Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Noirsville Bonus Ann Corio's This Was Burlesque
Ann Corio (November 29, 1909 – March 1, 1999) was a prominent American burlesque ecdysiast and actress. Ann Corio's original surname was Cicoria. She changed her name to Corio for stage purposes and because some family members did not approve of her profession.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, she was one of twelve children of Italian immigrant parents. While still in her teens, Corio's good looks and shapely physique landed her showgirl roles that led to her becoming a hugely popular striptease artist. Her rise to stardom as a featured performer on the burlesque circuit began in 1925, working in theatres such as the famous Minsky's Burlesque in New York City and Boston's old Howard Theater.
Supposedly Ann can take credit for grooming Lou Costello of Abbott & Costello. She gave him his start on her show "The Ann Corio Show," this was possibly in St. Joseph, Missouri.
In 1962 she put together the nostalgic off-Broadway show This Was Burlesque in which she directed and performed. In the 1970s she took This Was Burlesque out on the summer stock circuit for several seasons. In 1981, the show played Broadway at the old Latin Quarter, which was then known as the Princess Theatre. In 1985, she mounted the show for the second to last time in downtown Los Angeles, at the Variety Arts Theatre, where it did not have a good run. Ann can take credit for grooming Lou Costello into the wonderful comedian we know today. She gave him his start on her show "The Ann Corio Show."
This Was Burlesque
Phoenix Flame, Tassel Twirler -
News Item about Phoenix Flame from 1977:
A dancer in Ann Corios The Was Burlesque has been charged with violating an anti-nudity ordinance in Albany, N.Y., by dancing topless in the play at a suburban summer theater. Phoenix M. Kostera, 26, of Greenville, Ind., known on stage as Phoenix Flame, was arrested for her four-minute performance at the opening Monday night. Also arrested was Gloria Lamere, 50, general manager of the Colonie Coliseum, where the burlesque revival is playing. She was charged with allowing topless dancing. Both women were released on $25 bond.