MONTREAL FRINGE 2014: Turning Tricks

With their aim to promote a healthy body image for people of every gender, weight and sexual orientation, Glam Gam shows are always worth checking out. In Turning Tricks, this Montreal Burlesque troupe has taken it up a notch in their most ambitious and successful production to date.

In the show the “Gold Dust Women” are led by mistress Goldie Showers (aka the always amusing and fearless Julie Paquet). Throughout the evening this raunchy team of magical misfits will shock and titillate you in some pretty impressive ways that include glitter, throwing knives, chicken suits, gimps and sparkler pasties. Beyond the staple silliness of their shows, Glam Gam added some important messages as well. It was hard not to notice their comment on slut shaming and a woman’s right to choose. Every character in the show either asked or gave their consent for all that fun naughty stuff. Remember folks: consent is sexy!

While it was nice to see them add a message, this time around Glam Gam wisely cut back on story. Turning Tricks is the strongest of Glam Gam’s past three Fringe outings largely for focusing on the vaudevillian talents of the troupe. That being said, congrats have to be given to miss Phoenix Wood. This Glam Gam beauty usually shows up just in time to dance and strip, but in Turning Tricks she demonstrated she’s a talented actress as well. I would happily see her act again- whether or not she was taking her clothes off.

I was sad not to see more of Michael J. McCarthy in the show, as he’s always entertaining to watch onstage. There’s a reason he and Paquet dominated the “Best of Montreal” List this year in Cult Montreal; the two have a natural chemistry in whatever project they work on. Instead this time around McCarthy’s talent were found off-stage, where he did a great job co-directing the show with Hannah Morrow.

Beautiful naked guys and gals, big splashy dance numbers, Turning Tricks is a must-see Fringe 2014 show for many reasons. Perhaps most importantly because it’s the only Fringe show I’ve ever seen that uses it’s exposure in the festival to raise money for a good cause; during the show money was raised for STELLA, a sex-workers advocacy group. You still have plenty of time to catch all the fun; Turning Tricks plays until Saturday at the Montreal Fringe festival.


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