Last year, I thought nothing would grace a fringe state more outrageous than Glam Gam’s Fringe for All hit “Dirty Deeds Done With Sheep.” This year, Goldie Showers pissed in a glass during the Turning Tricks two minute preview. I knew then that Glam Gam’s latest was the first show I had to see.
Turning Tricks is everything anyone wants in a Fringe show, everything anyone wants in any show period. Of course, by “anyone” I mean deliciously dirty-minded people with perverted senses of humour and a warped world-view who can handle seeing genitalia. There are a lot more of those “anyones” out there than you might think. A man I shared a table with must have exlaimed three times, “She has nothing on!” to his partner. Don’t worry, he could handle it.
The solid plot centres on a group of witches under the firm thigh-high boot of Mistress Goldie Showers. Trust me, she lives up to her name. An evil secubus wants to kill each member and add them to the Book of Faces (Zark Muckerberg seems to be involved). Hippie-prophet-nudist Rhiannon foretells the truth, but the secubus is as sly and powerful as she is seductive.
This rather clever plot forms the backbone of a well-acted burlesque show that includes magic, puppetry, pole dancing, animal suits, acrobatics, carnival acts, two-person teases, boylesque, dancing, singing, and madness. From beginning to end, I laughed and cheered. Mishaps in props and costumes only made the whole show better. Again, let me clarify. There’s elegant burlesque that titillates with its tease and Montreal excels at this. The Glam Gam troupe is not elegant. They are campy, salty, earthy, balls-and-tits-and-clits out, and brave. They play with sexual edges and their acts come from the realm of the creatively kinky. Need an example? One witch is ravished by a tiger-octopus splice.
One of the best parts about a Glam Gam show — Turning Tricks is no exception to the rule — is that every body is celebrated. The collective (the Glamily) includes male, female, and transgendered members who make it clear that the only thing one should be humiliated about is buying into advertising industry photoshopped standards. Inherent in their shows is a message that success is about self-love and a willingness to take risks. This comes through in this ambitious, high-energy, wickedly funny, sexy show. I walked away from the show feeling like they showed me that the secret to life is “Be creative, be proud, and be yourself.” To learn more about Glam Gam, you can read our interview with them HERE.
Word to the wise and the foolish – for full on abuse, sit at the tables next to the stage. You’ll never regret it. If you can’t snag one of these, sit closer to the bar and away from the entry door. I saw the back of some of the punchlines.
Turning Tricks plays at Cafe Cleopatra (1230 St-Laurent) on June 7 (10 p.m.), June 9 (8 p.m.), June 10 (8 p.m.), June 11 (8 p.m.), June 13 (8 p.m. and 12 a.m.), June 14 (10 p.m.), June 17 (8 p.m.), June 19 (9 p.m.), and June 21 (10 p.m.). Each show features cameos from different local performers every show. $10