Last night I saw two burlesque shows and went to the Late Night Cabaret. I guess there are some themes there.
O Manada had five dancers (all male) performing as various Canadian archetypes, in solos and larger ensemble pieces, and the hosts were a 1975-era Pierre and Maggie Trudeau. I have misplaced my program, so I can’t tell you who the rest of this Toronto-based troupe are, but Maggie Trudeau was Morgan Norwich. The show was fast-paced and full of topical humour leading up to a hilarious speculation that followed naturally from the premise of the show. The performers engaged some audience members (thank you!) and were a lot of fun to watch.
Burlesque-Prov is hosted by local improviser Lee Boyes. He introduced the two regulars of the show, Kiki Quinn (who is also in Second Breakfast Club) and LeTabby Lexington (who is also in Die-Nasty this Fringe), along with tonight’s guest performers, one called Fiona who was from out of town, and one from Man Up (his name in that show is Tres Debonair but I think he was introduced last night as Givenchy or something like that). Kristen Welker was stage kitten in a catsuit complete with claws. Each performer did a solo act to music selected by the audience, with some kind of theme or limitation also provided randomly. They also had a box of props to use as they chose. I don’t have the background to know how hard this is, but it was also fun to watch. The show ended with all performers on stage alternating short bits with high energy.
Late Night Cabaret, hosted by Amy Shostak and Julian Faid, included some sketch comedy from Hip Bang, a story from Martin Dockery, a glimpse of Release the McCrackin, another burlesque performer (C.R. Avery, who is in Some Birds Walk for the Hell of It), and some risque country songs from Shirley Gnome.
What with visiting friends in the beer tent in between shows, I almost didn’t put my ID away all evening. And that’s not a complaint.