Arizona Unzipped: Burlesque is back at Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix

Burlesque is back at the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix.

For the first time in nearly 90 years, it’s kicking off with a show called "Arizona Unzipped."

It includes a fun lesson on Arizona history, through dance and music.

The event on Friday, March 24 is being put on by Pyrrha Sutra of PS Presents.

Arizona's Hip Historian, Marshall Shore, will narrate the state's history, followed by dance numbers inspired by those stories.

"It’s a big honor for us to be here and it’s a beautiful way to revive the burlesque and the history and the history of this theatre," Sutra said.

Shore and Sutra say some of the history being covered include Tombstone, prohibition, Melinda's Alley in downtown Phoenix, the Playboy Club and Legend City, the former East Valley amusement park.


"So, it's going to so much fun as we hit so many different decades of Arizona history and so many places," Shore said.

"And it will still be educational and entertaining," Sutra said.

It’s been 88 years since burlesque was performed at the theatre.

"So the last time burlesque was here, was in 1935. And it was Fannie Brice, and she was part of the Ziegfield Follies," said Laura Stenzel, treasurer of Friends of the Orpheum Theatre.

"And prior to that in 1929, the year the theatre opened, Gypsy Rose Lee performed here, but she wasn't Gypsy Rose Lee yet. She was just known as Madame Rose's daughters, I think was their official billing title for it," she said. "So we've had two of the top burlesque individuals play here in the history of the theatre."

There will also be live singing and music. The event also serves as a fundraiser for Friends of the Orpheum Theatre.

Doors open at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 24. The show starts at 8 p.m.