Remembering Melissa “Bang Bang” Forgione

The arts community mourns the passing of the Philly dancer, burlesque performer, actress and activist.

Melissa Bang Bang Forgione (from her FB page)

Melissa Bang Bang Forgione (from her FB page)

There has been an outpouring of messages on Facebook mourning the passing Melissa “Bang Bang” Forgione. Her peers in Peek-A-Boo RevueBrat Productions and other arts organizations in town were touched by her and her performances. Even if you don’t recognize her name, you may have seen her on a number of stages across town. According to her bio on the Brat Productions web site, she was quite prolific:

Melissa Forgione earned her BFA from Philadelphia’s University of the Arts in 1998 & has been a part of the dance, theater & film community ever since. She dances & costumes for and has been seen on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” As a Burlesque & Circus Performer “Melissa Bang-Bang” spent many years conceiving, choreographing & costuming for Philadelphia’s infamous Peek-A-Boo Revue and has had the pleasure to entertain for Jennifer Tilly, Chris Noth, Cirque de Soleil performers, the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” and of course, many Philadelphia Fringe Festivals.

 Forgione was also a film actress, an exotic dancer and a passionate activist. In this video filmed by the Daily News in 2012, she argued for strippers’ rights: