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August 21, 2014

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Burlesque legend Tempest Storm falls, breaks hip during performance

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The Liberace Foundation

Tempest Storm.

The Burlesque Hall of Fame’s 20th anniversary weekend has been jarred by an onstage injury suffered by one of the art form’s most famous and revered performers.

Tempest Storm, an icon in the burlesque universe for more than six decades, fractured her left hip in a fall near the end of Friday night’s nearly four-hour program at the Plaza Showroom. The 82-year-old Storm slipped and fell backward onto the stage during the second song in a two-number medley, Engelbert Humperdinck's "My Wife the Dancer." She landed awkwardly and her head loudly hit the stage. Storm was taken by ambulance to Sunrise Medical Center, where this morning hospital spokeswoman Ashlee Seymour said she is listed in “good” condition.

Seymour was not authorized to provide any further details on Storm’s condition, but a post on the Burlesque Hall of Fame’s Facebook page said she was due to undergo surgery this morning, but it is likely that will happen this afternoon.

A Las Vegas resident who has graced theater and showroom stages since the 1950s, was the show-closing act in a wildly appreciated performance before a near-capacity crowd. The curtain came down after the incident, which is believed to be the first time Storm has lost her balance in a 60-year career.

Burlesque Hall of Fame executive and a friend of Storm’s, Laura Herbert, said it is too soon after the accident to know if Friday’s show might well have been Storm’s final performance.

“It was such an awful and unexpected thing,” said Herbert, who was with Storm from the time of the accident until about 6 a.m. today. “She’s such a trouper. She’s an amazing performer and she loves the stage.”

Drummer Tony Felicetta, who is part of the "B - BeatlesShow Tribute" at V Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, was performing during Storm's segment. The two are friends. "Before the show we were talking backstage and she told me she felt like she was 25 years old, that's how good she felt," he said. The two talked today and Felicetta said Storm seemed fine. "She is a little bummed, but she is in very good spirits considering what happened."

Burlesque Hall of Fame officials are asking that cards and other items meant for Storm be delivered to the Burlesque Hall of Fame’s new exhibit space at Emergency Arts on 6th and Fremont Street, or at the temporary vending station at the Plaza. The Burlesque Hall of Fame's 20th anniversary celebration continues with events today at the Plaza, and this evening with the Miss Exotic World competition, which begins at the showroom at 8 p.m.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at twitter.com/JohnnyKats.

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