My Gay Toronto - MGT Stage

Theatre review

Class Dismissed

by Drew Rowsome
Photos by Raul Da Silva

The cheeky boys of BoylesqueTO put on a winner of a show for Pride. Not only a teasing delight of a burlesque/comedy show but also an actual piece of theatre. Not that the plot was anything other than an excuse to hang the individual acts on but what happened within the acts has grown in depth, intelligence, skill and humour. 

As emcee/headmaster Ginger Darling quipped after a particularly poignant (a weird word to use in terms of burlesque but accurate) performance by James and the Giant Pasty, "That was moving but you could still objectify him."

The exhibitionist troupe doesn't mind being objectified but what is charming is their lack of arrogance and sheer confident sexuality. They may not all sport six-packs or rock hard pecs but their happy delight in their undeniable appeal is not only infectious but completely empowering for the audience: a wonderful message for Pride or any time. 

The amount of rehearsal that went into the choreographed group numbers shows and pays off to the point where Dew Lily can suffer a wardrobe malfunction (a weird phrase to use in terms of burlesque but accurate) it all became part of the act and inspired empathetic laughter. The troupe does a good job of disguising just how polished they are in order to keep the show running smoothly but there are moments where their astounding athleticism and hard work shine through: Mahogany Storm Cirque du Soleiling on a pole; El Toro flipping about the stage with abandon; Wrong Note Rusty hitting all the right notes on trombone and flute; and Dew Lily flashing a coy smile before contorting with impossible grace.

Lee's Palace was packed and the audience raised the roof with enthusiasm and more than a little lust. BoylesqueTO should be proud of this Pride creation and while they will undoubtedly add the individual acts to their ever-expanding repertoire, let's hope they do a full remount of Class Dismissed in the near future.