Kate Minwegen and Rachel Tatum perform in Emerald City Trapeze Arts’ show called “I See Why! A Circus Burlesque Biography.” Credit: Tread Photography
Fancy a spicy date night? Seattle’s Emerald City Trapeze Arts presents a show titled “I See Why! A Circus Burlesque Biography,” playing select evenings through April 2, 2022. The show features trapeze, aerial arts and burlesque. It’s most definitely R-rated and only for those ages 21 and older.
This unique show is called a circus burlesque biography because of the various aspects of the performance. The circus part includes amazing aerial performances similar to what you would see in a Cirque du Soleil show. The biography element is the story running through the performance. In this show, the story follows a character named Icy London (played by Icy London) who feels stuck in life and doesn’t feel like she is living her truth. She eventually embraces her divine self and lets her true light shine when she joins the circus. The burlesque part means that the performers are scantily clad, flirty and sexy. The show also includes a variety of performance numbers outside of the aerial arts — singing, dancing, comedy skits and two striptease acts.
In the opening, the announcer says, “This is a burlesque show. If a piece of clothing lands in your lap, toss it back — it probably won’t fit anyway.” Oh, my.
Well, no clothing landed in our laps, but my husband and I were alternately entertained, amazed and made to feel a wee bit uncomfortable.
Elements of the show
The aerial acts were superb. They included a saucy trampoline act in which performer Parker Madison did a “reverse strip” by starting out in a thong and putting clothing on in between tricks. A duo (Kevin Vu and Sam Buckmier) performed a beautiful, suggestive acrobatic dance while hanging from a giant birdcage.
Other aerial acts included a contortionist, a duo strap act by performers Kate Minwegen and Rachel Tatum, and multicord act, during which performer Jessie Perry wrapped a bunch of cords around her body and did tricks in the air. For the grand finale, world-class flyers Jordan Tribble, Taeko Ariga, Sam Buckmier, Jamie Corona and Fly Catcher Luis Balcazawas performed a stunning flying trapeze act.
In between, there were funny intervals, such as when an older character came out and told the performers to “put some clothes on!” Burlesque typically includes jokes and skits making fun of current events, and this show delivered several COVID-19 and Zoom jokes. There were two true striptease acts in which the women wore pasties.
We didn’t completely follow the storyline, but it wasn’t needed to enjoy the show. Although the stripping acts made both my husband and me a bit uncomfortable, all in all we enjoyed the show, especially the aerial acts.
You should know:
- This is an R-rated, adults-only show, suitable for a spicy date night. Guests must be 21 years old or older, and show ID and proof of vaccination. Medical-grade masks are required.
- There is no seating: The show is standing-room-only, with the exception of ADA seating. There are small tables available to prop a drink or snacks.
- Available concessions include popcorn, cotton candy and hot dogs. There is a full bar.
- Running time is about an hour and a half, including an intermission.
If you go ...
When: The show plays most Fridays and Saturdays as well as the occasional Thursday through April 2, 2022. The show starts at 8 p.m.; doors open at 7 p.m. Running time is 90 minutes.
Tickets: $60; buy tickets online. VIP tickets available.
Ages: This is an adults-only show for ages 21 and older only.
Gettng there: Emerald City Trapeze Arts is located near the SoDo light rail station. Street parking is also available.