Becoming Burlesque

becoming_burlesque_photo_by_chris_hutcheson_from_l2r_liana_lewis_jackie_english_amber_mackereth_julie_mclachlan_kage_wolf_madi_kin_ansi_drive_knox_harter_pastel_supernovaJackie English’s Becoming Burlesque, which plays as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, starts off great with a well-choreographed dance number that sees a company of Burlesque performers performing their striptease. Yet, everything careens downward during the awkward play within a play construct, which sees a young girl arrive at the stage door to return something one of the dancers forgot, and she ends up getting forced, against her will, into the show. There are numerous times when this girl tells the burlesque dancers a very clear “No,” and yet she is stripped and groped anyway, and, to, me that is about the least sexiest thing that could happen in a Burlesque show.

The girls are trying so hard to be sexy here, talking dirty to one another and acting like they’re auditioning for a porn orgy, and it’s not necessary. In fact, the scenes in between the dances actually undermine the joyful, empowering, body-positive experience that is Burlesque. Instead Becoming Burlesque left me bored and hyper-aware that I was not the right demographic for this show, which is too bad, because I usually find Burlesque so fun.



Becoming Burlesque plays at the Al Green Theatre (750 Spadina Avenue) as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival at the following times:

show times
July 11 at 09:45 PM  buy tickets
July 12 at 04:00 PM  buy tickets