Today's the last day of the ninth annual New York Burlesque Festival, which offers more than 120 performances over the course of just four days throughout the metropolitan area.

 

On Thursday, a Teaser Party in Brooklyn warmed up burlesque fans for upcoming days with hostess *BOB* and DJ Fresh Prince of Darkness. Friday brought both some retro class to Brooklyn Bowl with the Premiere Party, featuring Viva and Her Exquisitely Delicious Band as well as food, booze, bowling and DJs.

 

Last night was the main event at BB King's in Times Square, showcasing the fest's best to a sold-out crowd. Highlights of the Saturday Spectacular included Indigo Blue, MsTickle, The Stage Door Johnnies and The World Famous Pontani Sisters - who are also producers of the whole shebang along with Thirsty Girl. Murray Hill hosted with a finely honed sense of crass lounge humor that worked with the diverse audience's energy to semi-successfully sustain through three hours of acts, including a pre-show by jazz singer Brian Newman. He's participated every year since the fest began: "It's been incredible to see it grow in audience and talent. The first
show was way way downtown and now we're in Times Square in the greatest
city in the world! That's showbiz!" An after-party followed the show next door at Lucille's Bar, running into the late hours of the night.

 

Today you can still catch The Golden Pastie Awards hosted by Miss Astrid at the Highline Ballroom at 8 p.m. or the official "All Stripped Out" closing event at POP BURGER at 11 p.m. Does Murray Hill expect the fest to keep growing as a mainstay of Manhattan's entertainment scene? "Nine years ago, burlesque was just getting hot again and New York was at the center of the revival. It's great to see burlesque all over the country now and so many festivals. Burlesque is here to stay!"

 

For more information, visit www.thenewyorkburlesquefestival.com.