February 19th, 2016 § 0 comments

It seems burlesque is making a comeback with shows (mainly strippers) in clubs across America. HG doesn’t believe the shows resemble those that the teenage HG enjoyed in a ramshackle theater in Union City, N.J.. HG and pals would journey to Union City via subway and bus (HG recalls the New Jersey buses left from a terminal on W. 34th Street. The construction of the Port Authority Bus Terminal on W. 42nd Street was far in the future). The show had a very predictable pattern. The curtain rose to reveal six scantily dressed showgirls and an aging male juvenile with a mike. The girls weren’t pretty or shapely. Their dance skills were non-existent. HG presumes their pay was very modest. The orchestra blared and the girls paraded as the juvenile (he would appear later as the straight man in comedy sketches) sang (loudly) “Girls of All Nations.” Then there was comedy. The funny guy wore oversized shoes and a crushed fedora. He responded to the cues from the straight man with a loud “What the Hay!!!”). The comedy was followed by another appearance of the scrawny group of showgirls. The first half of the show ended with the second billed stripper doing her thing. Very arousing for HG. Especially the ending where she walked to the curtain at the edge of the stage illuminated by a pin spot. For a very brief moment she removed her top and revealed her breasts (which were adorned by tassels known as “pasties.”). Wow!! During intermission, a barker sold boxes of popcorn while promising “A valuable prize in each box.” There were shills in the audience and the barker would ask “What did you find in your box?” The shills would wave wrist watches, “diamond” bracelets, etc.. Inevitably the boxes would contain trinkets of the “Cracker Jack” variety. Surprisingly, the popcorn was edible. The second half of the show was tedious. The audience awaited the star stripper, Margie Hart, a crowd (and HG) favorite. She was beautiful with a knockout body. Her long routine was a titillating (so to speak) work of sexy dramatic art. Yes, lovely Margie was worth the long trip and admission price. More about Margie: Died in 2000, age 84. Lived the latter part of her life in Los Angeles. Made lots of money dealing in residential real estate. Married John Ferraro, Los Angeles City Councilman. He commented after her death: “She loved people and they loved her. In addition, she was very intelligent with unique views about Los Angeles and politics.”


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