I arrived in a muggy Toronto and headed straight to the Gladstone Hotel, TBF Central and host to events tonight and tomorrow night.

The Festival kicked off with Naked Girls Reading, the salon-esque session created by Chicago’s Michelle L’amour that both celebrates the beauty and poise of the female form and also the intimacy of hearing their spoken word from personally chosen selections.

The theme of this years festival is “Metopolis, the Future of Burlesque”, so they all read sci-fi. I arrived a bit late, so missed the first few readings, but of the ones I did see and hear, I have to say this was pretty cool and beautiful to watch. And funny too as they all joined to read as different characters in a new comic book for the final piece. Kudos Ladies!

http://nakedgirlsreading.com/

Next it was the screening of Gary Beebers documentary “Dirty Martini and the New Burlesque” I was especially excited to see this as StripCHEEZ sponsored the screening and the stars were in attendance. It studies Dirty Martini, her work, life and community as one of the pioneers in New York’s neo-Burlesque scene. When she and her friends/co-stars started to perform as Burlesque dancers, there weren’t any current performers or even a dedicated scene to learn from. They came from a variety of backgrounds – and still do – studied the original pioneers of the art form and essentially created the new world of Burlesque that is becoming so prevalent now. They do what they do because they love it and they’re damn good at it – consistently entertaining and thought provoking. The documentary was crisp and giving credit to everyone interviewed on screen, very entertaining. Wonderful work Gary and I now have a crush on Dirty J

After the screening, the one, the only (seriously) Tigger! Took to the stage in a performance about marriage and then as host of the evening, introducing each of the documentary’s stars as they came onstage to give us a performance: Jo
Boobs” Weldon, Peekaboo Pointe, Julie Atlas Muz and the lady herself, Dirty Martini. Edgy and strong performances, mixed with great beauty and skill.

Gotta say that on behalf of StripCHEEZ, we’re hugely proud to have had the opportunity to bring the film to Toronto and personally, I’m hugely honored to get to know these interesting, thought-provoking and pretty damn cool artists.

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