The story behind the star-studded Burlesque movie (2010) including the real-life story, the stars and the show-stopping musical numbers.
The Burlesque movie of 2010 introduced a whole new generation to the genre. The soundtrack, lavish sets and campy humour made it a (guilty) pleasure many still turn to.
Whereas, the amazing cast offered something for old and new fans alike. Celebrate this modern musical by learning some of the not-so-secret details.
The Real Burlesque Story
In 1995 choreographer, Robin Antin put together a burlesque dance troupe named The Pussycat Dolls. She was joined by fellow performers Carla Kama and Christina Applegate. Little did they know the franchise that it would spawn.
Originally they used the modern Los Anegeles burlesque style of dancing in lingerie and pinup clothing. This did not involve the risqué art of striptease. This was unlike famed LA burlesque dancer, Dita Von Teese and 1990s neo-burlesque showcase The Velvet Hammer.
Instead, they appealed to the masses with their use of mostly modern music and secured a residency at LA nightclub, the Viper Room. The Pussycat Dolls then went onto make guest appearances in several films.
Over the years, and a Playboy spread later, the troupe grew in notoriety and moved to the Roxy. They were also gaining more mainstream recognition from their added appearances in music videos.
Their film roles also grew to include such memorable scenes as Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003). Watch the girls in action.
In 2003 Robin Anton struck a deal to form a music group of the same name, The Pussycat Dolls. Unfortunately, this is when Carmen Electra jumped ship. The group, on the other hand, had a string of hits with worldwide recognition.
Robin Antin’s brother, Steven Antin then wrote and directed the Burlesque movie. It doesn’t take many leaps to see how he was inspired.
The Burlesque Movie Story
The Burlesque movie follows a well-trodden path of a young aspiring performer moving to Los Angeles. In this case, Ali aka. Christina Aguilera.
Following many bumps in the road, she stumbles upon a burlesque club and falls in love. A surprisingly well-executed role by Aguilera who herself was a teen star but making her acting debut.
The club it turns out is run by Tess, none other than Cher herself. Cher! The club’s set-up turns out to be in the LA style of miming and dancing to modern songs. Apart from Cher, Cher doesn’t mime.
The endlessly ambitious and needy, Ali swings between damsel in distress and underestimated savvy saviour of the club. Needless to say, she soon fits in with the LA set and worms her way in, yes, even waitressing.
When the new girl has earned her stripes and her vocal abilities are discovered she eclipses the former lead dancer of the troupe. This gives a brief glance at the darker side of the city through a spiralling young performer. The spoilt, problem child they are all better off without, Nikki (Kristen Bell – who is actually a stunning singer, Anna in Frozen anyone?) is embittered and tossed aside.
The line-up, however, is kept light with a bevvy of stars in expected or minor roles. Cam Gigandet (The OC and Twilight) and Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy) battle it out in a love triangle or quadrangle as it may be. It’s a situation neither of them are new to. Plus, Alan Cumming, Stanley Tucci and Dianna Agron (Glee) all make up the supporting cast.
Burlesque Movie Soundtrack
It’s the soundtrack that really brings the heat and gets the bums on seats. The musical numbers are largely split between the two main women. Although, the movie itself sees Kristen Bell and Alan Cumming each add a track.
It is no wonder that the fun fuelled, sass-tastic songs are what stuck in people’s minds with that ensemble behind it. It was also Christina Aguilera and her team who wrote many of the showstoppers.
The soundtrack received two Grammy nominations and in 2011 won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. It was ‘You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me’ sung by Cher which took home that title.
The Burlesque film itself was also nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category at the Golden Globes. This is all despite its so-bad-it’s-good reputation.
It was Screen Gems’ most expensive film at $55 million and grossed about $90 million worldwide. Yet, the legacy within the burlesque industry has been added fuel to the fire of a burlesque boom.
See what all the fuss is about and watch Burlelsque movie in full on, Amazon and Amazon UK. Hear what all the fuss is about with the soundtrack on Spotify. You can also get a look behind-the-scenes with this Burlesque video.
Watch our quick-fire answer to: what is burlesque?
(Main image from IMDB)