Review: The Firecrackers Present: Bad Girls of History

Sexy striptease meets a unique history lesson in The Firecrackers Present: Bad Girls of History, a cheeky and sensual burlesque show at Toronto’s Club 120

History is an important subject to study, but sometimes it is easy to drift away from the tomes and documentaries that seem to repeat the same stories. If only there was a way to spice up a history lesson, so that your eyes popped instead of drooped down with boredom. Club 120 may have found the perfect solution that stimulates that brain, among other things.

The Firecrackers Present: Bad Girls of History is a revue that goes through the ages with saucy burlesque numbers. As you can tell from the title, the performers have taken up the persona of important women in history and added a lot of sex appeal. The girls are “bad” because their brazen actions stood the test of time and their stripteases are not easy to forget.

The Firecrackers and special guests from other productions (8 Bit Pinup, Barely Legal Leelando, Bianca Boom Boom, Delicia Pastiche, Lisbon Maginot, St. Stella, Tanya Cheex, and Tiny B. Hiney) chose their own definition of “bad”. Some were victims of invented crimes. Some were fierce fighters. And the only male performer Barely Legal Leelando chose to define bad in a literal sense, performing as Elizabeth Bathory, the countess who bathed in the blood of virgins. The stage got a bit messy, to say the least.

The show was hosted by Belle Jumelles and Johnny B. Goode (A Platinum Production) dressed as the famous baddies Bonnie and Clyde. The two played up their criminal shtick, cracking jokes and popping blanks from toy revolvers while the performers prepared backstage. The hosting felt unrehearsed, but it was still entertaining. Belle Jumelles was especially impressive with her powerful singing and her own burlesque wiggle.

I had a great time at the show. It had all the things you could want in life. Dancing, nipple pasties, glitter, and even some learning was thrown in. If partial nudity and jiggling are too much for you to handle, then I would recommend a production where the clothes stay on. If you like what you hear, I would suggest finding some of these lovely ladies and the two gentlemen at other shows happening around Toronto.