PeepshowTO is an ongoing series of burlesque shows produced in Toronto, Canada by a dedicated crew with a passion for creating their own unique brand of geek-themed burlesque. For over five years PeepshowTO has worked closely with a variety of local performers to create highly anticipated and regularly sold out events across the GTA. Every signature show is completely customized to a specific theme and packed with never-before-seen acts. Inclusivity is a priority within PeepshowTO and we welcome a different lineup of burlesque performers with varying levels of experience to strut their stuff on stage at every show. No matter the theme you can always expect to see a good mix of both sultry and comedic performance, all packed into an indulgent evening that is sure to satisfy the geeky appetite.
In between PeepshowTO’s larger, signature events are “Peepshow Teasers” which are smaller shows for more intimate venues and conventions in the city. Most notably, the group put together a special burlesque show in honour of Japanese artist Junko Mizuno for her solo art show, Venus Cakes: Junko's Food Obsession at Narwhal Art Projects. PeepshowTO has also been featured as entertainment regularly at Atomic Lollipop which is a 3 day carnival, convention and music festival extravaganza.
PeepshowTO was born in the summer of 2011 when a small burlesque show called “Holy Boobies, Batman!” was organized as a fundraiser for another project and unexpectedly became a huge hit. The show attracted an audience of over 350 people to the Toronto Underground Cinema by featuring burlesque performers paying homage to their favourite characters in playful stripteases inspired by DC comic books. The founders of the show were overjoyed to see so many fans shared their same interest in seeing the art of burlesque combined with skillful cosplay and a unique nerdy flair. Upon realizing the potential of this concept, a new burlesque series was created as “The Underground Peepshow”.
The first official Underground Peepshow event, Marvelesque: A Marvel Themed Burlesque Show was another wildly successful comic-filled evening which attracted an audience of over 550 guests. The dedicated fan base continued to go and within the first year of producing, We Put The Spring in Springfield: A Simpsons Themed Burlesque Show was presented to a sold out audience filling over 700 seats.
When the show’s beloved home cinema closed in 2012, the decision was made to tour the show to a variety of Toronto venues with a focus on expanding the core audience and bringing in the best local burlesque talent while continuing to explore a new theme each show. The show continued to outgrow all typical burlesque venues and was selling out so often that two nights per show were required to meet demand.
In October 2013 The Underground Peepshow took on it’s most ambitious production yet and launched a show unlike any other Toronto-based burlesque production at The Jane Mallett Theatre. This stunning, state of the art theatre in the heart of downtown with impeccable sight lines launched the show into a new era that could no longer be called “Underground”. It was officially announced that the production would now become known as PeepshowTO.
Today, PeepshowTO continues to successfully produce large-scale nerd-themed burlesque shows at their new home theatre, The Great Hall.
The Underground Peepshow on The Space Channel's INNERSPACE - July 6, 2012
The The Grid TO: Comic Strips - August 30, 2013
Burlesque Magazine: Top 10 Canadian Burlesque Shows - November 19, 2016
Betty Quirk is a Toronto based performer, costume designer and producer. She is a founding member and producer of PeepshowTO. Betty is known for her comical burlesque acts paying tribute to her favourite characters from comic books, sci-fi, classic video games and horror. As an avid cosplayer she is always on the lookout for any excuse to run around in a catsuit or cape! Betty is highly trained and experienced in costume design and creates her own stage costumes as well as offering custom designs from Betty Monroe Designs. To learn more about her design work check out www.bettymonroedesigns.com
Current Obsession: Wonder Woman, Arrow, Game of Thrones & Everything by Joss Whedon.
Favourite Film: Hedwig & The Angry Inch
Favourite (Comic) Book: Transmetropolitan Series by Warren Ellis
Favourite TV Show: Futurama
Memorable Acts: Hannibal Lector, Lydia Deets (Beetlejuice), and Wonder Woman
Sevvy Skellington is a charmingly awkward showgirl with many guilty pleasures. Her nerdy vices include children's literature, young adult fiction, musical theatre, film, and cartoons. A fan of pop-culture trivia, she often looks for the most nostalgic moments of her favourite geeky subjects and uses them as the basis for her burlesque acts. A graphic designer and filmmaker by day, geeky burlesque performer by night, Sevvy is constantly busy pursuing numerous creative projects and dreaming bigger dreams.
Current Obsession: Harry Potter, Pokemon, musical theatre, and The Simpsons
Favourite Film: The Sound of Music
Favourite Book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Favourite TV Show: The Simpsons and Game of Thrones
Memorable Acts: Pikachu, Wall-E, Cookie Kwan
Leelando Calrissian, as you’ve probably already heard, hails from Cloud city, and he ain't got no titty! He is known for his ridiculous costumes and use of the word “spicy” as a verb. You can usually expect to see him as your favourite female heroine or the buff male protagonist in most of his acts. While not performing on stage, Leelando can be found working on various nerd projects throughout the city and betraying his best friend to Darth Vader.
Current Obsession:Harley Quinn, RuPaul's Drag Race
Favourite Film: House on Haunted Hill (1999)
Favourite TV Show: American Horror Story and Futurama
Memorable Acts: Ada Wong, Harley Quinn
Velvet is a host, philanthropist and Icelandic pop sensation. On her last tour of Greenland she achieved the world’s record for most swear words shouted while opening for the popular kids show The Wiggles. She is known for her foul mouthed pop culture rants and hatred of scripts. Her spare time is spent plundering European shores for glitter and studs in her longship The Excelsjor. Can't get enough of Velvet? Check out her weekly podcast, "Would You Rather?: with Velvet Valhalla" at www.velvetvalhalla.com
As the go-to gal for paperwork, nothing makes Rena happier than keeping the delightful chaos of Peepshow organized with a good set of lists and schedules. She is also the volunteer liaison and as the resident stage mom, she's always ready with craft services, bobby pins and band-aids. When she's not running around backstage with a clipboard, Rena works in television and hangs out with her cat. She also enjoys baking, singing a cappella music, and surrounding herself with people as nerdy as she is.
Trevor secured his position as resident DJ by instinctively pairing Big Shiny Tunes contenders with S Club 7 era pop hits after one particularly memorable post-show party. He has played pre-show/intermission music for every PeepshowTO event so far, delighting audience members with the triumphant chorus of Mario Kart 64's victory lap song, (Super Smash Burlesque), playing the obvious head-exploding Slim Whitman song, (Nightmare Before Stripmas), and even inspiring back row air-drumming to King Crimson (Dungeons, Dragons & Damsels). Trevor is probably out record shopping right now, looking for the perfect thing that you'll have no choice but to listen to at our next show.
Chris is a freelance Lighting Director from Toronto, Ontario. His career spans over a decade and includes credits in television, music, theatre and dance. He is always working to create immersive experiences for the audiences of his shows. In our shows he has two goals, making the performers look fantastic and creating a playground for local photographers.