Once summed up by The New York Times
as a “fetish queen, fashion avatar [and] America’s sultry doyenne of burlesque,” Dita Von Teese (née Heather Renée Sweet in 1970s-era Michigan) is arguably the most recognizable and celebrated catalyst of the resurgence — and reinvention — of an art form rooted in the Victorian era. A striking beauty seemingly abducted and immaculately preserved from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Von Teese
tantalized early fans in the pages of Playboy
and memorably married theatrical goth-rocker/Hollywood vampire Marilyn Manson in 2005.
Styled in the vein of racy trailblazers like Gypsy Rose Lee, Von Teese is famous for enhancing her vintage-inspired costumes (picture corsets, sequins and wasp-waisted silhouettes) and routines with such over-the-top props as supersized feather fans and a Swarovski crystal-encrusted martini glass roomy enough for her to lounge in. Having charmed hard-to-please celebs ranging from Alan Cumming (“I am her willing slave”) and Demi Moore (“Dita is absolutely mesmerizing … thoroughly intoxicating”) to Aaron Paul (“She is our generation’s Bettie Page”) and Jean Paul Gaultier (“Dita is like a heroine of a novel or a Hollywood movie”), Von Teese is currently touring with a revamped version of her glamorous and nostalgic production The Art of the Teese
Hosted by New York-based comic, musician, podcaster and nightlife personality Jonny McGovern (aka the Gay Pimp), the glitzy spectacle combines four of Von Teese’s signature routines — including her ballet-inspired “Swan Lake Stripteese” and a “Rhinestone Cowgirl” act that plays out on a bedazzled mechanical bull — with sultry performances from “Vontourage” members Dirty Martini, Ginger Valentine, Jett Adore, Zelia Rose and RuPaul’s Drag Race season seven winner Violet Chachki. Update: $2 from every ticket purchased (between now and 9 p.m. Tue, Aug. 29) will be donated to the Greater Houston Community Foundation Hurricane Relief Fund.