Cass King as Shine Mionne
Cass King  


The Wet Spots/Screaming Chicken Theatre Society
SHINE: A Burlesque Musical
by Cass King, John Woods and Sam Dulmage

Dates and Venue 12-22 August 2009 |Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island, Vancouver

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Just like the days of Burlesque, with catchy songs, campy jokes and plenty of bump and grind, this musical brings us back to those days of burlesque theatre. I still remember as a boy, in the 50s, the word "burlesque" was taboo and meant hell and damnation when mentioned in the household. But when I look at it now, it must have been fun for all those men who went clandestinely to watch burlesque in that infamous Astor Theatre.

I'm glad we have a variety of events from music festivals to burlesque festivals happening here in Vancouver. I think we've superseded Toronto and Montreal as the cultural capitals of Canada, in that we have a variety of festivals and events here in Vancouver unlike any other city here in Canada. In her programme notes, director Jen Cressey gives us a brief history of how this burlesque was born from the original "By the Seat of Our Panties" back in 2008 when it was first performed at the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival.

It's been re-titled "Shine" as it focuses on the main character, Shine Mionne (Cass King), the owner of a burlesque theatre, who tries to save it from demolition. This show is one of its kind; it's an event by itself. Unlike strip bars like Cecil or the Drake, where we see everything bared, here we have the naughty, tempting tassles hanging from breasts of all sizes, slightly covering the nipples...and naturally, with skimpy panties on. This kind of entertainment is more fun than seeing a woman bare it all, and that's why burlesques were born. And it all started with Gypsy Rose Lee who made this event a performing art.

I was amazed to see the talent that went into this production: the choreography, the costumes, and all the hard work that goes into making a production like this one. This is pure entertainment, and I wish we had more of these "Only For Adults" shows, as it brings back that nostalgic nerve of how entertainment through musicals, cabarets, and vaudevilles were performed in those golden years of entertainment in the early part of the last century.

Congratulations to the company for a truly enjoyable, sexy and funny show!

© 2009 Ed Farolan