Saturday, February 24, 2018

Cheesecake Burlesque Revue returns with Halloween extravaganza

October 18, 2017 by Jayden Grieve, contributing writer

Not every hobby incorporates this much boob.

The members of the Cheesecake Burlesque Revue have been shaking what their mamas gave them for 11 years, and they don’t intend to stop. Originally inspired by a birthday party, the gang has since become a travelling act, bringing their wacky, zany performances to a variety of stages.

“We always term our burlesque show as the burlesque show you can bring your grandma to,” explains revue member and lead costume designer Kitten Kaboodle. “Burlesque is a wide art form, so there’s everything from classic old-timey striptease to some real raw performance art. If you go to New York, you are likely to see someone on stage naked using a phallus or something. What we tend to gravitate toward is putting on very accessible shows. They’re lighthearted and try to incorporate some element of surprise and fun.”

The Cheesecake Burlesque Revue has a fun Halloween event planned (photo by Andreas Koch).

The Cheesecakes travel a lot throughout small-town BC but have done festivals and shows in New York, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Rome, Stockholm, and Berlin. Kitten Kaboodle says that they’re always happy to do a performance at home, where their friends and families are, and that they’re very excited about doing their first-ever show at UVic this month.

“It’s going to be fun,” she says. “We’re definitely pulling out all the stops to bring all the best Cheesecake acts to the show. There’s definitely a quirky edge; it’s Halloween, so we’re bringing some of our more zany numbers. There’ll be a nod to the Muppets in there. There’s going to be some awesome singing; we’ve got a few Cheesecakes who are really good singers. We’re all so different—like Silk E Gunz is a really great dancer; me, not so much. I’m a bit more of the Fozzie Bear burlesque, so I tend to do things a little more funny.”

Kitten Kaboodle says that because there are so many diverse type-A personalities in the Cheesecakes, it’s unique that they’ve made it work for themselves.

“It’s challenging to work in a group; you have to learn to give and take and work together for the common goal,” she says. “We want to keep doing it as long as we’re getting joy out of it.”

The Cheesecakes’ hobby has given them a platform to promote a message of healthy body image and confidence, and it’s given them an outlet for their creative talents. Kitten Kaboodle says that although it may not pay the bills, the experience is exciting and exhilarating, even after 11 years.

“I call it a subsidized hobby. Like, you make a little money out of it, but then you just use that to buy more rhinestones,” she says. “You get out there on stage and you shine your very best, and maybe you have a belly and maybe you have flabby arms, but you’re out there doing what you love. I didn’t realize how much that can inspire other people who do feel a little self-conscious about those things, to be like, ‘Hey, if she’s up there, then I could be up there too. Why am I hiding?’ Everyone finds different things beautiful and attractive, and we’re all different. People should get out there and shine and just love what they have. Nobody needs to hide.”

The Cheesecake Revue Halloween BOO-lesque Extravaganza!
7:30 pm Saturday, October 21
$24-$28, UVic Farquhar Auditorium

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