Hollywood Burlesque Legend Coming to Quad Cities

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One of the best known burlesque performers of the 1950s and 1960s, Tempest Storm is coming to the Adler Theater for the Iowa Burlesque Festival.

"Burlesque star and motion picture actress Tempest Storm has never been to Iowa. That will change in November when she arrives for the Inaugural Iowa Burlesque Festival."

She's made a movie with Betty Page, been involved romantically with Elvis and seen Las Vegas transformed from two hotels on the strip into what it is today. But burlesque star and motion picture actress Tempest Storm has so far never been to Iowa. That will change in November when she arrives for the Inaugural Iowa Burlesque Festival.

One of the best known burlesque performers of the 1950s and 1960s, Tempest Storm was in Nashville recently making a recording when she met Iowa's own Danielle Colby-Cushman of American Pickers. Known in burlesque circles as Dannie Diesel, the chance meeting sewed the seeds for Storm making her appearance here.

Storm says Diesel is one of several young stars bringing back burlesque and keeping it alive. It's a medium that's had it's ups and downs over the years, but currently appears to be on an upswing in popularity.

"The young girls are keeping it classy," Storm comments. "They are an inspiration to us all."

At times in the past, class has been hard to come by.

When she started in 1951, Storm says some of Hollywood's elite men came to her shows with their wives-- Men like Edward G. Robinson and Burt Lancaster. Burlesque was about girls, music and costumes. Then it became about girls.

"Women stopped coming when the nudity started," Storm says. "Women loved to see the costumes. I said I am going to be a class act or I am not going to continue."

Continue she did, becoming one of the biggest names in burlesque.

Once married to singer Herb Jeffries, who is now over 100, and herself enjoying an active work life in her mid 80s, Storm says while she never drank much, smoked or used drugs, the real secret to longevity may be simply a positive attitude.

"Older women complain about getting old," Storm says. "I don't dwell on it. I started in 1951 and still get standing ovations. I like to say 'the man upstairs doesn't want me and the devil gave up a long time ago, so I have to stay here.'"

About the Iowa Burlesque Festival
The Inaugural Iowa Burlesque Festival, presented by History’s Danielle Colby, will be held at the Adler Theatre on Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24. Tickets are available for single performances or the entire festival series. Tickets can be purchased at the Adler Theatre Box Office (136 E. 3rd St.), Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800‐745‐3000 and Ticketmaster outlets. More details are available at iowaburlesquefestival.blogspot.com

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Eric Miller
Stripe Specialty Media
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