Our History

It all started in early 2008,

when company founder and Artistic Director Benjamin Paley, who goes by the stage name James and the Giant Pasty, met with a group of likeminded men to discuss one of Toronto’s biggest problems: the lack of male performers in the burlesque scene. A new troupe was born, and soon enough it was out with the girlie, and in with the burly!

Since selling out their debut show, Boy, Oh Boy!, in 2008 the men of Boylesque TO have really taken off (pun intended), titillating audiences at PRIDE, The Toronto Burlesque Festival, The Feminist Porn Awards, The Canadian Stage Company, The Church Street Fetish Fair, The Kinkston Carnalval, and at each and every one of their own self-produced SOLD OUT shows. They have graced the stages of Toronto, Montreal, London, New York, and their very own Mahogany Storm to compete at The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in Las Vegas. They appeared on TV in Slice Network’s Revamped, teaching women how to embrace their sexuality in burlesque performances of their own. And they have been featured in the press extensively, from fab magazine to Xtra, from The Toronto Star to NOW Magazine, and from Newstalk 1010 to Proud FM.

Past Shows and Performances

Full Scale Productions

Boy O Boy

July 2008, The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom

Boylesque T.O.’s first show paid homage to some of our culture’s most notable male icons, from the Bay Street businessmen, to emo baristas, to gay cowboys, and even the lowly, striking TTC worker.

Boys Under the Big Top

Pride Toronto 2009, Outdoor Stage, (also November 2009 @ Revival)

A Male Burlesque and Circus Extravaganza!

Be Mein Valentine I and Be Mein Valentine II

February 2009 and February 2010, The Gladstone Hotel

A Co-Production between Boylesque T.O. and Skin Tight Outta Sight (Canada’s longest running burlesque troupe) that celebrates the cabarets and sexual and gender freedoms of Weimar Republic Berlin.

Dead Sexy: A Funeral for Church Street

June 2010, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Pride Programming

A tongue-in-cheek eulogy to the Gay Village that once was before gentrification, rising rents, the internet, more widespread cultural acceptance, and alternative queer venues started dispersing queers across the city.

O Manada: True Patriot Lust

November 2010, Lee’s Palace (soon to be remounted on Canada day for Pride 2011)

Boylesque T.O.'s homage to their home and native land (more on the “Work to be Presented” Page).

TV Appearances

Slice Network’s Revamped

The boys of of Boylesque.T.O. show the characters on Revamped how professional burlesque is really done and give them some helpful words of encouragement.

Other Performances of Note
  • Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in Las Vegas
  • Church Street Fetish Fair
  • The Canadian Stage Company
  • Feminist Porn Awards
  • The Toronto Burlesque Festival
  • The Kinkston Carnalval