We're kicking off Giving Tuesday early this year! Your donation today will be matched up to $10K, doubling your impact! If you donate $50 today, the Reader will receive $100.

The Reader is now a community-funded nonprofit newsroom. Can we count on your support to help keep us publishing?

Posted inArts & Culture

Leslie Zemeckis’s Goddess of Love Incarnate tells of how Lili St. Cyr made stripping classy

Back in the 1940s, burlesque was considered a shabby, second-rate, and mildly sleazy form of entertainment. Then Lili St. Cyr took the stage. “Lili,” writes Leslie Zemeckis in her new biography Goddess of Love Incarnate, “revolutionized stripping and redefined what a stripper could be. Lili’s audience held their breaths, mesmerized by her queenly carriage. . […]