Stage Door News

Stratford: “Tainted Cabaret” comes to Stratford April 26

Monday, April 22, 2019

Prepare to check your inhibitions at the door.

This Friday, burlesque fans are in for a treat as three stars of the underground theatre scenes in New York, Toronto, and Vancouver bring their “sinfully funny mix of song and irreverent neo-burlesque,” Tainted Cabaret, to Molly Bloom’s Irish Pub in Stratford.

“Our inspirations are the same inspirations as all burlesque and cabaret … but the direction that we went with this show was to go more towards the comedy, the statements, the sex positivity, and the weirdness,” said Ula Uberbusen, both a performer in the show and its producer.

Having performed numerous burlseque shows in Stratford before, boylesque superstar James & The Giant Pasty and local burlesque favourite Madam (Nicole) Poynter – the latter of whom will make a guest appearance alongside James, Uberbusen, and Shirley Gnome in this Friday’s show – decided they wanted to bring Tainted Cabaret to a Stratford audience as part of the show’s two-month international tour.

“(The show) is a little mix of everything,” said Gnome, a musician and stand-up comedian. “We’re lucky that we get to do a really cohesive show. A lot of burlesque shows are just a bunch of solo numbers that are strung together. We’ve worked on doing quite a few group numbers together. We do a bit of singing, we do burlesque together, we do some pantomime, some political satire, and then we also, on top of that, have our own individual acts.”

Acting as emcee, Gnome said she will link the group performances, James and Uberbusen’s solo burlesque numbers, and her own solo acts together with her unique blend of music and comedy.

“I’ve chosen songs that I feel best suit the group and are very burlesque-friendly. I kind of came up as a musician in burlesque. It was the first place I had the opportunity to perform my songs in a space that was really accepting and safe and empowering, so a lot of my music really lends itself well to a burlesque variety show,” Gnome said.

Overall, the trio promises an evening of semi-naked, campy and theatrical entertainment that celebrates sensuality, sexuality and redefines the rigid structures of traditional femininity.

“I think it’s a darkly, delightful show,” James said. “I think it’s a show where you’re going to see something unexpected and it’s going to surprise you with some of the things you’re going to see. You’re going to be shocked, but you’ll go home really enjoying the shock.”

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and $25 for VIP access, and can be purchased at Doors open at 9 p.m. on April 26 and the show begins at 10 p.m.

For more information, visit

From Galen Simmons for

Photo: James & the Giant Pasty, Ula Uberbusen and Shirley Gnome.