Stripping gets hot in Hollywood. Burlesque bump-and-grind nights have found new fans in Nicole Kidman, George Clooney, and others

By Nancy Miller
Updated August 16, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
Naomi Watts: Debbie Vanstory/Image Direct

The art of taking it off has taken off in Hollywood. Nicole Kidman and Demi Moore, along with George Clooney and Naomi Watts, were recently spotted at L.A.’s Forty Deuce, an old-style striptease lounge that ”emphasizes the tease more than the strip,” says owner Ivan Kane. Meanwhile, at the Roxy, Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera, and Charlize Theron have been enjoying the Thursday-night bump and grind. ”Everything [is] so depressing on every front page you read, it’s nice to escape and see something goofy and sexy,” says Theron of her love of burlesque.

And stripping’s not just for night crawlers: Cardio Striptease is the hot aerobics class at Crunch, where the clientele (including Carmen Electra) can forgo sneaks in favor of heels while they peel it off. For those who’d rather ease into the tease at home, NYC-based burlesque trio the Pontani Sisters offers the Go-Go Robics workout video, which requires go-go boots — and little else.

(Additional reporting by Brian M. Raftery)