Kelly Hargraves
Phone: 1-323-662-1930

Conor Sellers


A Film by Leslie Zemeckis

Available on DVD beginning April 12

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.

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 stripteasing;  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.

DVD BONUS FEATURES: Three Featurettes: The Reunion; Memorabilia & Costumes; Behind the Scenes • Bonus Interviews • Burlesque Timeline • Photo Gallery • Original Theatrical Trailer • 16:9 Presentation • Closed Captions

“Leslie Zemeckis has preserved for us a lively, lovely corner of American life.”
- Richard Schickel, Film Critic & Historian

“Charming...a delight! It‘s great that Zemeckis immortalized these women.”
- The New York Times

“A privileged front-row seat to the history of burlesque! Glorious ladies in their heyday...their long-ago stripteases still pack a sensual, sassy, what-the-hell punch, while juicy anecdotes run from raunchy to touching to funny to flat-out incredible.” - Variety

“Insightful, fascinating, utterly entertaining! Enough to make fans of classic erotica swoon.”
- The Village Voice

“Smart, brassy, sassy and charming!” -

“Critics' Pick!” - New York Magazine

“Affectionate and engaging! Wonderful vintage footage...a fascinating glimpse into a corner of American history.” - New York Daily News

Behind the Burly Q
98 minutes, color & b/w, 2010
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

Press materials are available at: