Some people say that the best cure for a hangover is the hair of the dog that bit you. Others claim that starchy food and Gatorade are the way to go. According to Ottawa’s burlesque performers, a little glitter and some nipple pasties don’t hurt either. Maxwell’s hosts The Great Canadian Tease Burlesque Brunch, featuring performers from both Ottawa and Toronto, on the third Sunday of every month and helps you work off your hangover (or start a new one) with great food and a sexy show.
Toronto’s Great Canadian Burlesque troupe came up with the idea to combine burlesque with brunch. Ottawa’s Koston Kreme of Capital Tease brought the brunch to Bytown. “I’d been playing with different ideas for a monthly, so I went to Bella [Barecatt, director of the Ottawa Burlesque Playground] and said ‘what do you think of this?’ because she’s awesome at getting the community together,” says Kreme. Together they approached Maxwell’s with the idea. “Maxwell’s is a place that has always welcomed us with open arms and no judgment,” says Barecatt.
“We kind of combined a couple of things and rebranded the whole thing and now it’s kind of started to spread,” says Kreme of the brunch. The phenomenon has basically gone viral, with other cities including Calgary now hosting brunches of their own. Part of this can be attributed to the willingness of different troupes within the burlesque scene to work together. “For the most part the entire scene and community is really supportive because it’s a bunch of women putting themselves out there in front of a bunch of strangers, doing something that’s a little bit scary, doing something that’s creative and their own that they’ve come up with,” says Kreme. “Anytime somebody’s doing something where they’re really making themselves vulnerable you want to support them.”
One nice aspect of a daytime brunch show is the fact that the audience can sit down, eat, and be social. “We get a wider variety of people in the audience at the brunches than most of our nighttime shows,” says Kreme. “It’s rowdy at brunch,” adds Barecatt. The brunch shows are often lighter in theme because they do happen during the daytime. “We don’t really want to make people queasy while they’re eating,” Barecatt says.
The next brunch is Aug 18 and the theme is Guilty Pleasures. Performers will include Barecatt and Kreme, as well as guests from both Toronto and Ottawa troupes. Vaudeville trio the Mansfield Brothers will host, along with beats from DJ Lowpass. So if you find yourself hungover with no place to go on the 18th, head to Maxwell’s for some bacon and legs. You might get glitter in your pancakes, but it will probably be worth it.