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For the price of a movie, check out the raucous Can Can Cabaret show for kids (yes, kids!)

G-rated burlesque dancers clad in fishing waders? Only at Pike Place Market.

Photo: Nate Watters/Can Can Culinary Cabaret


“Stupidly funny!” was the definitive review from my son, my companion last weekend at the Can Can Culinary Cabaret, tucked into a neat little red velvet- and gilt-lined room at Pike Place Market. 

Though he’s fairly musical and plays piano, he’s not exactly clamoring to go to cabaret shows. 

While he’s not an obvious choice to bring along to a musical revue, I took my chances — and we had a great time clapping along with plenty of good singing, a few corny jokes and solid dancing and acrobatics.

When friends heard that we were planning to go, they were a little mystified, and maybe even a little scared for us. “Is it OK for kids?” one asked. Yes, I assured her. This isn’t the same as the local bachelor and bachelorette party staple. This is the fully clad family friendly brunch show, at 2:30 in the afternoon. And if the family friendly show turned out to be as risque as the midnight shows are reputed to be, well, then perhaps we could just skip my son’s upcoming sex-ed course at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital.

There was nothing to be worried about. It’s a high-energy, burlesque-inspired show that reminded me of Baz Luhrmann’s frenetic film reverie “Moulin Rouge!” and, to today’s kids, might bring to mind DVDs of the ‘70s “Muppet Show,” especially when the fish throwing starts. (It is at Pike Place Market, after all.) It’s “Moulin Rouge!” with a dash of old Bob Hope specials and “The Sonny and Cher Show.” It’s a campy but kid-safe version of the Can Can’s usual shows, and with brunch food and drinks available too. Purchases are not required but are heavily encouraged. 

The cabaret recommends the brunch show for all ages. There were kids in the audience that appeared to be as young as 4, up through the early teen years.

(General admission tickets are $5 for children under 12, $12 for older kids and $19 for adults.) 


Photo: Nate Watters


The brunch show emcee, Tory Toast, had her Mae West manners down pat and playfully engaged the small audience of mostly adults, from a blue-wigged small girl to ladies and gents old enough to have blue hair themselves, were it a different era. 

There was a tad of innuendo, but it was not something a 10-year-old boy was even remotely aware of, though he did giggle when the ladies’ skirts were lifted, their long striped underwear on display during a bit of twerking in the opening number. 

Photo: Nate Watters


“Oh, that can’t be a real umbrella!” noted my son astutely later, as the male dancer swung back and forth from it wildly during “Singin’ in the Rain.” For me, it all brought back childhood memories of tap dance and jazz lessons, high kicks and all those hastily learned songs.

It was a pleasant, rainy Sunday afternoon — and a very welcome and unexpected burlesque break from my child’s usual Minecraft world. 



Can Can Culinary Cabaret All-Ages Brunch Show
Pike Place Market
94 Pike Street, Seattle

When: Saturdays and Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Through December 1, 2019

Cost: $19 adults, $12 ages 12 and older, $5 youth

Good to know: Brunch menu specials range from $12-$20.


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