Tura Satana twirls at the Victory Burlesque, 1963
Tura Satana, star of Russ Meyer’s Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! died on February 4 of apparent heart failure. Before she became the tough-girl phenom of cult film, however, she was a big star on the Burlesque circuit, often swinging her tassels on Toronto stages.
One such occasion was on April 19, 1963, when she peeled off at the Victory Burlesque located on the north-east corner of Spadina and Dundas. On April 18, the day the above ad was published, the Toronto Star reported the “statuesque Eurasian” was set to retire in two weeks.
The Star added: “Tura Sharon Satana earns more than $75, 000 a year taking her clothes off in public. Two weeks this Friday she walks off the stage at the Palace Theatre in Buffalo for the last time. With five parts in film under Lollabrigida-like belt she’s turning to serious acting. This fall she co-stars with Brian Keith in “Rorriop” (Japanese pronunciation for lollipop) to be shot in Kobe, Japan. And she says she’ll never look back to Burlesque. Tura’s bumping burlesque because of her daughters and the present state of the business.”
Asked about the Victory during a Q&A session at the 2008 Rue Morgue Festival of Fear, Satana said:“The Victory was a classy place, absolutely classy, and as a head-liner you were treated really well… You’d see a lot of rule-breaking in other clubs, but they were pretty strict about enforcing them there.”
Following the show was Cleopatra’s Daughter, an Italian cheapie starring Debra Paget.
But if that didn’t work for you, the Victory wasn’t the only place in town offering a big burlesque show. On Queen St., near Old City Hall, Misti D’on — who I’m only assuming was a giantess of some sort — was headlining at the Casino Theatre.