Best Burlesque Dancer: Lily Verlaine

My favorite burlesque routine is one I saw performed some years ago by the lovely Lily Verlaine. “Wearing” nothing above the waist but a large bunch of long-stemmed flowers held in front of her—roses or, of course, lilies—she saucily invites audience members to pluck them one by one from her arms. When they’re gone, she exits with a flourish of her tassels. It’s witty, naughty, and—like all her performances, given her formal dance training—buoyantly beautiful. Also a busy impresario, Verlaine, with Jasper McCann, regularly produces classy, elegant burlesque shows at The Triple Door, including Land of the Sweets, the annual burlesque take on Nutcracker, and “Burlesco DiVino,” coming up August 21–24. She embodies the sophistication of the burlesque renaissance: all seduction, no sleaze. Long may she twirl!

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