Burlesque (bur·lesk.) – a humorous and provocative stage show featuring slapstick humor, comic skits, bawdy songs, striptease acts, and a scantily clad chorus.
Cosplay (‘käz·pla/) – the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially Japanese manga and anime.
Cosplay Burlesque (‘käz·pla/ bur·lesk.) – a performance spectacle featuring comedians and ecdysiasts dressed as popular characters bringing striptease and silliness to conventions up and down the East Coast!
Cosplay Burlesque is the East Coast’s premier burlesque troupe specializing in fandom and convention entertainment! Featuring a rotating cast of 30+ performers of all genders and orientations, Cosplay Burlesque has entertained audiences at over 40 events since 2008. We feature striptease artists, comedians, dancers, singers, sideshow, acrobats, & drag acts – all dressed as your favorite characters from TV, comics, movies, video games, and more!
Cosplay Burlesque was founded in early 2008 by Holly Ween (then Victoria Belmont). Holly felt that conventions had let their ‘adult’ offerings fall to the wayside as they worked to become more ‘family friendly’. “I remember seeing Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue at the first anime convention I attended. It was R-rated; you had to have ID to get in.” says Holly. “Since then many cons have reoriented their programming to attract younger attendees, which is all well and good, but they haven’t done much for the older crowd. I was hoping to add something new and different to the lineup.”
Cosplaying for years, Holly saw the connection between the pageantry of cosplaying and the spectacle that is burlesque. She contacted Anime NEXT, a convention she had been staffing at for years prior, and asked them to take a chance on her pet project. Once the finer details had been hashed out, she collected a motley crew of performers, offered them a stage and a badge, and Cosplay Burlesque was born!
Over the last 7 years, Cosplay Burlesque has performed over 35 shows at more than 15 different conventions to ever growing crowds. They’ve expanded their offering to include Drag acts, musical numbers, sideshow, and comedy skits, but their first love is burlesque.