1/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 3/61Photograph: Filip WolakCyndi Freeman, 47; burlesque artist, storyteller and part-time bartender; Sunset Park, Brooklyn“Theme shows add the excitement of who’s going to be who and how they’ll send it up. We were sitting there, coming up with so many bits, we had to figure out which to cut! It’s fun to write, and doubly fun to watch audiences get it.
I think part of the attraction is how Mad Men looks. I tend to occasionally dress vintage, and it’s not as comfortable as a pair of jeans. The thing about Mad Men is we all wish we could look like that, and do that all the time —but we’re too addicted to comfort.
The show presents ideas about relationships, sex and the hierarchy of male and female that were real, but have changed. Looking back in 2012 lets us register our own thoughts on those topics, and question our own points of view and think about why they changed and why we have our opinions.” 4/61Photograph: Filip WolakHandsome Brad Lawrence, 39; burlesque host, storyteller and writer; Sunset Park, Queens; left“Mad Men is as well-written as any novel has attempted to be. They’ve created a mythology so deep that it’s ripe for homage and parody. We had so many jokes and details from the show to throw in. A large part is a love of the characters, and audiences spend a lot of time falling in love with the characters. So to get a burlesque spin on something you love, to laugh at something you’re emotionally invested in… It’s a deeper laugh.” 5/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 6/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 7/61Photograph: Filip WolakGinger Twist, 28; burlesque artist; Upper East Side“I think Mad Men is real; I don’t think it’s cookie-cutter like other shows about the ’60s. I think it shows us what was really happening, and that’s what’s so attractive about it.” 8/61Photograph: Filip WolakLittle Motown, 24; burlesque artist; Brooklyn“Mad Men struck a chord with me, because I’m in advertising; and it’s great, knowing the history, to see it played out. 9/61Photograph: Filip WolakTrixie Little; burlesque performer; Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; front“I think the quality of Mad Men’s aesthetic is something you don’t get on TV a lot. The attention to detail is so sumptuous, and the characters are so amazing. It’s a standard of quality you don’t often see. Everyone’s so sexy, and the lingerie… It’s obvious to blend it with burlesque. And it’s set in an era when burlesque was popular in American culture—they even shot some burlesque scenes at the old Slipper Room!” 10/61Photograph: Filip WolakVada James, 27; burlesque performer; Astoria, Queens“There’s a lot of nostalgia for a bygone era right now.” 11/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 12/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 13/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 14/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 15/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 16/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 17/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 18/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 19/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 20/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 21/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 22/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 23/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 24/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 25/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 26/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 27/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 28/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 29/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 30/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 31/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 32/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 33/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 34/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 35/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 36/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 37/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 38/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 39/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 40/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 41/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 42/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 43/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 44/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 45/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 46/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 47/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 48/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 49/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 50/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 51/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 52/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 53/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 54/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 55/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 56/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 60/61Photograph: Filip Wolak 61/61Photograph: Filip Wolak
When: Tuesday, June 19
The scene: Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Does Mad Men at R Bar
Mad Men has captured our fancy with its blend of strong characters, nostalgia and garter-belted sex appeal—not to mention one very curvy redhead. If you think those qualities sound pretty familiar, you’re right. It’s what we love about burlesque, too, a point not lost on the folks at Hotsy Totsy. Big fans of the show when the they’re offstage, yjrtroupe members blended their passion for Mad Men with some in-jokes—and Cherry Pitz’s trademark pink wig—to create an evening that embraced devotees and novices alike. Backstage, the crew shared some opinions on Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s cult appeal, and its influence on their peel.