When themes are thicker than blood: Blood Ballet Cabaret turns it up a notch and back some years to childhood

blood ballet cabaret cats

When last we visited the Blood Ballet Cabaret, they were a small troupe of talented and entertaining dancers and performers, celebrating Remembrance Day with sultry moves and a sense of humour. They entertained a healthily populated, though not too full Le Belmont. Fast-forward a few months and… wow!

To say that BBC has grown is like saying that what they present on the stage is pleasing to the eye: technically true on both counts, but both incredible understatements. We were at one of their recent shows (The Kids Show) and the place was absolutely packed, while the show was teeming with a slew of new burlesque performers.

You could say that the show has grown up a bit, and has done so by going back to childhood – childhood stories, to be precise. That was the theme of the show, and this troupe has really honed its ability to stick to theme.

The whole show was presented as a dream in troupe leader Miss Bloody Mary Anne’s mind and inspired by Petite Pandora (who bears a striking resemblance to former BBC contortionist Brianna). In this fantasy world, Mary Anne plays everything from a feisty cat alongside Furious Nina to childhood icons like Alice In Wonderland – with a sexy twist, of course.

Her Alice starts off very proper, and then, as whatever she consumed kicks in, so does Go Ask Alice. But don’t worry, this isn’t just some 60s throwback mixed in with burlesque. By the time the music changes to the Eurythmics’ “Missionary Man”, Mary Anne’s Alice is in full-out raunchy sex mode, gyrating in the state of growing undress one has come to expect from a BBC show.

She also meets the likes of Little Red Riding Hood and The Little Mermaid (both Pandora) and encounters some of the newer additions to the youth lexicon. It’s these choices that really show the cleverness of this troupe.

Ever had a fantasy about The Legend of Zelda? If you fit into a certain age bracket and are into women, then you probably have, although I’ll bet it involved the princess. Well, in this show, we instead get a sexy Link played by Sucre À la Crème, trying to get the sword out of the stone. Insert your own pun if you will, but it really works.

What about Inspector Gadget? If the name alone doesn’t imply something naughty (think phonetically), then this interpretation by FTB’s own Jess Alley will certainly drive the point home. Sorry for the inside joke, but it also proves the point that writers are damn sexy.

We also got a doll routine, where Lady Josephine stood behind a cardboard cutout of the anatomically correct body of a doll which is stripped. That is, the doll is stripped. Stripped more than burlesque usually goes, but it is a cardboard drawing.

And how could a show like this be complete without Sesame Street? Well, we get Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster and even Big Bird to close off the show, or at least the dancing part of the show. The final bit is the end of the dream where Bloody Mary Anne gets her name, with narration by the show’s emcee, Sherwin – who, by the way, did a really great job of keeping the crowd going, self-deprecating humour and all.

Their last show was at the beginning of May with a nautical (or “Naughtical”) theme (insert your own wet joke here), and it would have been nice to catch it . At the time, however, I was drowning (pun intended) in unexpected site work and the elections. You can see photos of it here on the Blood Ballet Cabaret website.

So seeing as the BBC clearly do their homework when it comes to theme and how to make it sexy, here’s your homework: go catch The Freshman Finale, their next show (Sunday, June 5th, 8pm, Le Belmont, 4483 St-Laurent) and final show of the season. If my words haven’t convinced you then maybe the pic on the group’s Facebook page will.

Either way, this will probably be your last chance for a little while to catch a troupe that is going places. If you missed their childhood, don’t miss their adolescence.

Photos by Chris Zacchia

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