It’s Summer! Get Some <em>Ice Cream</em> At Can Can Cabaret!

With a ban looming over international travel, you might want to get your cultural jet-set kicks at Can Can Kitchen and Cabaret. Dance, performance,music and food combine to celebrate a Doo-Wop theme in “Ice Cream,” its latest production.

Located underneath Seattle’s infamous Pike Place Market, Can Can’s intimate setting features a vibe circa the turn of the 20th Century Paris. No American ex-pats in safari outfits or dwarves with sketchpads– but a co-ed roster of performers who dazzle, dance, and display their wares.

Can Can choreographer Fae Phalen, a Cornish grad and former Seagal, choreographs the production to match the theme. “Ice Cream” takes inspiration from summer cult-classics like “Grease,” “Cry Baby,” and “Hairspray.” So it’s a Doo-Wop romp and extravaganza. Poodle skirt divas and hot-rod hunks with ducktails rule.

Can Can combines burlesque, cabaret, dance, and seduction. Of course, the costumes (can you say bawdy?!?) are fabulous and highlight the theme. And yes, the evening shows are naughty. The later the show, the naughtier it gets.

Can Can Cabaret Ice Cream

Mermaid Suga Shay having Johnny Boy for supper. Photo by Jules Doyle

The dinner show cast features: Jonny Boy, Le Minx, Neon Keon, Fair Elise, Baby Kate, and Sugar Shay. Johnny Boy emcees, and during one number he does a striptease that’s both scanty and comical. Sorry, not the full monty. And here’s a not-so-well-kept-secret: it involves an audience member. You might have seen Johnny Boy at the Junkyard, Seattle’s answer to Chippendales.

On weekends, Can Can presents an all-ages appropriate matinee brunch show—you can bring the kiddies. The matinee cast features: Tom Tom the Phenomenon, Joel from Personnel, Lindy Lou, Alissa Bliss, and Legs Benedict

The production introduces new video mapping technologies, integrating choreography and costuming, as opposed to a video backdrop. Featuring a vast array of music spanning from original works, rearranged/remixed classics by production duo Pink & Pezzner to local band Manatee Commune, there are newly designed set pieces, and a performance apparatus that will bring our dancers even closer to the audience. So close you can smell the glitter!

Can Can CabaretIf you have tasted Can Can’s menu, you know the food is fabulous.. If not, there’s a treat in store. The dinner show menu reflects the theme–from spicy buttermilk fried chicken to seared Cajun yellowtail tuna. Can Can sources much of its foods from its neighbors at Pike Place Market–Beecher’s cheese curds for its tenderloin poutine or mushrooms from Frank’s Produce in its wild mushroom ravioli.

And if you’re wondering about the brunch menu, it also reflects the theme with other locally-sourced dishes like the Ellenos Parfait, egg Sandwich with Beecher’s cheddar, three Benedicts, and oodles more.

And then there are the libations–creative cocktails, inspired by local folks. You can try a “Mr. Pink,” named after Can Can artistic director Chris Pink, who has recently been named Mayor of Pike Place Market. Or a “Cowboy Cola” made with bourbon, lemon, sarsaparilla simple syrup, with a rhubarb amaro float, among many others. (In-house Chef John Gilbert curates both food and drink.)

So what more can we say? How about Ooh-la-la

“Ice Cream” plays until October 1st at Can Can Cabaret, located underground in Pike Place Market (94 Pike St B, Seattle). Shows Wednesday-Sunday at 7pm; Friday & Saturday at 9:30pm; a family brunch and special matinee for all ages plays Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30pm and 2:30pm. Tickets start at $10; a “Celebration Package” is available for purchase on all shows; For ticket reservations, call (877) 280-7831 or online at To see complete dinner and brunch menus, visit, Can Can also welcomes the public into its Absinthe and Craft Cocktail Bar, open 5pm to close Wednesday-Sunday, with no cover.



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Starla Smith

Starla Smith

Starla Smith is a career journalist, writing features for such publications as The New Yorker, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily News, The Des Moines Register, Vibe and a prize-winning Gannett Newspaper. She helped launch Theater Week Magazine and eventually became its publisher. As a regular contributor to Playbill, her interviews and photos were featured in Playbill and Playbill-on-line. Smith was featured in the New York Times "Style" section for her "Word Portraits," specialized tributes, speeches, and presentation profiles. And she covered theater and features for City Search, Digital City, and the Tena Duberry WOW! Radio show. She previously served as astrology guru for Out Magazine, and she hastens to assure her readers that "Starla" is indeed her real name.

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