Bunch of Photos

Our Babes of Burlesque: Celebrating OC's Cabaret Girls with a Bunch of Photos
Photography: Riley Kern Photography Assistant: Genevieve Davis Model: Madeline Sinclaire Hair: Danielle June

Two decades have passed since Heather Sweet, a young woman from Irvine, first turned heads and raised eyebrows at Captain Cream in Lake Forest with her then-novel, vintage-inspired striptease sets. Known simply as "Dita," she titillated the county's--later, the world's--interest in the sex appeal of old Hollywood glamour. Though she went on to become Dita Von Teese, burlesque superstar and pinup extraordinaire, and has all but abandoned Orange County--and the legendary club that acted as her springboard (and which closed in 2011)---the local neo-burlesque movement has only grown.

The scene flourishes in the sultry hands of ladies such as promoter Yadi Hurtado and her company's residency at the Yost Theater, where any holiday or cultural phenomenon acts as a reason to strip down and celebrate--including the Tease the Season Christmas Burlesque and Variety Show on Dec. 11. Women of all body types and ages release their inner sexpot with themed costumes--sometimes elegant, sometimes funny, always elaborate--and classic, kitschy dance routines. Their polished acts, teeming with sexuality but never tawdry, draw large, supportive crowds for a night celebrating art's oldest muse: the female figure. This week, we're paying homage to the ravishing beauties of OC burlesque with a multi-page spread of dazzling performances from 2014--you're very welcome.

Interested in checking out the action? Harvelle's in Long Beach (www.harvelles.com) and the Yost (www.yosttheater.com) have a slew of events coming up to warm you during the holidays. For more information, visit our online calendar. See you there!

Check out out titillating burlesque photo essay in our slideshow here.

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