Shine: A Burlesque Musical

Diva Fandango
Reviewed by 
Navneet Nagra

The Wet Spots and The Wise Hall presented Shine: A Burlesque Musical from July 6-16th. 

Twirling tassels, talented misfits, sex positivity and a flip of the bird to gentrification, Shine offered a lot in its two-hour whirl wind of sweet tunes and multiple love stories. An ambitious show, Shine is a story of innocence turned naughty. We meet Frankie, a musician who’s looking to become a star on the burlesque stage only to find out that he’ll be doing a bit more than playing music. Grace follows shortly, an over-achieving grad student just looking to do more research before completing her thesis. She too is met with the reality that learning the ins-and-outs of burlesque can’t be found on paper. This inevitable love story takes a back seat as the audience learns what else it takes to rock it in burlesque. With the burlesque house in danger of being foreclosed and gentrified by the bank, comically played by a devilish character who rolls in from time to time, burlesque house owner Shine must find a way to save the house and everything it stands for. Add to this a plethora of back stories, slightly hazy love trysts and a mad-cap scheme to revive the once bouncing burlesque house and you get Shine

While trying to pack everything up into a nice tight bow, the show may have lost me at times but did have its merits including a sensational performance by Seth Little as Miss Holly Gofuckyourself, a cigarette-on-lips, no-nonsense burlesque veteran with the best quips and excellent stage presence. Shine also hit on important topics like body positivity, gentrification, being yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone all elements that while examined in haste were still presented in their most exposed (wink, wink) ways. 

While Shine may have left me a bit unsatisfied after an evening of sexy numbers and scantily-clad bodies, it still presented some laughs and a standing ovation from an audience who were most certainly titillated throughout the entire evening

Theo Budd, Frankie Cottrell, Diva Fandango, Allison Fligg, Cass King, Danielle Lemon, Seth Little, Lee McKeown, Tyler James Nicol, Sasja Smolders,
Music by 
John Woods

“It's Canadian, feminist, and one of my favourite things ever.”

—bucketofrhymes, "29 Amazing Literary Magazines You Need To Be Reading", Buzzfeed Books

Room relies on subscriptions from readers like you. Help us continue to promote and support diverse women and genderqueer authors and artists by subscribing today.


Currently on Newsstands

  • Devour cover: Pink background with 3 arms. One each lighting a candle, holding a vibrator, holding a tea bag over a cup
    Room 43.2, Devour
    Edited by Jessica Johns

    In this issue:

    Manahil Bandukwala, Dessa Bayrock, Megan Beadle, Brandi Bird, lue boileau, Rachel Burlock, Justina Chong, Mollie Cronin, Marilyn Dumont, Edzi'u, Ashleigh Giffen, katia hernandez velasco, erica hiroko, Jessica Johns, Shaelyn Johnston, Yume Kitasei, Mica Lemiski, Jessie Loyer, Annick MacAskill, Callista Markotich, Sonali Menezes, Kai Minosh Pyle, Natasha Ramoutar, Carmina Ravanera, Rohsni Riar, Jessica Rose, Rowan Siah, Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch, Kelly S. Thompson, Arielle Twist, Phoebe Wang, Yu-Sen Zhou