Seeking Performers Who Worked Burlesque for Documentary

posted by Dorothy on March 2, 2006 at 12:02 pm

A documentary dedicated to collecting stories and preserving the history of burlesque theatre in America told by the “survivors" of burlesque in their own words, supplemented by second-hand stories of those who knew the performers that are no longer with us.

Please get in touch.


Comments (14)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 2, 2006 at 12:50 pm

You should get in touch with David Kruh, who has an extensive website about Boston’s Scollay Square, and has written two books on the subject.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 2, 2006 at 4:55 pm

I was a fan of “Burley” shows in Boston in the 1950s and up to 1962. There were some young girls dancing in the shows who would still be with us today. (For example, an 18-year-old at the Casino Theatre in Boston in 1961 — she would be 62 now.) However, the male comics were all middle-aged or older then. Some of the guys in the pit band probably were in their 30s or 40s. It’s not easy today to find people who worked in the Burley troupes back then. There is a Burlesque Historical Society, and there were recent midnight burlesque show recreations on stage at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline MA. So the interest is out there. Good luck, Dorothy!

Dorothy on March 2, 2006 at 5:31 pm

Thanks Ron.. as the family of a dancer, we already know of some;)
but hope to find even more.. dancers, performers, theater owners, anyone with stories to tell
It would *wonderful to preserve these memories!
Any contact info/leads would be greatly appreciated for this professional documentary.

Dorothy on March 17, 2006 at 9:11 am

Does anyone here have contact info for any of the theater owners?

This documentary is to be a *VERY high class professional one.. (a la Ken Burns) by an already well-known producer

Scratch on June 1, 2006 at 12:23 pm

Hi Dorothy:

I’m Scratch from The Boston Babydolls ( I was the producer of the recent midnight shows at The Coolidge Corner Theater, and am the organizer of the upcoming Great Boston Burlesque Exposition (Feb. 2007 — I’d love to chat with you about your film and research! I can be reached at scratch at bostonbabydolls dot net

Please get in touch!


Dorothy on June 1, 2006 at 1:13 pm

Thanks Scratch.. I will forward this information directly on to the film producers. Dorothy

devilicia on July 20, 2006 at 4:28 pm

Hi there…this is Miss Firecracker from Black Cat Burlesque, the infamous New England burlesque troupe based in Boston and Salem ( You may find a wealth of information and quite possibly some contact info from the Boston based gentlement who runs the American Vaudeville Museum, Frank Cullen. He is a treasure trove of info and a really nice fellow to boot. His email is

Dorothy on July 21, 2006 at 11:23 am

Thank you Miss Firecracker

nonsportsnut on May 31, 2007 at 9:36 pm


Can you email me at about the Trocadero in Philly; the Globe in AC; my search for Dorothy DeHaven; trying to locate Debra Dante; Jade Green; Lee Clifford and other performers who worked at the Troc, and Bob Adler’s project?
Frank Reighter

Dorothy on June 5, 2007 at 9:00 am

Righto will do

416erika on October 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm

My mother is (was) Sheri DeFore who worked at the Troc in the 1970’s. I’m sure she’d love to get in touch with some of the old dancers.

Leicatom on February 18, 2010 at 6:50 am

Hello Dorothy!

I see that you have'nt posted here in 3 years, I do hope that you get this message.

I have acquired a small collection of original negatives taken of you’re Mother Mara Gaye (ca. 1955/59?) ~ I’ve struggled to gather up a group of two sets of wardrobe and some single negatives, mostly coming from the West Coast (Ca.) but I also bought some of these negatives back from a collector in Athens, Greece!

They are on Medium Format Negative (maybe Yaschiamat or a Rolleiflex Camera) and they where shot professionally in a cheap looking motel of that era.

I’m trying to find other surviving negatives from these sets, it’s a miracle that I have as many as I have, I more than likely have the most complete set of original negatives from these two photo sessions.
(One set she’s in black, she’s topless and wears Full Fashioned Stockings and Black Knee High boots, the others are all with a white dress, shot upskirt, with her black panties and Full Fashioned Stockings showing, she’s also drinking (or pretending to) drink whiskey in a water glass with ice, (very campy and amusing).

Here’s three thumbnail samples of some of the photos I have;

View link

View link

View link

I was wondering if you have any idea, when these motel photos were taken and who may have been the photographer? And if they were ever used in a men’s magazine of that era. (mid to late 1950’s).

Hoping that you see this and I may be able to talk more about you’re Mother, she was simply beautiful.

Please drop me a line back to my email ~



PS: I’m a modern day PinUp Photographer and I just wish I could find a Mara “look-a-like” to shoot now.

Dorothy on January 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Yes I have been a bit tardy on this site eh?//
Hmmmm… interesting! I will have to check them out. Some of Mara Gaye’s items are on loan at the Museum of Sex in New York City and you can read more about her on wiki pedia.

The documentary was completed and traveled the theater circuits in NY, Philly etc. and same name on Facebook
The DVD comes out in April 2011.
Many of the interviewees unfortunately are now deceased and sadly never even got to see themselves in film.

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