Victoria's Cheesecake Burlesque Revue

Dates and Venue 19 November 2010, 8 pm | Surrey Arts Centre, Main Stage, Surrey

Reviewer Cassie Silva

Their Cheesecake brought all the girls to the yard.

The day the snow started falling on Metro Vancouver, something else started falling on the stage at the Surrey Arts Centre – clothes.

Victoria's Cheesecake Burlesque Revue, a group of gals of varying ages, sizes and shapes, dazzled a nearly sold out house with their unique brand of entertainment – a comedic, inspirational and female-friendly approach to Burlesque. Ranging from 20 and trouble, to 30 and flirty, to 40 and fabulous, each performer had a fun persona like Ginger Kittens (she could teach you, but she’d have to charge), Champagne Sparkles (let’s see if she can put bubbles in YOUR pants) or Wild Honey (as sweet as she can be, she is wild!)

The Troop started in 2006 as the Velvet Smut Review, quickly becoming The Capital City Cheesecake Burlesque Revue. Armed only with a love of sequins, glamour and sass, The Cheesecake Burlesque Revue was officially born in January 2007 and have been wowing audiences ever since. They have sold out theatres across British Columbia, as well as performing at events including Miss Exotic World in Las Vegas, and the New York Burlesque Festival. They’ve also won multiple awards, including Victoria’s Next Big Thing.

From their fun opening number: You Gotta Have Boobs to the explosive finale, audience members were transported to the Far East, the Heavens above, and even Outer Space. I was initially a little unsure about the whole spectacle, but the Cheesecakes’ humour and energy soon won me over and, along with the rest of the ladies in the theatre, I soon became a Cheesecake wannabe.

The highlight of the show was a five-minute intergalactic routine set to strobe lights, featuring numerous songs including 2001: A Space Odyssey and Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft. Another favourite performance featured Betsy Bottomdollar (the rockin’ world ain’t the only thing she makes go ‘round!) belting out her original song, My New Gardener (“he’s good with his tool but likes to use his hands”) while strategically plucking petals from her increasingly skimpy costume that had the audience rolling in the aisles. Pop culture references abounded, and at one point I felt like I was at home watching television, flicking back and forth so fast between Saturday morning cartoons and the adult channel that it all blurred together into one fantastic show.

The audience, primarily women over 50, loved the show and even got a little rowdy. Imagine an auditorium of feather-boa clad older women cat-calling and yelling “Take it Off!” Thankfully, for the audience members who left their boas and pasties at home, there was a merchandise table full of sexy items to adorn any body part that needed tasseling. The Cheesecakes also offer a variety of products through their online shop, including the popular Twighlight Vampire Tassels.

The Cheesecakes strive to increase body confidence and sexual confidence of their audience, and they certainly succeeded. Every woman walked out of the Surrey Arts Centre that night with a smile on her face, a strut in her step, and in many cases, some pasties in her purse.

The Revue also offer workshops and private parties, to teach local ladies how to strut their stuff and twirl their ta tas off. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and who would be appropriate to bring along as a guest (a date? a co-worker? my mom?) While male audience members were certainly welcome and seemed to enjoy themselves, I ended up inviting my Mom as my guest and she had a great time. Next time the Cheesecakes come to town I will return, with a group of girlfriends, and maybe even my grandmother in tow.

© 2010 Cassie Silva