And it’s an all-star international lineup of naked readers who kick off the five-day, third-annual Toronto Burlesque Festival at the Gladstone Hotel Wednesday night. NGR, in fact, is the newest phenomenon of the phenomenal burlesque revival.
The concept came out of a chance remark by Chicago photographer/writer Franky Vivid. He walked into a room and found his naked wife, burlesque superstar Michelle L’amour, in repose, reading a book, which prompted him to remark, “I like the image.”
“ We have an emotional connection to the pieces we have chosen.”And so the couple began thinking about NGR as a form of entertainment. They considered, then rejected a pay-per-view website as being too prurient. They then hit upon the idea of a tasteful, old-style salon. They also discovered that naked girls reading has been a favourite subject of painters and photographers throughout the centuries.
Says L’amour: “We hold the series every month at my studio. Each evening has a theme, and each girl selects her own material which can come from fiction, non-fiction, song lyrics or poetry. For example, for the “Independent Women” show, readings included Dorothy Parker, Mae West and Coco Chanel. We publish the reading lists on our nakedgirlsreading.com website.”
NGR came to Toronto this past March when the strip divas of Skin Tight Outta Sight Rebel Burlesque held their first salon. Co-producers L’amour and Vivid licence out the trademarked name after carefully screening the quality of the applicants. The format is generally four or five readers who take 10-minute turns, ending with a group read from a common book. The readers usually perch demurely on a chaise.
More at Globe & Mail.