Well, Dan's not named "Savage" for nothing, is he? Maybe he's the "Simon Cowell" of reviewers? In my opinion, some of the harsher criticisms in Savage's piece are callous and unjustified. But the performance weaknesses that he describes do happen in burlesque land and should be striven against for burlesque to prosper.
I am the editor of BurlesqueScene.com
here in New Orleans and our audiences don't boo the performers, although sometimes you can tell they're less interested during certain acts. As a photographer, I am very focused on the performer. However at a recent show, my business partner stood off to the side and watched the audience instead of the performer. He was able to specifically see from moment to moment when a performer captured the audience's interest and when they lost it. I presume the performers can see this as well for themselves from the stage, so they must be getting their feedback right away. Whether the audience boos or not, their ultimate vote is with their continuing attendance.
But I don't think booing is the way to go these days, because the women are sharing an intimate part of themselves and that should be respected to a level. These days, Burlesque has become not just performance but a blend of celebration, performance and parade. And here in New Orleans, we never boo a parade.