On the job: Angie Pontani, creator of Burlesque-A-Pades

Burlesque superstar Angie Pontani dishes on creating her year-end holiday revue and the one piece of clothing you need this holiday season

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Angie Pontani at the Burlesque-A-Pades holiday spectacular

Angie Pontani at the Burlesque-A-Pades holiday spectacular Photograph: Francine Daveta


Since 2006, Angie Pontani has ended every year with a special edition of her signature burly-Q revue, featuring titillating numbers, comic interludes and plenty of strategically placed mistletoe. We got the scoop on this year’s Burlesque-A-Pades holiday spectacular, as well as Pontani’s tip on the most important garment you need for the holidays. (Hint: It’s an undergarment.)

What can audiences expect from the show?
We’re rivaling the Rockettes a little bit with dance routines that are mostly set to holiday songs. The plot is influenced by A Christmas Carol—our host is Albert Cadabra, and he’s Scrooge. He’s going to be visited by three sexy ghosts who show him the way to find his holiday spirit. 

What other holiday stories or movies inspire you?
I watch all the classics—Holiday Inn, Miracle on 34th Street—just looking for new inspiration and rekindling old ones. This year we had a big cast dinner party; I
made my famous spaghetti and meatballs and had everyone over for a night of watching versions of A Christmas Carol, including Scrooged.

Do you change the numbers from year to year?
It does change yearly—we bring in new acts and retire some to keep it fresh and new for the audience and ourselves. But there are certain acts that we don’t retire, like our tribute to Dominick the Donkey. It’s a classic that you can never get sick of—a true holiday staple.

Has there ever been a performance malfunction?
Last season we were closing the show with a go-go dance routine to “Proud Mary.” Everyone was onstage doing this pony move and getting ready to go into our kick line when somehow, the track skipped from Tina Turner to Desi Arnaz’s “Mañana.” Everyone on the stage just froze for about ten seconds, and then we all started mamboing around. I think the audience thought we had questionable choreography and a terrible sound mixer. 

What are some of the challenges of putting on the show?
Finding enough time to glue on all your rhinestones and crystals is a very big challenge.

HOLIDAY TIP: “The most important thing about dressing [for the holidays] is that what’s underneath counts just as much, if not more, than what you are wearing,” says Pontani. “Stockings make your legs look amazing; plus, the right garter belt provides an instant tummy tuck and accentuates your waistline.”

Burlesque-A-Pades: A Holiday Spectacular happens at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St at Thompson St (212-505-3474, lepoissonrouge.com). Sat 21 at 8pm; $20, advance $15.


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