If there was ever a perfect fusion of my boyhood and manhood I found it last night. Peepshow TO‘s Pokémon Go burlesque.
A show stacked with sexy, salacious performers dressed in their best Pokémon attire. A 10pm start time meant the crowd was well lubricated, lusty and baying for booty. Was there ever booty to be had. I’ve never really been into strip clubs. Something about the set up feels seedy, creepy and doesn’t click right with me. Burlesque, on the other hand, seems to focus much more on adherence to theme. It’s about using seductive titillation to lead the audience towards the routine’s climax. There’s a larger overall narrative and I fucking love seeing it all come together.
Now when you pair that with one of my central childhood obsessions, you’ve got me by the (poké)balls.
They went all out and dug deep into the theme. All the show assistants were dressed as drowzees (Toronto’s resident pest pokémon). There was a contest where two audience members were pulled on stage, given pikachu/bulbasaur headbands and baskets, then had to try catch styrofoam pokéballs thrown by audience members. All of the performers’ songs were neat double entendres or apt choices for character. The entry of every act was preceded by an in silhouette “who’s that pokémon?” game.
Oh, the acts? A huge number of performers with a range of styles and concepts. There was a pokémon “battle” between a sandshrew and cubone. Set to Christina Aguilera’s “Dirty” (because they’re both ground types, duh doy), it involved them stripping each other’s clothes off in choreographed sections and eventually having a pose-off. Evolution featured in a big way. A tame magikarp act grew into a gyrating gyarados performance, complete with water gun spray across the crowd (water gun being a water type move). An eeveelution trio had a fantastic synchronised routine in which vaporeon and flareon each tried to seduce the eevee into taking their elemental stone. A caterpie-come-dragon dance performance shifted into metapod, which opened up into an amazing butterfree costume complete with scale wing harness. It was naughty and silly and a total riot. A lickitung performance went in the only direction a lickitung burlesque performance could. There was a charizard complete with orange scale mail and fire poi. Mewtwo’s act involved an elaborate Team Rocket capture pantomime and psychic attacks launched from twirling nipple tassels.
One of the things that struck me about the event was the vast range of body shapes and sizes. It was outstanding to see such diverse representation and overflowing body positivity. Everybody brought the sexy, proving attitude is everything. I don’t know if it’s possible to be any more complimentary of the event, but if you’re reading this and have any interest I implore you to check out their Hanna Barbera show next month.
Because who doesn’t wanna see a sexy Yogi Bear?