Arts & Culture

The Big Jewcy: Minnie Tonka, Burlesque Performer

Usually associated with a brand of moccasins, this name should now trigger a concept in your mind completely different from footwear. Instead, after her six years in the biz, Jewish Burlesque should shoot to your noggin’s forefront when hearing her … Read More

By / June 15, 2010

Usually associated with a brand of moccasins, this name should now trigger a concept in your mind completely different from footwear. Instead, after her six years in the biz, Jewish Burlesque should shoot to your noggin’s forefront when hearing her name, otherwise a town in Minnesota. Minnie Tonka has been performing, revolutionizing, and infusing education into burlesque for years, and she’s still going strong. Her identification as a Jew aside, it is the content of her performances themselves that categorize Tonka as  a Jewish Burlesque performer. Whether she be performing with her partner Darlinda Just Darlinda in The Schlep Sisters or on her own in a Jewish holiday themed performance, Minnie Tonka has managed to pair traditional, conceptual aspects of Judaism with the tasteful art of burlesque. Don’t typically think of burlesque as tasteful? Well think once more when you hear that Minnie has never been criticized for including Jewishness in her routines. On the contrary, she has been revered for her work and is likely responsible for the conversion of many a gentleman with her Jewish, sophisticated yet seductive takes on tales like the Exodus from Egypt and the story of Channukah. Whether its her signature accessory, a bottle of Manischewitz or her ability to make any and everyone see the allure of being a Jewess, Minnie Tonka’s passion for her art and for making Judaism a part of it makes us dub this nice Jewish girl part of The Big Jewcy.