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Can Can brings spooky (and sexy) back in The Hitchcock Hotel

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Photo by Nate Watters
Photo by Nate Watters

The Can Can Culinary Cabaret is sure to make September in Seattle spookier and sexier with its hot new show, The Hitchcock Hotel. A combination of humor, showmanship, and sparkles sets the scene for the clever production about an average John finding himself through sexual liberation at the famed and mysterious Hitchcock Hotel.

It's more than just dinner and a show, however. Right from the get-go, Can Can's performers work the crowd. Before moving on to the hilarity and musical talents of the core cast of five, they make sure to engage everyone. Audience members are even brought up to the stage and asked to twerk. One was even lucky enough to receive a double lap dance while being serenaded.

Photo by Nate Watters  

While the main show is flashy, it is all in good taste. Fog machines and colored lights bring mystery to the seductively haunting performances. Contortionist dancers "Shadow" and "Silhouette" twist around tabletops but make sure not to spill drinks.

While Shadow and Silhouette bring the sexy, their co-stars, Frankly, John, and Madame Maybelle, bring the wit. Their quick and playful banter and use of props make the small stage seem much larger than it is.

The performers serenade the room with classic show tunes like "Sweet Transvestite," "Anything You Can Do," and "You Don't Own Me," incorporating them expertly into the show's story.

Perhaps just as impressive as the songs and dance are the breathtaking costumes. With each song, the players appear in new arrangements that look straight out of the Met Gala. Of course, these outfits do not stay on their bodies for long. With each layer of clothes shed, the performers appear more beautiful, sharing a sense of vulnerability with the audience.

By the end of the night, a connection had formed between the crowd and the artists. Those who had walked into the show timid left with their heads held a little higher. The Hitchcock Hotel was a great reminder to everyone to take life a little less seriously, embrace the power of sexuality, and not be afraid to "light your lantern."

Photo by Nate Watters  

A second home
"I've done a lot of theater and dance my whole life, and what's nice about the Can Can is it's never more personal than it is here," performer Shadou Mintrone said. "All the one-on-one attention, we get to know people, we get to celebrate their thing with them, and that's kind of my favorite part about it: you get to be a part of the audience as much as they get to be a part of the show."

The Can Can has provided the players with a space to practice authenticity and celebrate all aspects of themselves. "I have been able to just express myself in a way that is unapologetically honest, and I feel empowered to do that," Richard Peacock, another performer, added.

The vulnerability the entertainers share with the audience is nowhere near as impressive as the trust they have in each other. Not only do they carry out dangerous stunts, relying on the strength of their co-stars, but they do so nearly naked, expressing a rare sense of intimacy most cannot handle.

After just two weeks with the Can Can, the newest dancer, Sasha Voyt, says she already feels close to everyone in the show. "It's my second home," she said. "It's only my second week here, but they've already become like family."

Photo by Nate Watters  

Using voices to take back power
The Hitchcock Hotel shows power and beauty in the art form of the human body, but the show also encourages people to use their voices. "We have a lot of really beautiful numbers in the show that also reflect our climate of the world right now, and just how important it is to be yourself and take back your power, especially as a female or female-presenting person. We're excited to be doing this show and hope everyone stays safe," said Tori Gresham, referencing her "You Don't Own Me" number, in which she nods to recent attacks on women's reproductive rights.

"As a performer, after two or three years of the pandemic, getting to do this on stage with no masks and just feeling like we're back to somewhat normal has meant so much," she added.

For anyone looking to break away from the ordinary for a few hours, The Hitchcock Hotel is definitely the show to experience.

The Hitchcock Hotel is at the Can Can Culinary Cabaret, 95 Pine St., Seattle until November 27. Tickets are available at https://www.thecancan.com/shows/the-hitchcock-hotel-2022/.