In the mood for some attractive strangers to put on a show?
Start thinking burlesque & cabaret.
One part dance show, one part strip tease, and one part comedy show… these often overlooked brands of performance art has a surprising presence around the Twin Cities.
So get ready for some T&A (with pasties, of course)… we’re sharing all the best places to catch a burlesque or cabaret show around Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the Twin Cities.
P.S. – We’re talking the authentic, artistic versions of these dance shows… not the full nudity strip clubs found at places like Rick’s or Downtown Cabaret.
P.P.S. – While there are subtle differences between burlesque and cabaret, in the interest of providing you the most comprehensive list possible, we’re including both in this article.
Best Cabaret & Burlesque Shows in Minneapolis St. Paul
No plans on the first Friday of the month? Want to support a local arts organization and enjoy a fun night out? Check out the monthly cabaret and burlesque shows put on by TC Cabaret, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization connecting and educating local Twin Cities residents about the performance art of cabaret and burlesque. Shows are hosted at Brass Rail Cabaret and the Gay ’90s in downtown Minneapolis.
- Address: Rotating
- Website: TC Cabaret
Amsterdam Bar & Hall
One of the few spots left in downtown St. Paul to catch burlesque and cabaret shows regularly, Amsterdam Bar & Hall on the corner of 6th and Wabasha has a rotating calendar of local and touring shows. In addition, Amsterdam is home to Capital City Cabaret, one of the newer shows to hit the Twin Cities metro.
- Address: 6 West 6th Street, Wabasha St N, St Paul, MN 55102
- Website: Amsterdam Bar & Hall
The Pourhouse brings all the best in burlesque to downtown Minneapolis. Weekly and monthly shows featuring national talent in this Prohibition-era bar. Shows here range from classic burlesque to comedy/drag reviews and everything in between. You’ll also find a decent American-fare bar menu and craft beer list at Pourhouse, along with tickets starting at $12.
- Address: 10 S 5th St #11, Minneapolis, MN 55402
- Website: The Pourhouse
A Twin Cities Pride Festival staple, Bi-Lesque has been bringing the best burlesque talent of the Twin Cities together on one stage for many years. Every show raises money for the Bisexual Organizing Project (BOP), one of the largest bisexual advocacy non-profits in the United States. Although this group only performs a handful of shows annually, their inclusive performances are some of the most diverse and entertaining in the Metro.
- Address: Rotating
- Website: Bi-Lesque
“Nerdlesque” might be one of our favorite made-up words ever. And it’s also one of our favorite options to catch traditional and parody burlesque in the Twin Cities. Hosted by NerdDoms Universe, these hilarious and cheeky shows are hosted for private and corporate events in the Twin Cities. The group customizes the acts to popular music and parody acts, or just creates an evening of fun your group will enjoy. In addition, live events pop up around the Twin Cities, so check the calendar for upcoming shows.
- Address: Rotating
- Website: NerdDoms “Nerdlesque”
Even though LUSH is synonymous with drag brunch in the Twin Cities, the newly remodeled and top-rated venue also hosts monthly burlesque and cabaret. You’ll find a mix of local and touring shows here, but our favorite feature is the award-winning menu from Betty & Earl’s Biscuit Kitchen.
- Address: 990 NE Central Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55413
- Website: Lush Lounge and Theater
Red Velvet Entertainment
Red Velvet Entertainment originated as one of the top burlesque and cabaret shows in NYC before hitting the road for national events. Several times a year, they now host shows in Twin Cities venues and cities like Boston, Austin, and New Orleans. Shows tend to be more classic burlesque or themed.
- Address: Rotating
- Website: Red Velvet Burlesque
Burlesque & Cabaret Lessons in Minneapolis St. Paul
Love burlesque so much you want to give it a try on the stage? Looking for a fun body-positive outing with friends? A few places in the Twin Cities host burlesque lessons and workshops teaching the performance art.
You’ll find some of the top Twin Cities burlesque performers also teach classes in these two venues:
The Rose Academy of Burlesque
Headmistress Deeva Rose of The Rose Academy of Burlesque has been a long-standing member of the Twin Cities burlesque community. She frequently headlines in many of the venues above, along with hosting classes, workshops, private lessons, and events for students of all body types, gender expressions, ages, abilities, and levels of experience. Even if you’re not interested in lessons, check out their Summer Showcase at Pourhouse; it features all the graduating students in what their website describes as a “grown-up dance recital without all the clothes.”
- Address: 711 W Lake St Suite 515 & 605, Minneapolis, MN 55408
- Website: The Rose Academy of Burlesque
Twin Cities Burlesque Academy
Led by award-winning burlesque artist and dancer Ophelia Flame, The Twin Cities Burlesque Academy offers a wide range of beginner to advanced workshops. Fans, amateurs, and the pros can hop in for offerings like “CALM THE %$# DOWN!” to overcome stage fright and the popular “Teasercise.”
- Address: 79 13th Ave NE #212, Minneapolis, MN 55413
- Website: Ophelia Flame
Villainy Alternative Dance Studio
Villainy is a Minneapolis fitness studio that focuses on “alternative” forms of dancing, meaning they offer classes from pole dancing to belly dancing. (And even a twerking class!) But more relevant to this article, these options include a burlesque package. It’s a four week program where instructors will walk you through everything from mastering the burlesque basics to choosing a stage name!
- Address: 3718 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis 55407
- Website: Villainy Dance Studio