It was a full house on Friday, September 11 as Coney Island-goers packed out Coney Island USA headquarters, 1208 Surf Avenue, for the 2015 Miss Coney Island Burlesque Beauty Pageant.
“It was completely sold out,” said Dick Zigun, the “unofficial mayor of Coney Island” and artistic director of Coney Island USA , stressing that, however satirical the burlesque pageant is intended to be, it’s always serious fun. “It’s a satire of a beauty pageant that in no way pretends to be a real beauty or talent contest, but, in a way, it represents the neighborhood by being one of the most talked-about burlesque shows.”
The acts – many of them, Zigun said, over the top and covered in glitter – were impressively unique.
“For a beauty pageant contestant to be wheeled out and displayed on a hand truck, that’s pretty unusual,” said Zigun, “but that’s what makes it so great.”
Events like this, he said, cater not only to the neo-burlesque community – which, he noted, is “pretty prevalent” across New York City today – but also to tourists and everyday passersby on the Boardwalk. “Just having the ability to goof off, I think, is a service in itself that we are happy to provide.”
This year’s candidates for the crown included Tiny D, Ginger Twist, La Maia, Sweet Lorraine, Anja Keister, Minx Arcana, Bunny Buxom, Fancy Feast (the winner of this year’s pageant) and Iris Explosion, all accompanied by live music by The Nep-Tunes.
For more information on the 2015 Coney Island Burlesque Beauty Pageant – or other spectacles of its kind – visit www.coneyisland.com.