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A Burlesque Match Made in Heaven

For many of you who watched the recent Golden Globes, you might have wondered what Christina Aguilera and Cher were doing as presenters at the ceremony. Although they will always be legends in the film and music industries, both have been somewhat out of the limelight lately. However, that has all changed with the recent reports of their cinematic partnership, Burlesque, set for release on November 10, 2010. Now, with joint public appearances and increased details available about the film, we have confirmation. The two larger-than-life performers, voices, and personalities will indeed join forces in what will either be a total disaster or a rockin good time.

Screen Gems is backing the film, set up as a star-vehicle for the Grammy-winning singer Christina. She will play a small-town Iowa girl with a big voice, who finds a mentor in Tess (Cher), the former dancer who owns an ailing "neo-burlesque" club on Sunset Boulevard. With few other details available about the plot, little else is known about the story this film will tell. It would be a safe bet that there will be a "best friend," a "love interest," probably an "unsupportive parent" and an "unrefined club patron" or two, that will have great lines of support and denigration as our heroine follows her dreams. However, the fact that it is being billed as a musical, with reports of songs by Cher and Christina both, gives hopes that this will focus on performance over drama, and will at least treat us to solid costumes and stage numbers.

This film marks a movie-first by Cher, who will sing in the film for the first time in her movie career. Her Oscar-winning turn in Moonstruck and her nominated role for Silkwood cap a surprisingly impressive resume of movies. However, her film work is no-match for her musical resume, now spanning five decades...including a string of hits with her ex-husband Sonny and a revival as queen of the dance floor and drag show world. Cher is a legendary, indescribable figure, prone to larger than life costumes and performances and an indescribable presence anywhere she goes. After a three-year hiatus and retirement from touring, Cher is currently performing her show Cher at the Colosseum at Ceaser's Palace in Las Vegas. How perfect!

Christina, on the other hand, has been taking a break from public life lately following the birth of her child. The former member of the New Mickey Mouse Club, is one fo the most successful pop artists of the last decade. Her albums show a variety of styles that prove if nothing else, Christina is not afraid to try new things. Although she is famous for songs like Genie in a Bottle, Dirrrty, and Candyman, if you want to see the real power of Christina, witness clips like her recent performance on the Hope for Haiti telecast or my personal favorite, her performance of "Steppin Out with My Baby" with Tony Bennett. She has a voice that no other singer can match. Christina has already dipped her toe in the world of burlesque with the legendary "Lady Marmalade" remake she anchored for the burlesque-inspired film Moulin Rouge.

As a lover of burlesque and films (bad and good) both, I have to say, I am excited for this film. There is no doubt it will be an over-the-top festival of camp. And as if it couldn't get any better, the film's director is Steve Antin, otherwise known as Troy from Goonies! Troy, er, I mean Steve, who once rode a toilet straight into a ceiling, will now direct Cher and Christina in a film about burlesque. It does not get much better than this. The cast, according to imdb.com, includes Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Eric Dane ("McDreamy"), Alan Cumming, and the must-have for any bad dance film, Peter Gallagher. I love it already.

I hope that you, my fellow burlesque-fans, are as excited as I am for a movie that will either gives us plenty of drinking games and mindbogglingly bad dialogue (ala Showgirls), or, what could end up being a surprisingly good showcase for two legendary performers. Either way, I'll be there opening night with tickets in hand.

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