Ear, not what you think you heard…
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The Menagerie Burlesque Company presents
(Un)Covered: A Burlesque Show!
Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12
At the Remai Arts Centre Backstage Stage
102 Spadina Cres. E
Doors at 7:30
Show at 8:00
More information! Facebook Event!
Love hurts, love scars, love wounds, and marks. If Nazareth are to be believed (and they are), love is a big stank fest.
Luckily for you, The Menagerie Burlesque Company is under the same impression. We believe so strongly in this concept, in fact, that we’ve dedicated an entire show to that bad side of love. That love that has you and your mascara looking like you’ve been caught in a rain storm. That love that has you scream-crying those deep heavy sobs under your blanket while you question all your life choices up until this point and listen to freaking Hootie and Blowfish and sing along to “Let Her Cry” because those are feels, man. Big feels. This show is dedicated to that. It’s dedicated you—that person who pours out their heart in a text message, only to see that ominous “read” checked off, and you want to just barf because oops, you did it again, you sap, you.
Some people are hopeless in love; this show is for you. Come join The Menagerie Burlesque Company February 9 and 10 for our first show of the season, Love Stinks.
There will be a whole lot going on at this show that will distract you from your current heartache. We have sparkly boobs and sparkly bums and sparkly prizes and all sorts of hilarious pieces about the darker side of love.
If no one else currently wants you, please take some solace in the fact that we do.
Our heartbreak tour begins at 8 pm sharp, Friday, February 9 and Saturday, February 10. Doors open at 7, and we recommend you be there by then to grab a good seat and commiserate with your fellow lonely-hearts audience members.
Grab a tissue, and get ready.
You wanted more #SparklyBoobs!
And we’re going to give that and more in our next shiny presentation….
Everybody loves a sequel! The last set of BIG SHINY BOOBS brought you some of your favourite things! Live music, glamorous people, and this time, we’re bringing you EVEN MORE BIG SHINY (Sparkly) BOOBS!
Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door. 19+ event. Doors at 7:30, show at 8 p.m.
Buy tickets here!
Brought to you in part by Saskatoon’s Worst Store
This weekend, on a very special episode of Menagerie Burlesque Company productions, the Company members revisit the pop culture hits of their youth and childhood.
And wreck them.
When we decided to do this show, there were some VERY excited faces in the room. We were like kids on Christmas morning. Or Easter morning. Or Hallowe’en evening. Or any Saturday that involved cartoons and good cereal. You get the point. We were excited. And we still are!
We’ve had a ton of fun sifting through source material for costume references, music tracks, and general inspiration. The result may be our most over-the-top, ridiculous show yet. And like a lot of things in life, it’ll be way more fun showing off the fruits of our labour in front of an appreciative (if somewhat scandalized) audience.
So come be scandalized and let the Menagerie Burlesque Company Ruin Your Childhood.
This wonderfully ridiculous, nostalgic show runs September 8 & 9 at the Remai BackStage. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of.
It can be surprisingly tough to get people out to burlesque shows.
I say surprisingly because I think they’re fun, and I didn’t feel weird about attending them before I was a performer. (I still don’t feel weird attending them now that I AM a performer, but for the purpose of this paragraph, let’s stick with my non-performer feels.) But when I asked people to go with me, they were hesitant at best. They’d insist it wasn’t really their thing; they’d mumble that it made them feel uncomfortable; they’d ask me if it would be weird going to watch something like that with me. And I don’t like to make my friends feel uncomfortable, so I didn’t press the issue. I’d look for a friend who didn’t seem uncomfortable watching burlesque, or I’d go with performers who weren’t going to be onstage for that show.
And now that I’m a performer, and more invested in getting people to go out and support shows, it’s even more difficult. In addition to comments like it’s not my thing / it’ll make me uncomfortable / won’t that be weird, I have now heard the following:
“Y’know. . . I’ve got a girlfriend.”
Okay. Swell. Bring her, too!
“I can’t watch you do something like that. I’d lose respect for you as a person.”
Well, then call us even, because I just lost my respect for you.
“I don’t have any friends who’d go with me. . .”
I feel that feel!
“. . .and if I go by myself I’ll feel like a pervert.”
But that? Nope. I don’t feel that feel.
I’ve heard this a number of times now from all kinds of different people, so I feel like it’s time we talked about the sexy elephant in the room: attending a burlesque show does not make you a pervert, no matter how many people you get to go with you.
Side note: There may be a lot of other reasons you don’t come to shows. Maybe you’re really introverted. Maybe you’re fucking broke, or you’re working night-shifts to avoid being fucking broke. If you’re really into your pint of Ben & Jerry’s and the third season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I get it. You could genuinely be out of town every weekend that I have a show. Hell, you could be avoiding all forms of theatre because of what that fortune teller told you once. And maybe we’ll talk about those reasons later. But if going to a burlesque show makes you feel like a pervert, then I’m genuinely sorry to hear that. It sucks that your experience in life has caused you to form such a narrow view on sexuality and positive physical self-expression. That’s probably going to cause you a whole host of difficulties in your life, and you may want to talk to somebody about it.
Back to the main thrust. (Ha. Thrust. Sorry, sometimes I’m 13.)
It makes sense that so many people I invite to shows have this kind of attitude. After all, I’m from (and perform in) a province that has some pretty archaic vice laws—you can’t even drink at strip clubs here—and those vice laws are informed by and mixed with a lot of firmly held beliefs about modesty and impropriety. So while going to a burlesque show with somebody else feels like an evening out, around here, going to a burlesque show by yourself is tantamount to broadcasting that you are the very worst of sexual deviants. It’s all or nothing: there’s no grey area, no in-between, no room for justification.
I understand wanting to do social things with somebody (see first paragraph). After all, people look at you all funny if you do things solo. Going out to dinner alone? Bring a book, or everybody will think you’ve been stood up. Out to the bar all by your onesie? You’re clearly on the prowl. Nobody to share your popcorn with at the movies? Well. . . honestly you’re living the dream, there. Keep at it.
In that light, it makes sense that going to a burlesque show with another person along for the (incredible, unforgettable, must-see) ride would provide a sense of normalcy. After all, if your friend whom you know to be a decent person is sanctioning this event, then it’s clearly okay to be there! There’s nothing wrong with you! But I’m going to tell you something that may be hard to believe: you’re probably surrounded by decent people at these shows, you just don’t know them yet. I can’t speak for anybody else’s audiences, but the Menagerie Burlesque Company has cultivated a body-positive, gender-inclusive, adventurous audience, and they’re pretty great.
Hand-in-hand with the “will I look like a pervert?” line of thinking is the “what if you pitched it as an artistic experience instead of a sexy show?” idea. And maybe pitching it that way would make it more approachable for some people, but it wouldn’t be a wholly accurate representation of the actual event. In our company, there are some performers who do very artistic pieces. We have comedic performances, thought-provoking numbers, and some truly bizarre acts. But the majority of our numbers will include strip tease, and at the beginning of the show, we’re going to remind you to show your appreciation for sweet moves and great reveals.
Much of the magic of strip tease is in making you anticipate what’s going to be under the top layer of the costume. The thrill is in making sure you see only what I want you to see when I want you to see it. When I draw my fingers over my collarbone, I want you to lean forward to watch their progression. More than that, I want your breath to catch when you feel their progression over your own collarbone. So while we could position our shows as entirely artistic, it would be dishonest. It would rob the performers of the positive power that we hold when we’re on stage eliciting a specific reaction from our audience, and it would be less truly artistic in the attempt to ease our audience’s unnecessary shame. We are voluntarily, happily, enthusiastically sharing this performance with you: there’s nothing illicit about it.
So once more for the people in the back: I draw no conclusions about you or your sexual predilections based on the size of the group you’re attending with. The rest of the audience aren’t sitting there clutching their pearls or judging your lack of purity because the seat next to you is empty. Take a drink, a deep breath, and a chance and let yourself experience something really cool. We’re going to get up there and share an intimate facet of our humanity with you, and that’s not perverse: it’s powerful.
As your cruise director, it is my responsibility to ensure you have a wonderful time aboard the S.S. Menagerie. This is not going to be a boring, quiet 2-hour harbour tour! Each of our two sailings includes some of the more amazing entertainers this side of the Atlantic and the Pacific. The Menagerie Burlesque Company’s usual roster of outrageous performers will be bringing you a most ‘naughty-cal’ evening of entertainment. Our classic beauty, Eva De La Manzana will be bringing to life another classic beauty. Sadie Sugarbottom, or perhaps Stripperbottom, will have some truly adult entertainment to share. Brigadier General Cornelius D. Longfellow, the 69th Earl of Coxford will be on hand (so to speak) in tribute to the storied military history of the S.S. Menagerie. She is a decommissioned frigate after all. Our very own sea siren, Foxxi Fuse, will be singing her heart out for you. We’ve got a great new dancer, Neil Ingman, gracing our stage. Vitamin D has an amazing new piece prepared … and it’s just too juicy to give away! Now, it wouldn’t be a cruise without onboard activities! We’ll have synchronized swimming and aerobics taught by the lovely ladies of the Menagerie! There will be a game with fabulous prizes, a poolside treat, a sea shanty sing-a-long and a photo booth to capture your trip for posterity. Your captain, Peter MorningWood, and I, Lola D’Moan, have an uncouth, uninhibited and unapologetic cruise planned for you! As soon as Captain MorningWood finds the keys to the ship we’ll set sail for fun, adventure and sexy times!
We sail from Village Guitar & Amp on Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3 at 8:00 pm. Have your tickets an hour before sailing! $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
Bring your rubbers it’s going to be a wet ride!
Love, Magic & Seamen,
Lola D’Moan – Cruise Director – S.S. Menagerie
In anticipation of Sausage Fest 2: The Remounting, we cornered one of our Men of Burlesque to answer a couple of questions. Here’s the goods from Peter MorningWood
“It wasn’t my idea,” he said, before I could ask the first question. Fair enough. . .
Q: Sausage Fest 2 the Remounting is, obviously, a remount. Of all the shows The Menagerie have done, why do this one again?
Peter: We thought redoing the show would give Saskatoon audiences a better chance to go to a more frequented location. The people who will go see a show at Diva’s aren’t necessarily the same people who attended at the last venue.
It’s not a standard or classic burlesque show. The show itself is a celebration of diverse masculinity. People who would normally go see our shows will be surprised. They’ll see numbers that they wouldn’t normally see.
Q: Can you give us a sneak peek, as it were?
Peter: We’ve got the Dirtiest Barber Shop Quartet that you’ll see. You’ll never look at The Muppets again the same way. A nod to Victor/Victoria. And a lot of other surprises and some by-demand repeat performances. Because Freedom Pie!
Q: And what about the people who’ve seen it before?
Peter: There are a couple of numbers that weren’t in the November production that were requested.
Q: Are you looking forward to bringing back those popular pieces?
Peter: Yes! Each performance is a little different from night to night. We get the crowd involved. The crowd is the most important part of the performance, because there is no fourth wall. Period.
Q: Are you looking forward to doing more of a bar show? Do they offer a different kind of energy from theatre shows?
Peter: Yes and yes. You get a different type of upward energy as opposed to a theatre. Our theatre crowds can be very loud. Very fun. Very rowdy. In a bar show, you get to be loud, and fun, and rowdy back at them. The way you interact is different when you’re playing to a bar audience. We love our crowds, wherever they are.
Q: What would you say to burlesque show virgins to convince them to give it a try?
Peter: We start off with fun and awesome, and we take it to ridiculous. What you think might happen may not happen at all. You’ll be amazed. And. . . . you’ll be amazed. Take a chance on something that isn’t another mediocre movie. Because our main goal is that you have fun. We are here to entertain you.
And on that Nirvana note. . .
Sausage Fest 2: The Remounting is Friday, April 28 at Diva’s in downtown Saskatoon. Doors at 9:00, Show at 10:00.
$20 at the door.
Bring a friend. Bring two!