Comic heroes go burlesque at Marvelesque

After the success of Holy Boobies, Batman! at the Toronto Underground Cinema last June, the Underground Peepshow has decided to launch a series of themed burlesque shows in Toronto. They kicked off the first in a series with Marvelesque on Friday night. Despite the technical difficulties and frequent pauses, the lovely cast delivered exactly as they promised: live-action cosplay stripped to the tassels.

The show had two acts of six sets each with a 15-minute intermission. Understandably, the allure of each set depended on personal taste, but there was definitely something for everyone. The night started off with some Spiderman vs. Venom girl-on-girl action by Betty Quirk and Jackie Jupiter, and Penelope Pixel and Miss S's girl-Gambit and Rogue upped the ante in the second act with additional tongue action.

Highlights of the night included Miss Elle Towe as a scorching hot Black Widow, whose tassels swung in hypnotic circles as she wiggled in time to the sultry music, and Poisonne as Magneto, whose slicked back and cropped blonde hair caused gasps as she flung off her cape to reveal inked body and lingerie.

The two gentlemen of the evening were equally impressive, with Dr. Tease as Iron Man closing off the first act to uproarious approval by opening a beer bottle with his crotch, and Barely Legal Leelando as Black Cat, who made a drunk member of the peanut gallery in the back aisle openly question his hetereosexuality.

The night was hosted by Alex and Chris, a scraggly Thor and a buxom male Loki respectively. Despite the constant mike malfunctions, they endeared themselves to the audience with their expletive-filled commentary and unending penis/hammer jokes.

The pair encouraged the audience to buy beer and yell "Excelsior!" - a word frequently used by Marvel's former president Stan Lee - whenever they felt an "onward or upward surge to greater glory", and the crowd took both tasks to heart as they got progressively inebriated and screamed the latin catchphrase at every opportune (and inopportune)

Marvelesque was an undoubtedly fun adult event with an appreciative crowd, but the long breaks between almost every set disrupted the show's rhythm. Although amusing, Thor and Loki's banter, prize giveaways and trivia contests that devolved into a strip-off between two audience members dragged the show well beyond midnight, and was
probably the reason for the majority of audience walk-outs.

Nonetheless, many stayed till the very end and beyond, grabbing photos with the performers after the show, buying the different merchandise on sale (including an "Excelsior!" pin for $1) and finishing the beer.

If you missed Marvelesque, the Underground Peepshow will be back with Batman Returns: the Shadowcast in September and The Evil League of Sexy in November. Get tickets in advance to skip the long line and grab the best seats. Bring a friend, buy the booze and enjoy the boobs.

Writing by Cynthia Yao. Photo by Trevor Kai.

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