Instagram Post.jpg

PEACOCK CABARET | Fundraiser for Toni Elling
Historic Mounds Theatre | St. Paul | Saturday, August 11, 8-11 pm

We are heartbroken to announce that Ms. Toni Elling’s health has taken a bad turn and she will not be able to attend The Summer Extravaganza. The Peacock Cabaret is still happening and will now be an incredible fundraiser for Ms. Toni. It's more important than ever to support our beloved legend!

Ms. Toni is experiencing worsening pain and limited mobility after a spinal fracture. To support her need for immediate medical care, The Peacock Cabaret will donate ticket sales and any additional funds raised during the event. To lift Ms. Toni's spirits, we will send her video of the show along with messages of love and support. 

We have an amazing show planned for you on August 11th. Let's raise funds for Toni!

Burlesque icon Toni Elling was born in 1929, performed from 1960-1974, and was inducted into the Burlesque Hall of Fame in 2016. Today, at 89 years old, she continues to be an inspiration to burlesque performers across the globe.

When she was 32, she became unhappy with her job as a telephone operator at Michigan Bell Telephone Company. For 9 years she had worked without any promotion, and eventually realized it was because she was African-American. Dedicated to make a change in her life, she began burlesque dancing in 1960. It was her friend Rita Revere who suggested it, and she continued performing until the early 1970s.

Toni Elling's stage name was inspired by her friend and confidante, bandleader Duke Ellington. She was also friends with the likes of Sammy Davis Jr. and fighter Joe Louis. Always a consummate lady, Toni is quoted as saying burlesque is "entertainment, yes, but the idea is to suggest what’s there, not throw off all your clothes and reveal everything. That’s why they call it strip-tease.”

Today, Toni lives in Detroit and makes her annual trip to the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas where she is greeted by throngs of adoring fans, including all of us at the Playful Peacock and the Twin Cities burlesque community.