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November 2010

The Burlesque Movie Book

LaTour_Educ_Virgin And FINALLY… FINALLY I received my Burlesque book! Jesus but this took effort and the patience of some higher power than me. Because I was DYING to get my little hands on it! My first order accidentally went to my old Redondo Beach address. And the forward didn’t work. Calling Amazon and the post office got me nowhere, the book was lost in postal space…so after  two weeks I just reordered the darn thing. I was a bit unsure what to expect. People on the Cherfreaks lists here and there were NOT raving about it…in fact they were complaining about the dearth of Cher pics in it.

The book is smaller than your typical coffee table book but I have to say I really like it.  It begins with a very generous 3-page introduction by Cher.  She talks about her first magical movie experience seeing Cinderella at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in LA and memorizing “A Dream Is a Wish Your Hearts Makes” so she was able to sing it for her parents on the way home. Very cute. She talks about coaching “this beautiful child” Christina Aquilera, Stanley Tucci (Cher agrees with Meryl  Streep…although Cher gives no last name, just Meryl…that Stanley never has a false moment in his performances). She calls “K-Bell” a fire cracker, Peter Gallagher wonderful and fun. Eric Dane full of charisma, and Cam Gigandet a sort of James Dean.  She talks about writing a scene from the movie and I wont tell you which one but it has to do with her mother and her friends. She says “They were all so beautiful and I was an ugly duckling” a comment which of course reminded me of sad things women continually say on Ru Paul’s Drag Race (of which I’ve been watching reruns I’ve already seen and been crying all over again!).

Cher’s essay reminded me again of how long her professional relationships have lasted. Not the situation of a nasty DIVA. She lists a long line of long-time compatriots, her agent, her managers, the professional advice of David Geffen, her makeup artist, her costume wrangler,  and the loooong-time assistant of many-trades Deb Paul. She also thanks newbies like the movie’s Director of Photography Bojan Bazelli (“I will never look this good again”), the movie’s wigmaker Carol Robinson and most incredibly her assistant on set, Jennifer Ruiz (“she’s the girl you want in your foxhole”).  It was a very generous of her to use the space to thank everyone.

Christina also adds a forward in which she calls Cher her mentor and working with her a “dream come true.” She ends by saying she thinks the film is something Etta James, Josephine Baker and Bob Fosse would be proud of.

Caravaggio-the-calling-of-saint-matthew And beyond that, the book is full of tidbits about the making of the movie.  Antin defines burlesque as he sees it, and the many stories of it taking nine months of chasing Cher “shamelessly” to make the film. He calls Cher “the coolest chick I’ve ever met."  Choreographer Denise Faye talks about how they created organic routines to match the storylines, set people talk about the dramatic look they were going for, inspired by the paintings of LaTour (1st above) and Caravaggio (at right), how they researched the “main character”, the burlesque lounge, and what inspired them. Designers discuss the specialized costumes and wigs, the use of Swarovski crystals, they symbolism of the color red, the use of monochromatic lighting for non-club scenes, the special Christian Louboutin shoes for Christina, the bartenders outfits, and even the zinc bar top. The book talks about who greenlit the movie, what producer gave it credibility, the makeup methodology, how the footlights work to serve the opening scene, how Steve Antin grew up in LA and particularly appreciated the sunlight at Hollywood and Vine. Even the news that Bob Mackie designed Cher’s “Welcome to Burlesque” outfit.  This book is like a Burlesque CliffsNotes.

Julianne Hough says “no detail was sparred and nothing is boring.” Alan Cumming says “If you like Cher, you’ll love this movie…this movie is Cher Christmas.”

It’s about time for some Cher Christmas!

Burlesque: Posters, CDs and…Stick Faces?

!Bvwn4HQEGk~$(KGrHqZ,!hQEv1+0DS-bBMF6I10Nww~~_35 The soundtrack was first to be released November 16 but then was pushed back to Nov 22 (the film hits theatres November 24).  So that’s STILL enough time to memorize all the songs before you see the movie.



The soundtrack track listing was posted as follows:

1. 'Welcome to Burlesque' – Cher
2. 'Something’s Got a Hold on Me' – Christina Aguilera
3. 'Tough Lover' – Christina Aguilera
4. 'Long John Blues' – Kristen Bell
5. 'Diamonds' – Christina Aguilera
6. 'You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me' – Cher
7. 'Express' – Christina Aguilera
8. 'But I Am a Good Girl' – Christina Aguilera
9. 'A Guy Who Takes His Time' – Christina Aguilera
10. 'Bound to You' – Christina Aguilera
11. 'That’s Life' – Alan Cumming
12. 'Spotlight' – Christina Aguilera

LA Times recently did a story (10/11/2010) on real LA Burlesque shows.,0,6250789.story

Burlesqueis alive and well, having gone from 2 shows per month to about 4 a week in Los Angeles.

Lili VonSchtupp, Augusta Avallone, Steve Antin and choreographer on “Dancing with the Stars” and former Pussycat Doll Lindsley Allen are interviewed for the story. (Steve Antin’s sister Robin Antin was a founder of the Pussycat Dolls).

They talked about shows like “Monday Night Tease”, “The Rendezvous” at the King King, and even the famed Actor’s Gang group getting into the fun. Hmm…I don’t think I need to see Tim Robbins stripping…but okay.

LA even has a burlesque school called The Striptease Symposium.

To define burlesque, they used words like vaudevillian, tongue-in-cheek, 18th/19th century European theater, specifically Italian commedia del’arte, French cabaret,  pastiche (a form of literary impersonation), definitely with a sense of humor and surprisingly innocent.

Some interesting new movie press items have also been released.

The hand stick faces: do you think this will be a collector's item someday?

And the hot and tangy Japanese poster is out.

Japanese poster 
The new Japanese website:
See the trailer with subtitles.

And I wish I was still in LA to see this!! Burlesque ads on the Sunset Strip!! (Facebook's Team Burlesque posted the photo)

Burlesque on sunset  








And there's a LOT more stuff to comment on...soon!


Chaz Records an “It Gets Better” Segment


These videos are great! To scan them all visit:

Stephanie Miller has a particularly good one.


About the project:

Justin Aeberg. Billy Lucas. Cody Barker. Asher Brown. Seth Walsh. Raymond Chase. Tyler Clementi. All the names of American teenagers who in recent months have taken their own lives after being bullied in school.

For too long, LGBT youth have been forced to struggle through their formative years suffering from bullies in their schools, churches and homes — and with no support system to provide them any help.

Noted writer and media pundit Dan Savage founded the It Gets Better Project in September 2010 as a unique way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT Youth that — it gets better.


Who is this Duet and Why Was it Recorded?

45_A_Love_Like_Yours_FRENCH In the Oct 22/29 issue of Entertainment Weekly, horror maestro Stephen King reviews the soon-to-be released dvd of the documentary “Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?)”, calling it “an exploration of the dark side of success that’s hard to watch and even harder to forget.”

I missed the LA screening a few years ago so I still wonder if they discuss Cher’s duet with Harry, the Phil Spector produced single "A Love Like Yours (Don't Come Knocking Every Day)" from 1975.

The blog "For the Love of Harry" reviews the song and you can listen along.

RE-UPPED! One of Harry's more obscure major releases, a Phil Spector produced duet with Cher. There's a little bit of confusion about this release, as it originally appeared on a 1975 Warner Brothers promo LP (which sold for $2) called Burbank's Finest: 100% All Meat. It was eventually issued as one of the first of three 45's on Spector's vanity label for Warner Bros., but it went nowhere fast (as did the label). Harry told Creem magazine that the backing track was actually intended for John Lennon's Spector-produced Rock 'n Roll album. Leave it to Spector to make Harry's & Cher's voices sound alike. Nilsson once referred to this one-off duo as "Nilssonny & Cher." The flip side is a Cher solo recording.

Listening to it again, I notice an oddly precious opening to the song (which isn’t atypical of Phil Spector, I guess). Some people hate Cher's three Spector singles from the mid-70s but I think Cher’s strong voice is particularly suited to his hazy, languid arrangements. There are some cool scratchy wails from Cher in the track and some typical Phil Spector eeriness, speaking of which… Al Pacino is set to play Spector in David Mamet’s HBO biopic.

…uh…can't wait for that.


Entertainment Weekly This Week: Burlesque Book

Tess The Burlesque book is featured in this week’s book review in Entertainment Weekly: “Cher and Xtina Strut Their Stuff” page 76, "The official companion to the upcoming song-and-dance film."

And the Facebook group "Team Tess" has been posting many cool photos lately, including pics from the book. I’m getting very jealous watching others riffle through their Burlesque books, I tell you what.

Due to my own goof in pre-ordering mine, I won’t get it until next week. OH THE HUMANITY!!

Cher looks awesome!

 Team Tess has also been posting very lovely movie stills from Cher's movies past:





Gossip is So Rarely Kind

Cherron For that reason, I almost enjoyed the tabloid Globe Story about Cher and Ron Zimmerman last week. At least it was positive about their relationship. Even if they were lies, they were sweet ones. 

Things I like about Ron:

1. He looks like a cowboy.
2. He’s funny.
3. He creates a funny comic about cowboys.
4. Cowboys are rarely funny and this is a nice departure for them.
5. He looks strong enough to tip a cow if such a thing was necessary.

Things I don’t like about the Globe

1. You have to leaf through a lot of garbage to see the trash about your celebrity obsession.
2. Alternatively, it’s like a vortex of sin: you will never be able to find what you are looking for in its un-indexed pages while standing in the check out line.
3. The photos make everyone always look ill.
4. My horoscope inside said I need to re-assess my budget and seek professional help (it's possibly too late).
5. You feel dirty after reading it...literally. The ink comes off on your fingers.