Burlesque is an unique art form in that it can be funny or political.


(Bella Canto singing her heart out while stealing ours)


The performer is able to express themselves with their choice of music and costume about any subject matter: it’s not just about watching T & A. After falling to the wayside in the 1960’s there has been a resurgence of Burlesque during this past decade.

It’s inherent playfulness has made it increasingly accepted and enjoyed by all walks of life, even on a “family” show. In 2012 Burlesque artist Beatrix Von Bourbon made it to the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent.


(Beatrix Von Bourbon)

I confess I’ve been to strip clubs before but never a Burlesque show prior to the World Pride events last summer. I didn’t know what to expect but I can tell you I certainly didn’t expect to be charmed by the absolute fun, musicality and professionalism brought to the stages.

A few friends have asked me why I would attend a burlesque show “Isn’t that a thing for straight guys?”

Dita Von Teese, the American queen of the genre, has made it clear that it’s really just for women. Seventy per cent of her audience are women, apparently; the rest are gay men and boyfriends dragged along

 Dita Von Teese Burlesque: Strip Strip Hooray in Las Vegas - May 18th 2012

(Dita Von Teese)

.We have some great Burlesque in Toronto,  Frisky Fridays at Cherry Colas, The Painted Lady, and the 8th Annual Burlesque festival is here as of May 2 2015.  One of the cheekiest shows full of talent is The Butch Femme Salon whose most recent event was entitled Masquerade

photo Colette Levesque

(The Audience, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre)


photo Colette Levesque photo Colette Levesquephoto Cat Grant

photo Cat Grant

(First Prize costume & What A Dyke Looks Like Photographer)


ButchFemme Salon is one of my favourite events here in the T Dot, running a few times a year they always have a theme & audience members really participate with enthusiasm.

photo Colette Levesque

(Elle Chronique)

There are photo shoots & retro makeup/ hair stations, I have seen circus type acts, singers, skits;

photo What A Dyke Looks Like

(Colette Levesque, Cat Grant) Drag Kings as well.


Drag Kings are included as well.

photo Cat Grant



photo Colette Levesque

(Titus Androgynous & Belle Jumelles)

I had the absolute pleasure recently of interviewing Titus Androgynous for The Buzz’s new web TV show On The Couch airing the end of this month. Titus is part of The Yes Men troupe, some of the best Drag King performers I have ever seen.

photo Cat Grant






Currently teamed up now with the burlesque group, A Platinum Production for a retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” called “Down the Rabbit Hole.” It is a full-on drag and burlesque musical.


photo Cat Grant

(Belle Jumelles)


photo Cat Grant

(Mel Hague)

photo Cat Grant




photo Colette Levesque

(Kate Johnston, Linda Sargeant, Cat Grant, Bella Canto)


Titus told me “ I mean, who better to populate Wonderland than a bunch of sexy, gender-twisted queers! Our Alice, played by Belle Jumelles, has a raunchy and raucous journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. The talent in this show is outstanding! I’ve never seen a show like it. It is truly not to be missed. “

I for one will not miss it, come join me, I know it will be a great night of theatre !


Down the Rabbit Hole
Friday, April 10 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
Two shows, 8pm and 10:30pm. The 10:30 show is 19+ because it is technically their club night at that point.
Advance tickets are available for the early show through Buddies box office.

About the Author

Cat Grant OCAD is a multimedia artist. A published poet currently writing a book,she contributes to Hone Life, Jingobox and her blog for theBUZZ Kitty Indacity. Painting, sculpture, photography/video, choreography/dance & costume design also make her days. Cat has worked with Deadmau5, Panasonic, Sony, Konami and volunteers for many queer organizations.