Minnsky Theatre in Northeast Minneapolis. Photo by Megan Cavanaugh

Vaudeville performance hub Minnsky Theatre opens on Central

Minnsky Theatre offers a new venue for burlesque productions and other performance groups.

Jac Fatale recently opened Minnsky Theatre in Northeast Minneapolis with a mission to make people laugh.

Fatale, owner of ExperTease Fitness and a burlesque performer, founded the new venue in the former home of local theater company Nimbus Theatre.

“Laughter is a precious thing and with everything going on in the world, it’s our mission to have a place that is silly, fun and empowering,” she said.

When naming the theater, Fatale had two things in mind: history and home. The Minsky brothers were two of the most famous producers of burlesque. She then placed a second “N” for Minnesota.

The local theme doesn’t stop with the name. Minnsky Theatre’s stage came from Minneapolis-based performer Lorie Line. A large “Vaudeville” sign came from the Guthrie Theater. The set and backdrop came from St. Paul’s Bedlam Theatre.

Fatale is also the proprietor of ExperTease Fitness, an alternative fitness and dance studio near Washington & Broadway, where people can learn burlesque, various dance styles and circus disciplines. The classes end in a showcase of performances. Fatale also started burlesque theater troupe Wicked Wenches Cabaret five years ago.

“Between the students’ showcases and the Wicked Wenches Cabaret, we were renting out other places so often, over time it just made sense to open up our own theater,” she said.

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Fatale found a home for Minnsky Theatre in the space where Nimbus Theatre used to be — Nimbus left in January  — at 1517 Central Ave. NE. Since it already housed a theater company, the space was easy to move into, she said.

Fatale’s troupe parodies popular stories, turning them into 18-plus performances like “Under the Rainbow” or “Strip Wars: Return of the Sexy.” The shows are full pieces with dialogue, but instead of musical numbers, she said there’s also “vaudesical” numbers.

“Instead of breaking out into song, we break out into doing something [in] cirque, burlesque, pole or fire,” Fatale said.

The plays are put on in eight-week periods and shown for a single weekend.

“It’s super-fast, super-raw theater that way,” she said.

Although Minnsky Theatre just opened its doors in March, there are other resident companies and theatrical groups, including an off-Broadway group with a comedy musical, that want to take the stage. As a result of the high demand for performance space, the theater books out two years in advance for productions, Fatale said.

The theater also hopes to be a home for private events, weddings and corporate events. With the small, intimate space, the theater seats about 130, banquet style.



For more information, or to see ticket prices, visit Minnsky Theatre’s website.