Burlesque or Cabaret


Pictured above are The Golddiggers of the Dean Martin Comedy Hour: (top right; clock-wise) Deborah Pratt, Lee Nolting, Colleen Kincaid, Linda  Eichberg (Alberici Sister), Patti Gribow, Susan Buckner, Maria Lauren (Alberici Sister) and Robin Hoctor.

Thanksgiving Day is over, so it looks like Santa’s elves are donning new attire for the Holiday’s, now that the movie, Burlesque launched this season’s merriment! The film raises the question, what’s the difference between burlesque and cabaret?

To my delight, the movie Burlesque seemed to be a combination of cabaret and burlesque that takes the high road. It stars Christina Aguilera and Cher.  Loved this movie and loved them!! It was pure entertainment with a story line that touched me right down to my artist’s soul. The rest of the cast was fun to watch too: Eric Dane of Grey’s Anatomy; Julianne Hough, formerly of Dancing with the Stars; Stanley Tucci, whose acting I always enjoyed and Cam Gigandet, whose presence had all the appeal needed for the romantic male lead.


Burlesque, the movie: Cher and Christina Aguilera

I’ve always been drawn to watching movies with musical numbers, singing, dancing and glamorous stars wearing extravagant costumes. Sometime in my youth, my mind and heart led me into the world of entertainment but it did not include burlesque. Of course, I heard stories about old burlesque, which included vaudeville dancing with raunchy jokes and even some clothing removed on stage. My parents steered me away from that type of show biz. On stage, I enjoyed connecting to my audience while exposing only my raw emotions and talent.

American cabaret is theatrical with the influence of jazz. It features a variety of singing, dancing and comedy in a restaurant or night club setting.  Both burlesque and cabaret spotlight ‘over-the-top’ costumes, sometimes even beading and feathers.

~ Description of burlesque in Chicago, 1910: “ … had a fierce pioneer gaiety that enlivened the senses, yet underlying it throbbed masculine loneliness. Counteracting this somatic ailment was a national distraction known as the burlesque show, consisting of a coterie of rough-and-tumble comedians supported by twenty or more chorus girls.” Charles ChaplinMy Autobiography

American cabaret was prevalent in the cities of Chicago and New York and celebrated live music in speakeasy’s that featured vocalists like Bette Midler, Eartha Kitt, Peggy Lee etc… During the late 60’s and into the early 70’s, my sister Linda and I started entertaining in supper clubs and cabaret houses as the Alberici Sisters. In 1973 and for several decades, we performed in the singing and dancing group The Golddiggers, appearing on television variety series and specials, including the Dean Martin Comedy Hour. With the popularity of  the TV variety show, small cabaret clubs began to close down or turn into dance clubs. Theaters and the big show rooms of Vegas and Atlantic City still attracted the best of cabaret and as luck would have it, we entertained at these venues with top celebrities. In the mid to late 70’s, we toured with some vaudeville stars too, including Donald O’Conner and Milton Berle. Oh, the stories they told us… We wrote a book about it!

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams is a book about show-biz in the groovy 70’s and touring with classic celebrities like the Rat Pack, written by my sister and I (Alberici Sisters) from The Golddiggers!

Within the span of three decades from 1973, The Golddiggers evolved under the direction of Lee Hale and Greg Garrison. During our act, we performed a variety of songs and we did many costume changes which included glittering long gowns, pants, shorts and country girl outfits. Our Cabaret costumes were our most risqué outfits. As we blossomed into women, our stage outfits were made to have more sophistication but always with a glamorous edge. There have been many ladies with whom I shared the name The Dean Martin Golddiggers; many of them are still my friends today.

Let there be joy, singing, dancing and laughter in your life. It’s good for your health!

 Sending smiles,

 Maria Lauren, (AKA: Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio)

~ Your Powerful LIFE blog ~


Maria Lauren continues her passion in the field of fitness and entertainment.

Contact: YGTPower@aol.com

  •  Keynote Speaker: “You Got The Power”
  • Lifestyle Educator: at Kaiser Permanente 
  • Entertainer and Producer of “Showstoppers”
  • Singing or Fitness Coach…



Maria-Lauren-Alberici-RiccioThis is a blog about LIFE: Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment. It is produced in my own time and solely reflects my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.

11 thoughts on “Burlesque or Cabaret

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  4. It was so much fun reading this blog, and it made me remininisce on the times I shared watching my mother and the girls get ready for their Vegas shows opening up for Dean Martin in the late 80’s and early 90’s. They looked so glamorous. I only hope that being a performance artist now, I can add some of the glitz and glam that I saw The Golddiggers bring through their costumes and shows!
    In regards to the movie “Burlesque,” what an amazing job Christina Aguilera did representing her character’s emotions and as a skilled vocalist. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I laughed and I cried and the movie brought me back to a theater arts class I took in college.
    My cabaret class was quite the experience and journey. In the class, I learned about how the history of cabaret and burlesque originated in France and Germany. Cabaret brought provocative fun to the crowds during a time period when a woman who expressed herself sexually was quite shocking. I looked forward to going to this class and performing in it. There’s nothing wrong with a little razzle dazzle!

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