Gorilla Tango Burlesque Performers Walk out over Lack of Pay

Gorilla Tango Burlesque Performers Walk out over Lack of Pay

Photo: The cast of Gorilla Tango’s “Walking Dead Burlesque.”

Gorilla Tango Burlesque, an ensemble of 30 artists employed by Bucktown’s Gorilla Tango Theater, has quit en masse over a new revenue split that has left them without pay for weeks. Gorilla Tango has always operated under a cash-sharing model with its shows, but the company implemented new rules that required the theater to make a profit before shows get a payout. The result has been a lack of pay for the Burlesque troop performers.

Gorilla Tango Burlesque is managed by Gorilla Tango Theater staffers, under the ownership of Dan Abbate (creator of the world’s largest hot dog). The group is known for their kitschy burlesque parodies of pop culture shows and movies, and their performances are a staple at Gorilla Tango.

Performers say they were made aware of the new financial arrangement after performances had taken place that they have not been paid for, and that money from those shows was used to pay the theater’s past deficits, leaving nothing left to split among the performers. Burlesque shows have been removed from the theater’s website.

Abbate said via email that “Gorilla Tango Burlesque is still at Gorilla Tango as always (it is a Gorilla Tango production). We just recently parted ways with many of our current cast members. GTB shows will be back in the coming months after a planned upgrade and remodel of the venue.”

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Comments
  • Denise#1

    August 3, 2017

    How about you pay the performers what they are owed before revamping the venue.

    Reply
  • Mike Towns#2

    August 3, 2017

    Wow.

    Reply
  • Angel#3

    August 3, 2017

    So the theater has deficits and couldn’t pay the performers…and yet it’s planning upgrades and remodeling?

    Also, they didn’t just lose “many cast members,” they lost all of them as well as the creatives behind the scenes. No directors, no choreographers, no stage managers, no one to maintain quality. Sounds like a bs answer to save face. And now the theater has a worse reputation.

    Yeah I’m sure they’ll be back. 🙄

    Reply
  • J#4

    August 3, 2017

    A fresh coat of paint and redone seating isn’t going to get you audiences, Dan, especially if you treat your performers like garbage, or-oh, what was the word you used? Ah, yes- “inventory.”

    they ALL left. not “many” of them. every single creative mind behind GTB left because you didn’t have the decency to pay them for their work. but, you magically have enough money to “fix” the theatre. You can’t fix a shit reputation, though, and we’ll all make sure to spread word of your incompetence and unprofessional decisions as far as we can, as loud as we can, for as long as we can.

    Reply
  • Sin williams#5

    August 3, 2017

    Welp there goes one of my favorite stops in Chi town…

    Reply

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