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Dead Sexy at Times Scare (slide show)

A new night of bizarre burlesque, Dead Sexy, wows the crowd at Times Scare.

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Photograph: Filip Wolak
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Jeremy X. Halpern, age 999; Baron of Weird; Downtown Bohemia

“I came to New York in the mid-’70s, when this place was still gritty—and it was magic, seeing all the porn and kung fu. Vestiges of old burlesque were still there. [Times Scare] was so many venues over the years, the ghosts of so many shows still live here, so the haunted-house aspect feels a bit extraneous to me. But I do love haunted houses. And anything in midtown that gets the strange and weird burlesque to the tourist population will enhance Americana as a whole.”

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Minnie Tonka, age: “I remember Solid Gold”; burlesque dancer; Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

“I think it’s time to bring crazy-creepy-weird back to Times Square—and what better way to do it? I love that this show demands only new burlesque acts, and weirdness, in an area full of tourists.”

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Jonny Porkpie, age: “old enough to remember the old Times Square”; future mayor of NYC; Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

“As much as I love clean, delightful places, Times Square has gotten too corporate for its own good. Getting the grittiness, the raunch, back is not only past-due, but entirely necessary. And I like to dirty whatever I can. My mayoral campaign this year is a sexiness platform, and tonight’s level of sexiness is right up that alley.”

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Legs Malone, age: “eternal soul”; performer. producer and teacher; Fort Greene, Brooklyn

“To me, this is such a thrill—this is the closest I’ve been to performing on Broadway. It’s so exciting to bring quintessential New York downtown artwork to a tourist population that has never seen it before. This was a fantastic audience who really appreciated it. It’s a virgin population.”

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Darlinda Just Darlinda, “rainbow”; producer of Bushwick Burlesque; Bushwick, Brooklyn

“Times Square is where burlesque started, so this felt right to me. I think this used to be a strip club—Play World! Classic burlesque is taking over the mainstream, so it’s nice to do something a little weird in a mainstream venue. And it’s fun to be creepy! I feel like comedy and death sometimes go together.”

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You may think burlesque in Times Square is dead—but perhaps undead would be the more apt term. The art form has found a crossroads-of-the-world home at “haunted attraction” Times Scare, where a new weekly show, Dead Sexy, focuses on the weird, the creepy and the disturbing. Produced by the self-appointed mayor of burlesque, Jonny Porkpie, cohosted by Jeremy X. Halpern, and featuring performances from stars of the Gotham scene—including Jo “Boobs” Weldon, pictured—the night’s aim is to bring burlesque both back to its roots and to a whole new audience.

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