It would be appropriate to say I saw “Burlesque” and then make fun of it as eye candy, as fluff.

I loved it.

OK, Christina Aguilera cannot act. That’s OK. Her voice is so exquisite that you don’t care. She brings an utterly incredible level of energy to her singing and dancing that one is quickly willing to let her acting talents off the hook.

Cher is fine in an undemanding, one-note role (“I won’t sell my night club!”). Stanley Tucci steals every scene he’s even remotely in. Wow. Big surprise there. Stanley Tucci could stand on stage and floss his teeth, and I’d give him a standing ovation.

The big surprise is how poorly used the great Scottish actor Alan Cumming is. He’s got a half dozen lines and one-fifth of a musical number. You want to shake writer/director Steve Antin (A Portlander, or so says IMDB) and say, “You’ve got Alan Cumming, for @#%& sake! Put him center stage in every scene that doesn’t have Stanley Tucci center stage!”


The music is the reason you buy the ticket and the metric ton of popcorn. And the music’s great. The dance numbers are livid and baudy. The dancers are easy to look at. (As is actor Cam Gigandet as the love interest. The boy looks fine in bowler and eyeliner, a la Christopher Isherwood.)

“Burlesque” is to the great American musical what Top Ramen is to Chinese cuisine. What can I tell you… I like Top Ramen. So sue me.

About danahaynes

Dana Haynes is the author of ICE COLD KILL (2013), BREAKING POINT (2011) and CRASHERS (2010) from Minotaur and St. Martin's Press.

Posted on January 8, 2011, in Blog and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. For a moment there, I thought you were blogging about our sex life. As you were…


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