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Show and Tell: Up Close and Personal with The Can Can Cabaret

The show ‘Ice Cream’ offers classic doo-wop in an up-close, family-friendly matinee

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Published on: June 30, 2017

ice cream cabaret
Photo credit: Jules Doyle

You'll find The Can Can in a downstairs hole-in-the-wall venue in Pike Place Market. The place is intimate to say the least, and that’s part of its charm. The new show Ice Cream features kid-friendly Can Can that is definitely up-close and entertaining. If you're touring the newly expanded Pike Place Market with out-of-town guests or grandparents, the show and available menu makes an excellent lunchtime break.

In Ice Cream, a gaggle of talented dancers and singers gather to give an effervescent show of matinee fun: high kicks, bright backdrops and lots and lots of dancing. Get ready to tap your toes, clap along and laugh (and possibly sing?) out loud as the energetic cast takes you through funny and sweet skits to the tune of cult classics from Grease and Hairspray. My fiancé and I sat right on the catwalk, where at one point a dancer knocked over my (thankfully empty) mimosa glass — so yes, they really are that close.

can can cabaret matinee ice cream
Photo credit: Jules Doyle

Wanna-be performers of any age in your family, but especially kids, will love the detailed view of the characters in action. There's Tom Tom the Phenomenon, Joel from Personnel, Lindy Lou, Alissa Bliss and Legs Benedict. For the more techy kids, another cool feature about Ice Cream is video mapping technology used in tandem with Fae Phalen’s choreography. Everyone was wowed by the shimmering lights and cute animations, making the show out of the ordinary and fun. It’s no wonder they call the show a “magnificent matinee!”

can can singing
Photo credit: Jules Doyle

But wait, there’s more: not only do you get a peppy afternoon show, you also get an incredible meal. The Cabaret offers everything from simple breakfast favorites to delicious lunchtime sliders and more. I appreciated that Chef John Gilbert sources market-fresh foods, utilizing Pike Place in true Seattle fashion — and did I mention the yummy mimosas? Make sure to get there with enough time order your food and drinks before the show gets started — you won’t want to miss a beat. This Can Can is fun for the whole family.

Parents should know:

Can Can weekend matinees are open to all ages. Parents of especially shy kids should keep in mind that the performers will likely touch and talk to audience members, no matter how far from the stage you sit. During the show I attended, the performers seemed respectful about the clearly introverted individuals in the audience. On the other hand, kids eager to take part in the action will love it and it's hard to get bored with so much happening so close.

The content of the matinee shows included a little innuendo, but nothing crass. Some parents might find the outfits of the performers too risqué for little ones—silky short-shorts, a mermaid in a bra and tail, short dresses and shirtless men. Dancing was suggestive at times, including occasional gyrations, but was executed in a lighthearted manner. If you have specific questions, the Can Can suggests you give them a call beforehand.

If you go:

When and where: Ice Cream runs through Oct. 1 with multiple shows per week. The weekend matinees on Saturday and Sunday at both 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. are designated as family friendly. The Can Can is located at 94 Pike St., right near what most people think of the main entrance to the Market. If you're walking west toward Rachel the Pig, you'll find the Can Can sign on your right.

Tickets: Book tickets online. Kids 11 and under are $10; youth 12–17 are $15; adults are $25. A VIP ticket for $40 gets you a choice seat plus $15 food and beverage credit. Peruse the brunch menu beforehand.

Parking: We suggest the Public Market Parking Garage at 1531 Western Ave., but there are lots of garages (and street parking) in the area.

More tips:

  • Get there about 15 minutes early to find your seats and order some food before the show starts. As you might expect, Pike Place is busy on the weekends, so plan for traffic and crowds to slow you down.
  • For a truly interactive experience, ask if you can be seated along the catwalk — you’ll get a fun, up-close view of the performers!
  • Don’t be surprised if the performers touch you or talk to you during the show — make sure your kids know what to expect, so they aren’t surprised by any extra attention.
  • The show is a little over an hour, with one to two breaks for ordering more food or a quick bathroom run. The wait staff is adept at spotting empty coffee cups and ushering you back to your seat when the time comes to continue the show.
  • More questions? Call The Can Can's at 206-652-0832.

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