Contact: Kelly Hargraves
Phone: 1-323-662-1930

Behind the Burly Q
A Film by Leslie Zemeckis


Wednesday, April 7th, 6 p.m. (RSVP by April 5th)

Magno Review 2, 729 7th Ave. @ 49th St.



Director Leslie Zemeckis will be available for IN PERSON interviews in NYC April 19 - 23. All telephone interviews, LA in person interviews, and other cities available upon request.


“For generations burlesque introduced American males to the pleasures of the discreetly bared breast and the perfectly timed double entendre. Now thanks to Leslie Zemeckis and Behind the Burly Q dozens of women and men recount, wryly, warmly (and a little cattily), the story of their lives on the show biz fringe. Zemeckis acted just in time--many of her subjects have not lived to see the film they helped make--and she has preserved for us a lively, lovely corner of American life.” - Richard Schickel

“An absorbing, moving and cleverly constructed look at the tradition of American burlesque...
the stories are rollercoaster rides!” - Irish Independent


Documentary Will Premiere April 23 at New York’s Quad Cinemas
Opens at Laemmle's Sunset 5 in L.A. on May 7
Other Cities to Follow

Screenings will include an exhibit of Burlesque costumes and props.

The art of Burlesque has experienced a new renaissance, but for years it was vilified and misunderstood, and for the most part left out of our cultural history. Now comes the feature documentary Behind the Burly Q, a thrilling yet affectionate look back at the golden age of Burlesque - America's most popular form of live entertainment in the first half of the 20th century.

Directed by Leslie Zemeckis, Behind the Burly Q will have its world premiere at the Dublin International Film Festival on February 27, 2010 and then come to American theatres via First Run Features beginning on April 23, 2010, with a New York Premiere at the Quad Cinema.

Behind the Burly Q reveals the true story of burlesque by telling the intimate and surprising stories from its golden age through the women (and men!) who lived it. Featuring dozens of interviews with performers, musicians and authors including actor Alan Alda, whose father Robert Alda was a handsome “tit singer” and a straight man; Nat Bodian, journalist who wrote and saw burlesque at the Empire in Newark in the 1930’s; Lorraine Lee, who used to dance for Bonnie and Clyde and Pretty Boy Floyd and “earned a quarter”; Tempest Storm, who still performs today and claims to have been lovers with Elvis and JFK; the notorious Blaze Starr, who escaped a life of poverty to rise to the heights of fame, and became involved with Governor Long; Kitty West, aka Evangelina the Oyster Girl, the Bourbon Street star, who entertained busloads of tourists as she “came out of her oyster”; Taffy O’Neill, who performed at night, and spent the days taking her young son, stricken with polio to treatment; Mike Iannucci, star stripper Ann Corio’s husband and producer of “This Was Burlesque”; Rachel Schteir who wrote the book Striptease, a comprehensive history of the art of striptease;  and Janet Davis, author of the extensively researched book on Tiny Kline, who Walt Disney himself discovered and made her the first Tinker Bell when she was in her 60s.

  Filmmaker Leslie Zemeckis is a veteran of stage and film.  She is the creator of the one-woman burlesque-inspired show, "Staar: She's Back and Mistresser Than Ever!" that has been performed at various clubs throughout Los Angeles garnering audience acclaim.  Zemeckis recently produced the feature "Staar" starring  Carrie Fisher and Jeffrey Tambor  and also produced the short film "Enfants Terribles," which she stars in opposite Peter Facineli and Christopher Lloyd and which was an official selection of the Palm Springs,  Santa Barbara and Chicago Film Festivals in 2005 – 2006.  Her acting credits include "Deterrence"  for director Rod Lurie, “Sacrifice” with Michael Madsen, “Blowback” with Mario Van Peebles, and “Polar Express” opposite Tom Hanks.  She co-starred in “Beowulf”, directed by her husband Robert Zemeckis, starring Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie.  

Behind the Burly Q
DigitalVideo, 98 minutes, 2009
Written, Produced and Directed by: Leslie Zemeckis
Editor: Evan Finn
Camera: Sheri Hellard
Executive Music Supervisor: Joel Sill
Executive Producer: Robert Zemeckis
Associate Producer: Donnalee Austen
Produced by: Sheri Hellard; Jackie Levine

Theater Information:
Quad Cinema
34 West 13th Street, NYC · (212) 255-2243

Showtimes: 1:00; 3:00; 5:05; 7:05*; 9:45
*Q&A following the 7:05 screening on Fri & Sat

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More information, including the press kit, photos, and additional playdates, is available at or