Show Business: Grinding to a Halt

If vaudeville was once king, burlesque was the nation's raffish, rococo old queen. Sixty years ago this week, Baltimore's New Monumental Theater featured "Divorceland: A fantasy of song and jest, with sumptuous scenic environment and an ensemble of beauteous femininity, prodigally clad in costly raiment." Throughout the '20s and '30s, pratfalls and epidermis at Minsky's warmed the Broadway night. From Boston's elegant Old Howard Theater to the vulgar palaces of Midwestern river towns, innocently dirty old men of all ages whistled and stamped at the sultry writhings of Gypsy Rose Lee, Ann Corio...

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