Review by Keridwyn Deller:
If you’re 21+ and like your performances that are more on the risque side, you won’t want to miss out on their current show “Femme Fatale.” Part live-music, part burlesque, part sensual dance, part feels-like-being-in-a-music-video experience, this production is truly delicious (also delicious? The crab cakes on their menu. Food and drink is served during this event).
Local singer “Prom Queen” joins Can Can cast members Jonny Boy, Shadou, JJ Jones, and Jordan for a memorable live performance in the heart of Pike Place Market.
I had the chance of asking cast members Jonny Boy and Shadou a few questions. Get your tickets now, then check out my interview with them:
Q: The tone of your performances often shifts from funny, to sexy, to emotionally intense. Which kinds of scenes do you enjoy performing most? Why?
Jonny Boy: I love how we are able to switch moods so quickly during our shows. If I had to be just one thing I would get bored oh-so quickly. I love luring the audience into seeing me as just a clown, then spending three and a half minutes performing a seductive tango with Shadou. I love the balance. If our shows weren’t balanced with seduction, humor, and emotion, I don’t think they would be as honest — and if there is anything to crave from a performer, it’s honesty.
Shadou: The most enjoyable parts of each show shifts for me on a nightly basis. To be honest it depends on how I am feeling, what I have experienced that day, and what the audience is responding to. Sometimes they will LOVE the comedic elements of the show, and other times it’s the sensual duets that get them going. It’s all entertaining for me, and there isn’t a preference as to which side of it I’d prefer to do more or less of. The best part of Can Can as a performer, in my opinion, is that the shows are so expansive in virtue. We do our best to reach every aspect of vaudeville theatre to current trends in live performance, and every minute on stage is different from the last. My motto is “never try to recreate the same moment”.
Q: The can-can is a unique venue, what do you enjoy most about performing there?
Jonny Boy: I love the intimacy of Can Can. The audience is so close that it doesn’t feel like the separation between patron and performer exists. More so it feels like we are all trying to make that particular night something special. The audience and I want the same thing and its relearning every night how we get there. The challenge and the joy that comes from its accomplishment are why I’m obsessed with performing at Can Can.
Shadou: The intimacy! There is a difference in dancing AT people and dancing FOR people. At Can Can, everyone and everything is so close. The audience, the other dancers, servers, food, drinks, chairs, ceiling . . . everything! It’s a playground for the performers and it makes everything so exciting.
Q: What sets Femme Fatale apart from other recent productions? What sort of mood does this show leave the audience with?
Jonny Boy: Femme Fatale is amazing! Prom Queen is a force to be reckoned with and our dancers are incredible. We’re continuing to push how we use the space and developed all new apparatus for the dancers to show off their skills on. Simply put, it is a completely new experience for our audience!
Shadou: Femme Fatale is an entirely new process for Can Can. We have the moving parts of song and dance with the surprise elements we love to pack into every show (apparatus, lighting, projections etc). But there is something extremely alluring about the seductiveness of this particular production. The inspiration of Mata Hari (who was such a gorgeous performer, and the original Femme Fatale) has captivated me throughout this process. I love how relevant her story is to what our world is going through right now. As a female in this industry, and frankly on this planet, it is so amazing to be able to recreate our own version of that story and let it shift how we perform. The show isn’t necessarily message driven in that way, but I love the aspect of being inspired internally by who Mata Hari was as a human. The second part of this production is Prom Queen! She is representing our own Mata Hari, and has this amazing voice that just sits in your soul. The production team has catered the creation to fit her vibe. Musically, there are components that are very Prom Queen as well as keeping the electronic elements along with instrumentation unlike a lot of the music we have used before. Outside of the music/vocals, the choreography has been taken to a whole new level. Our space is so unique, as mentioned before, but the real journey with this show is watching how we transform it. So even if you’ve seen a show at Can Can, this is entirely different in how we utilize everything from the catwalk to the back walls. We do our best to pull out all of the stops with each new production, and in my opinion Femme Fatale is one of both physical grace and production dynamics unlike anything we have done on our stage! The creative team is brilliant and the collaborators both on and off stage have resumes anyone would be jealous of. Needless to say, I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the team!
Learn more about the show and get tickets here. Femme Fatale plays now through September 30.
See more photos on Can Can’s Instagram at instagram.com/cancanseattle.