Best of burlesque

Berlin's got sexy nightlife in spades, but the burlesque community’s a little scattershot. Primitiv is holding things down, though: with a biweekly Sunday Soiree (May 14, 7:30pm) and the more kitschier event series, Poetry Brothel.

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Berlin’s got sexy nightlife in spades, but the burlesque community’s a little scattershot. But the biweekly Sunday Soiree, run by Bravo Burlesque, has been holding it down on a small, glittery stage in the back room at Primitiv, a Soviet-lite theme bar on Simon-Dach. The invited performers are surprisingly international (from Glasgow to Oklahoma City) and the artistic standards are high. When we went, it was more about old-school elegance than camp or humour, but it depends on the line-up. Boylesque performer John Celestus’ swan-like nude fan dance had us fan-girling. A wider range of body types and gender expressions would be nice, and 10 minutes between performances kind of killed the energy.

So, if you’re craving a little more kitsch and a little more chaos, enter the Poetry Brothel. The event series hatched on the Lower East Side of New York City has made its way to the sixth borough. The idea is that a rotating cast of “whores” (actually poets) are available – for a fee – for intimate poetry readings in dark corners. The bordello is set within an immersive vaudeville cabaret with Prohibition-style drinks, music, and, yes, more burlesque. If that’s still too highbrow, well, get out of the stage section and check the classifieds. 

Sunday SoireeEvery second and and fourth Sunday Primitiv Bar, Friedrichshain

Poetry Brothel Berlin | Tango Loft, Wedding, check Facebook page for upcoming events