Burlesque, that sexy, sultry, but not-quite-so-naked performance, has seen a resurgence in the past few years. The literary definition of burlesque is "a dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing serious work." In the 1940s however, popular variety shows that featured risque comedy and female striptease in cabarets and clubs became known as "burlesque shows," and hence the current format was born.
In South Florida, you can find a handful of restaurants that offer dinner and an eye-opening show put on by bodacious ladies. One such lovely lady is longtime entertainer Bambi La Fleur. Known for her seductive voice and Marilyn Monroe-like sex appeal, this blond bombshell from Montana loves to put on a good show as she sings, dances, and reveals her pasties. Unlike strippers, burlesque dancers don't take it all off, which is fine with Bambi because, she tells us, "strippers may have the money, but we get to eat."
Short Order was fortunate to catch Ms. La Fleur for a quick interview on all things edible.
New Times: Why did you become a burlesque dancer?
Bambi: Burlesque is the beginning of when a woman could be revealing and tantalizing onstage. In burlesque, the woman has the power. She is unattainable and glamorous and I've always been infatuated by glamor. If it sparkles it's probably mine and I like to take my clothes off. But the best part is that you get to drink and eat. Nobody likes a skinny burlesque performer.
What is the secret to a good burlesque performance?
Vodka-to-go bars and a good attitude,
What do you eat before you go onstage to make sure you have a good performance?
I'll carbo-load for stamina and energy. My pasties pecan pie with whiskey hard sauce is great -- sugar, carbs, and alcohol all in one.
Have you ever performed with food?
I did a candy cane number -- I pulled thousands of candy canes out of my corset and underwear.
What is your favorite meal?
Jamaican goat head soup.
What do you eat to help you keep your burly figure?
Bambi's big butt chili is one of my favorites. It's made from all canned goods except for the ground meat.
If Jamaican goat head soup and big butt chili is too much for you, just try the vodka-to-go bars. Bambi assures us they are a crowd pleaser and ensure a great performance even by the most timid novice.
Bambi's Vodka-to-Go Bars
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1 6 oz. box of raspberry Jell-O
2 cups boiling water
2 cups vodka
In a bowl, pour the boiling water over the Jell-O and stir thoroughly until dissolved. Cool to room temperature, then stir in the vodka. Pour the mixture into a sheet pan and let set for at least six hours. Cut into squares and eat a few before you take the stage.