Diverse and Delicious: Glamour Puss Burlesque

“Burlesque is capable of empowering women with the authority and creative control to reveal or conceal as much as they wish, within their own boundaries,” believes Frenchie Fatale of Toronto’s Glamour Puss Burlesque. “The audience is engaged and vocal, but remains a passive actor in the burlesque performance. Burlesque allows for a removal of the conventional stigma attached to a woman acting in a seductive or controversial manner. It’s a celebration of sexuality, seen in an artistic and innovative way. The roots of burlesque convey a history of satire and storytelling. When it comes to sexuality, we like to have fun with it.”

Glamour Puss Burlesque is a fantastic story of art and creativity enabling emotional response and change. Originally organized by founding member Paralee Pearl, she wanted to form a troupe that would complement Toronto’s diversity. “I found performers who could share both a passion and vision to create a show that was more dance and theatre-oriented. While the troupe members were not burlesque performers prior to Glamour Puss, their individual backgrounds in the performing arts shaped the troupe from its inception.”

Let’s meet the troupe!

  • Paralee Pearl: The coquettish founder and director of Glamour Puss Burlesque.
  • Frenchie Fatale: Glamour Puss’ saucy producer, with firey wit.
  • Kinky La Femme: A feisty raven-haired seductress.
  • Rubie Laframboise: A sultry red-headed siren.
  • Lady Adelle: The chanteuse with a hot caboose.
  • Dick Dastardly: Our lovable quirky host.

Within the group there are various cultural and creative influences which work wonderfully to create a mix of both modern and classic style. “We are most known for mixing classic dance genres with modern music,” offers Frenchie. “The reverse is also true! What is classifiable, is our standard for excellence, which results from countless hours of rehearsal.”

That hard work has paid of with Glamour Puss being honoured with the Best Troupe Award at the Great Boston Burlesque Expo. “It was an amazing and humbling experience,” reveals Frenchie. “As much as we were honoured to take home both a trophy and title, we will always continue to perform burlesque for our own enjoyment in the creative process.”

For these performers, one of the most enjoyable features of their art is how they are received by women in the audience. “The best reaction we receive,” enthuses Paralee, “which never ceases to motivate us, is when women come up to tell us that they either want to participate in burlesque themselves or wish that they had the courage required to perform burlesque.”

As their prestige grows, Paralee hopes the troupe can travel to more international burlesque festivals and one day open up their own theatre in Toronto. But with all of that she wants Glamour Puss to “continue to push ourselves to new creative heights.”

Catch Glamour Puss Burlesque's Follies Très Bare Sunday August 14 at Revival Nightclub (783 College Street), Toronto.