Le Cirque

There are a few things that any decent human being should do only in the privacy of her own bedroom. Getting naked isn't one of them. True, when in public, we prudish Minnesotans like to cover our bodies with a ridiculous amount of clothing: earmuffs, headbands, glove liners, butt warmers, nose thawers, thigh sweaters, tooth heaters, chin kindlers, and for those discerning consumers among us, solar-paneled electric blanket underwear (now available in fleece). But Le Cirque ladies know that excessive dressing can also be used to prolong your knickers' 15 minutes of fame. At this classy burlesque joint, performers of all shapes and sizes are famous for their "Minnesota Striptease," a sultry dance in which snow bunnies slowly remove everything from scarves and hats down to skirts and bras. Still, there's often more teasing than stripping at Le Cirque, which makes this woman-run cabaret all the more titillating: With feather boa chanteuses wailing their love songs and live musicians fingering their smoky basslines, the candlelit venue is not just a boring flesh bar. A winking self-awareness transforms its vampy Pussycat Dolls routines into playful reconstructions of classic seduction techniques. And though the mystery of what lies beneath frilly panties remains Victoria's secret, Le Cirque still shows just enough skin to give the crowd goosebumps. Don't worry about the girls, though. Those tasseled pasties will keep them warm.


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