BWW Review: PEACOCK at The Can Can Soars
The Can Can, Seattle's Hottest Burlesque Theatre, is back with an all new show, the dazzling "Peacock", plus a new cast member, and a new rival for my favorite production of theirs. In addition to their usual flashy, yet revealing costumes, on beautiful performers, and high-flying dance routines, I love it when they allow their performers the moments to use their gorgeous voices, plus I'm a sucker for a showtune. Add into that a delightful story that had the audience in the palm of their sequined hands, and they have a show that had me beaming from tops to bottoms ... er I mean, from soup to nuts ... wait no, from beginning to their ends ... dammit! Well, you know what I mean.
They transport us back to 1920's Paris as the cast of the Peacock club is preparing to open their new show. Impresario Jean (Jonathan Betchtel) is trying to make everything perfect but the Junior Concierge Pierre (Nik Hagen) keeps getting in the way, trying to be in the show. Pierre yearns to be a part of it all, and with the help of the Ingenue Lulu (Shadou Mintrone), the Dancer Madeline (Madison Oliver), and the Chanteuse Clementine (Jasmine Jean-Sim) he may just be able to find his inner Peacock and convince Jean to let him join the cast.
First let's discuss the look and feel of the place. It always amazes me how they can fit so much into such a small space. But from their death defying yet lovely sets and apparatus from Jonathan Betchtel and JC Bedard to the always stunning projections from TJ Davis of Lux Collective to the fabulous lighting from Robert Aguilar, you can't help but be transported. And I must mention those gorgeous, form fitting, yet oh so sparkly costumes from Shadou Mintrone. Second there's the pitch perfect original music and music direction from Pink + Pezzner and the delicious choreography from Fae Phalen Pink. And all that's under the watchful eye of Artistic Director Chris Pink who knows what it takes to put up a killer show.
And finally, there's the always fantastic cast. Betchtel always brings the best out of the audience and leads us through the story with aplomb. Plus, he keeps taking his clothes off, so there's that. Mintrone and Oliver always supply the most beautiful and body defying contortionist routines whether it's Oliver's delightful umbrella number or the incredibly sensual duo routines of Mintrone and Betchtel, be prepared to be thrilled. Sim is just from the theater Gods. As Pierre aptly puts it "Every time you sing, it reminds me of satin dripping in rhinestones, and it makes my insides feel like honey!" I couldn't agree more Pierre. No one delivers a torch song like Sim. Add into that her incredible comedic timing and how well she fills out those costumes and she's just a star. And then there's the new guy, Nik Hagen. Well, not entirely new, he's no stranger to Seattle theater as I've seen him all over, at places like the 5th Avenue Theatre or crooning with New Voices. And he's no stranger to The Can Can as he headlines their afternoon Brunch shows. But now he's bringing his considerable talents to the evening shows. A fantastic voice and killer moves, he owns every scene he's in, and the character of Pierre he's created is nothing short of adorably hilarious. Hagen is a little fireball of talent.
Until now, I'd have to say my favorite show at The Can Can was their production of "Bon Bon", but "Peacock" is a close second. And so, with my three-letter rating system, I give "Peacock" at The Can Can a still beaming YAY+. I honestly don't think it's possible to have a bad time at this show or at the Can Can in general.
"Peacock" performs at the Can Can through May 31st. For tickets or information, visit them online at www.TheCanCan.com.