Video: Burlesque stars of the nerdlesque scene

We profile five mainstays of nerdlesque, a geeky subgenre of burlesque. Plus, watch a burlesque video or two of their nerdiest numbers.

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  • Photograph: Wayne Herrschaft

    Anja Keister, founder of D20 Burlesque

  • Photograph: Andrew Levengood

    Anja Keister, founder of D20 Burlesque

  • Photograph: Fernando Pacheco

    Anja Keister, founder of D20 Burlesque

Photograph: Wayne Herrschaft

Anja Keister, founder of D20 Burlesque


Anja Keister, founder of D20 Burlesque (d20burlesque.com)

Although Keister admits there was already a lot of nerdlesque on the boards, she founded her troupe in 2011 to satisfy the RPG and gamer crowds. “As far as I know, we’re the only gaming and gamer-culture based burlesque troupe in the world,” she says. Certainly, D20’s themes aren’t as mainstream as the latest movie blockbuster. Past shows have centered on board games, Internet memes and old-school video games, as well as zombies and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. The feisty Keister says her acts are often “so weirdly nerdy” they don’t fit in at traditional burlesque revues. “D20 gives our fans a special and safe space to nerd out.” Next event: Parkside Lounge, 317 E Houston St at Attorney St (212-673-6270, parksidelounge.net). Sat 19 at 9:30, 11:30pm; $10–$15.

Her nerdiest numbers: H.P. Lovecraft’s green creature Cthulhu; performing as an oversize, walking 20-sided die





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