Bring On The Boys Burlesque Show

Vermouth and Sane Productions Present “Bring On The Boys”

Something unique and wonderful happened in Ottawa on Saturday night and I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of capturing it. Victoria Vermouth and Ian Sane, of Vermouth And Sane Productions, put on a burlesque show that was one of a kind. ‘Bring On The Boys’ was a show that celebrated masculinity in all it’s various, beautiful forms. Victoria and Ian were striving to challenge the typical burlesque show by doing something outside of the box, and it was absolutely an unforgettable experience. Cafe Nostalgica was full of people from all walks of life, gathered together to enjoy the show, and did they ever have a fun time. All of the performers brought something unique and entertaining to the stage that had the audience laughing and singing along.

I had a chance to with down with Victoria and Ian to discuss their inspiration for this show, and to ask why it was so important for them to produce a show of this kind. They both have been involved in the Ottawa burlesque scene, from producing shows to performing. With this show they knew that wanted to create something that challenged the typical ideals masculinity and moved burlesque in a different direction.

IAN- “This show is very important to me, I have never identified with most traditional masculinity even though I am a cis heterosexual man. I have never felt at place with typical men doing ‘man things’. I am not a ‘go into the woods, cut down a tree and widdle it into a toothpick kind’ of guy. I think it is very important to tell men that they can be shiny and fabulous and live how they want to without feeling less than. What we are really trying to present with this show is masculine people performing as themselves or in character, representing a masculinity that is outside of the norm. We intentionally avoided a macho type boylesque vibe. We did not want to sell the typical ‘manly man’.”

Victoria- “It is one of the first burlesque shows in Ottawa to challenge our views of masculinity and how those concepts are viewed in society. It’s not masculinity its masculinities, celebrating all different kinds of masculinity. It is important to expand the audience’s ideas of what burlesque is. The average person does not think that boys perform burlesque, and often people don’t know that drag kings exist. So this show is a visibility and an awareness thing as well.”

When we discussed what they hoped the audience took away from this show, they both really expressed how they wanted to inspire others. A person from the audience might see something that they’ve never experienced before and leave more open minded. Victoria and Ian both feel very strongly about breaking down the stereotypes of burlesque and making it a more inclusive culture.

IAN- “Burlesque historically has usually been by women for women, with a typical thin body type. We are trying to be actively conscious of including people of multiple genders, ethnicity, body shapes and type in our shows. We want our audience to know that literally anyone can do burlesque, No matter who you are and what you look like. Whether it is coming out on stage, doing it at home, or taking lesson because it makes you feel good, I want everyone to know that they can do this and they can be beautiful.”

VICTORIA- “I would love to see more diversity on stages on Ottawa. We have all ages, body shapes, colours, genders, everything under the sun is in the show tonight. We really hope to showcase that and move burlesque away from the masculine gaze and make it for everyone”

This will definitely not be the last of its kind, as Victoria and Ian have big plans to keep pushing the envelope, and influencing the burlesque culture in Ottawa. It was a wildly successful show with such positive energy! I’d suggest keeping these guys on your radar. Their next show has a “Casino Fatale” theme on April 6th, starring Danielle Saint Velvet from New York.

Ian- “We are going to keep bringing out all different kinds of people to perform in our shows and we promise you will see something that you did not expect to see at Vermouth and Sane from here on out. I hope we surprise a few people tonight!”

Victoria- “Oh I am Sure we will”

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