A theatrical entertainment of broad and earthy humor; consists of comic skits and short turns (and sometimes striptease).
In the 17th and 18th centuries, a form of satirical comedy parodying a particular play or dramatic genre. For example, John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera 1728 is a burlesque of 18th-century opera, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Critic 1777 satirizes the sentimentality in contemporary drama. In the US from the mid-19th century, burlesque referred to a sex-and-comedy show invented by Michael Bennett Leavitt 1866 with acts including acrobats, singers, and comedians. During the 1920s striptease was introduced in order to counteract the growing popularity of the movies; Gypsy Rose Lee was the most famous stripper. Burlesque was frequently banned in the US.
ETYM Old Eng. jeste, geste, deed, action, story, tale, Old Fren. geste, Late Lat. gesta, orig., exploits, neut. pl. from Latin gestus, p. p. of gerere to bear, carry, accomplish, perform.
Activity characterized by good humor; SYN. joke, jocularity.
ETYM Latin mimus, Greek, akin to mimesis imitation: cf. French mime. Related to Mimosa.
Type of acting in which gestures, movements, and facial expressions replace speech. It has developed as a form of theater, particularly in France, where Marcel Marceau and Jean Louis Barrault have continued the traditions established in the 19th century by Deburau and the practices of the commedia dell'arte in Italy. In ancient Greece, mime was a crude, realistic comedy with dialogue and exaggerated gesture.
1. A performance using gestures and body movements without words; SYN. pantomime, dumb show.
2. An actor who communicates entirely by gesture and facial expression; SYN. mimer, mummer, pantomimer, pantomimist.