By: Timm Carney
In a down and dirty part of Hollywood, Hollywood the way it used to be, there is a grey cinderblock cube of a bar with a seedy strip mall attached. I pulled into the parking lot early and got a spot right by a door labeled “stage door”. It was a little early but my partner Millard and I wanted to be there on time. The front door was locked and had a sign reading “before 8pm, knock”. We decided to have a bite to eat at a Thai restaurant in the attached strip mall. We met a punch drunk boxer and watched a woman with a shopping cart duke it out with her boy friend (?). Welcome to “Monday Night Tease!” at the Three Clubs. After our meal Millard and I headed to the door that was at this point unlocked. We stepped in and back in time. The room was dark and vintage-y, Mae West could possibly be in that back very dark corners. We saddled up to the bar and ordered our cocktails. The room reeked of 1949 except for the Stooges on the juke box. Unfortunately it is the 21st century and we had to smoke outside. Suddenly fabulous girls started darting around. On the far wall from the bar a set of sliding doors opened and quickly closed with the fabulous girls disappearing behind them. The night was truly starting to look exciting. We knew we were about to see Burlesque. This was “Monday Night Tease!” produced by Lili Von Schtupp. This evening’s show featured Kitten on the Keys from San Francisco. The sliding doors finally opened and revealed another fabulous room, the show room! There was a small stage surrounded by two levels of tables and chairs. There is not a bad seat in this house. We loved the show and I knew I needed to contact Ms Von Schtupp.
Punk Globe: Punkglobe readers may not have heard of you yet so can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Lili Von Schtupp: I’m not sure what has kept them from knowing about it me? I’m an extremely famous (okay, mildly famous) producer and performer of burlesque in Los Angeles, California. Maybe they have a life? Hmmm… Anyway, I’m a burlesque enthusiast who found her way onto the stage at 37. I produce LA’s longest running weekly burlesque show, “Monday Night Tease!” (, as well as a few other shows. Oh, and I created “The Burlesque Podcast” (available on iTunes) to talk about, and with other burlesque artists to spread my love for the art. And I’m a 44DD natural for those who care. ;)
Punk Globe: What drew you to burlesque?
Lili Von Schtupp: What didn’t?!? I was collecting since I found my first Playboy under my Dad’s bed. I watched old movies and musicals with my mom and had no idea many of the performers came from the burlesque circuit. The comics were amazing and the beautiful women in gowns and jewels, oh how I wanted to be one! I was fan of burlesque and didn’t know it. Slowly, as my collection grew I heard the word burlesque and then went on a hunt to understand it. Burlesque (in it’s current neo burlesque scene) is everything you love about women and entertainment. It’s sexy, smart, funny and always a good time. It encompasses parody and comedy with sexy, that’s great. For me it highlights and empowers women who may not be the ideal perfect image. Color, body shape, age, sexual orientation…none of it matters when you put on an outfit that makes you feel sexy, that confidence taking it off makes you sexy. It allows women and men to share a sexy tease in an innocent way (most of the time,) and connect again. I love strip clubs, but with burlesque it’s a journey of playfulness sometimes with a story, not really the end the result of being naked or actually having sex. I think of burlesque as foreplay on stage. Who doesn’t like that? Originally it was something a bit different; it’s gone through some big changes as society changed. It started out as parody of politics, culture and made fun of and pushed sexual morals at the time. It was racy because women showed flesh tights in public. How scandalous! With every celebrity photo showing naughty bits getting out of a car available on the Internet, burlesque seems tame now.
Punk Globe: Can you tell us about “Monday Night Tease!”?
Lili Von Schtupp: Why yes I can. “Monday Night Tease!” evolved out of the show I made my burlesque debut in, Derby Burlesque. It’s been running every Monday Night for 7 years. I’ve been producing it for over 3. I run it like a traditional burlesque show. I book 7 burlesque acts and a variety artist for each show and it changes weekly. I felt the need to keep the variety part of the show.

Originally burlesque was more about the variety arts; comics, jugglers, plate spinners, singers, magicians and the like, with a pretty girl dancing. It wasn’t all about the dancing girls then. And now it’s mostly burlesque stripping. But the amazing thing is our dancers are the variety artists now. I book amazing acts that sing and strip, hula hoop and strip, strip while juggling and more. It’s pure entertainment with a sexy twist.
Punk Globe: How did you find 3 Clubs, your venue?
Lili Von Schtupp: I was lucky. I mentioned I debuted at “Derby Burlesque.” Well, the show was at the “Brown Derby” for a few years and was moved to 3 Clubs by the original producer. The 3 Clubs offers something not easily found in LA, a three-quarter stage with a great view from anywhere in the room. It was used in the movie “Swingers” and is perfect the show I do. It’s a local favorite and once you visit you’ll know why. I love that it is my home in LA.
Punk Globe: What is the burlesque scene in Hollywood like?
Lili Von Schtupp: Growing! When I started 7 years ago there was monthly show and the show I took over. Last night there were 5 burlesque shows in LA and tonight there are 5 more. Amazing. We have several burlesque schools, a few pole dancing classes, weekly burlesque exercise classes and arsenal of amazing talent to draw from. LA is a city built on talented people trying to break into movies and so have we a ton of homegrown talent and imports as well. There are shows themed to pirate burlesque, theater productions and we have the styles of Pussycat Dolls and Café Was (formerly Forty Deuce). Not to mention Jumbo’s Clown Room, strip clubbing at its finest. They just celebrated the 40 anniversary and had aerial strippers outside the venue with the circus party they threw. What’s not to love about Hollywood burlesque!
Punk Globe: You have had some fun shows in the past what do you have planned for the future?
Lili Von Schtupp: Well, we just had our “Inglorious Burlesque: The 3rd Quentin Tarantino Burlesque Film Festival” which we do every year. We also are bringing back “The Muppet (of burlesque) Show” based on Jim Henson’s works, and Lili’s Laugh In” based on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, as well as the really popular “maydonna” show, yep you guessed it all Madonna themed acts. As for new shows, I am just starting the “I Love Mel Brooks” show for February 2011, and I’m finalizing a new show this week. It’s exciting. As much as love the theme shows, I really enjoy booking a solid classic show full of gown and glove numbers and big fan dances.
Punk Globe: What would be your dream show/venue?
Lili Von Schtupp: Wow, I’ve done so many shows I’m proud of and have plans for some killer stuff in the future, but I have to say my dream show happened August 29th. Quentin Tarantino finally saw the show. I got an email with the subject line “Quentin Tarantino” the night after “Monday Night Tease!” did Inglorious Burlesque. I opened it and it was from Quentin’s people and he wanted to see the show but couldn’t come on Monday. I pulled he cast back together and we did a private showing him and the people from his company, actors from his movies, writers, Ads, prop people and his friends. He basically booked the show for his friends. He is such a sweet guy! Honestly, when he jumped on stage at curtain call and said it was amazing, it was the highlight of my career. So much time was spent on details and things only people who worked on the movies would get, to have them cheering though our acts was awesome. Watching the reactions of people who worked on those films laughing and cheering n the sexy strips was pretty fucking cool.

I have an amazingly successful show that is surviving in LA on a weekly basis and friends I work with that are talented, smart, beautiful and sexy. I am managing to make a living doing what I love. Hell, I’m living the dream every day. As long as there is a stage and I can work with my amazing friends, I’m a happy.

So there you have if right from the producer’s mouth! There is a great Burlesque scene in LA and Variety entertainment is here in a new and fresh format. Check out her show if you are in town it is well worth the trip.