Since opening last March, Minnsky Theatre has set out to be the place in the Twin Cities for vaudeville. Audiences can expect to see a bevy of circus arts, burlesque, aerial arts, belly dance, and slapstick.
Jac Fatale, who runs Minnsky, also operates three resident companies in the theater: the Wicked Wenches, a burlesque troupe that spoofs pop-culture; Cirque Dune, which is circus arts for kids and all ages; and Minnsky Follies, which debuts its monthly series this weekend with old-time vaudeville and modern-day antics.
Fatale, who has run the Wicked Wenches for six years, has always wanted a permanent space for the cabaret. The opportunity came last winter when Nimbus Theatre moved out of their former spot on Central Avenue in northeast Minneapolis.
"I love Northeast," Fatale says. "...When I found out Nimbus was leaving, I thought, 'Hey, this is going to be great.'" The new Minnsky Theatre is also just a few blocks down the road from Expertease Fitness, a center that uses burlesque and other vaudeville arts to get people into shape, which she also runs.
Since the beginning, Wicked Wenches had rented space from places like Mixed Blood, the Southern Theater, and In the Heart of the Beast. While that arrangement worked well, Fatale ideally wanted to have control of her own venue.
After moving in, she completely re-did the entire interior and created an art deco lobby. The space is filled with pieces acquired from other theaters, including a vaudeville sign from the Guthrie and a traveling stage from Lorie Line. Canvas backdrops come from the Bedlam.
"There's a lot of Minnesota history that goes along with creating our space," she says.
The new venue is one of the bigger dance floors in town, at 46-by-30 feet. It's slightly thrusted, to allow for side seating, and the stage has the flexibility to be tiered.
For the follies, Minnsky is pulling in performers from all different networks for a full-fledged, old-style vaudeville review. This month's series has a Halloween theme, with big showgirl numbers, burlesque, music, and circus arts. Performers include Sweetpea, TifDynamite Roberts, Hussay Hawtpnts, Mikko Blaze Bordeaux, and Miss Coco Nostal. A slew of other aerialists and synchronized swimmers will also be on hand.
IF YOU GO:
Minnsky Follies: A Grand Review
8 p.m. Saturday, October 22
$15/$20 at the door