The two-hour Star documentary tells the story of the Gentlemen’s Choice roadshow, a group of burlesque dancers and performers who – ironically – were the original feminists.
The documentary premiered on Thursday and is among the most anticipated of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. The film, which premiered on HBO Thursday night, is directed by Gotham Chopra and produced by Keith Calder and Courtney Solomon of 3 Arts Entertainment and Lawrence Bender of Killer Films. Its was supported by Insight Venture Partners, SoCalVentures and Virgin Holidays.
In an interview, the performers and the owner of Gentlemen’s Choice said that they were not happy with the film’s portrayal of the performance group, which has been an active touring group since 2006.
“They’re a dysfunctional family. All the performers that I’ve talked to don’t feel comfortable with the picture that was being painted of us,” said Kyle Bass, a dancer in the group who is also a partner of the group, who told The Hollywood Reporter.
The cast members of Gentlemen’s Choice were also let go from Break the Floor, a dance theater company that they’ve performed with for more than a decade.
The company’s founder, Travis Wall, who plays the part of Don Rickles in the group, said that he was a victim of blacklisting.
“You never come in and put your arm around a person and say, ‘Now go this way’ and tell them they can’t say a few words the next day because that’s not fair to everyone else,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
“A lot of the women came to Break the Floor crying because they were afraid this wouldn’t look pretty to the fans and that our show had suddenly gone all G-rated.”
The film also reveals some harsh truths about the world of the burlesque world. Some of the actresses are revealed to be alcoholic and drug-addicted, and the documentary also sheds light on the dire financial conditions that some performers face. But, according to Kyle Bass, producers “reached out” to the dancers and asked for their perspectives about the film, but the producers weren’t willing to collaborate.
“We just felt like we’re wanted, or we’re in the right place, when it comes to our self-image and our friends believe in us, we believe in ourselves,” Bass told THR. “The people we respect the most said you have a job to do. We don’t think you need to go on stage in your bra and panties to make a difference.”
Read the full story at The Hollywood Reporter.
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