Calypso Cabaret Show in Bangkok, Thailand

If you search Google for Ladyboy shows in Bangkok, you’d have to scroll down towards the bottom of the page, where Calypso Cabaret Show @Asiatique The Riverfront sits quietly among the other links, waiting for you to realize that they are not a typical ladyboy performance. You won’t see them in a random Thai bar, strutting their stuff on a bar top, hoping for a miserly tip, while you’re trying to catch the score of the latest soccer match on a telly nearby.

They are just too classy for that!

…never catering to clichéd expectations of what and how a show should be. Passionately fighting prejudices with that purebred CALYPSO mantra of quality: class, style and taste.” (Calypso Cabaret Show)

Something told me that seeing this show while in Bangkok would be the highlight of my time there and I couldn’t have been more right. It just took a little convincing for my hubby and his family who were visiting us all the way from Montana and were still a bit jet lagged. I said that we were going to see one of the best transgender shows in SE Asia, which was followed with questions about sexuality and gender. I should have just quoted Calypso’s plain and simple phrasing:

Calypso’s female performers are transgender people, born as boys, morphed by their genuine need to live as a female, to look like a woman.” (Calypso Cabaret Show)

While the performances featured more masculine and very feminine performers, the juxtaposition definitely made it harder to believe that all 70 of them were once born as boys.

Yes, all!

(click on the image to see it in a larger version)

But….how can they….where do they hide…..why do they….?

Lot’s of questions were swirling around as we watched the show, but one thing was clear – they are so good! as performers and true artists of their unique craft, which has been around since 1988, 364 days a year, 2 shows a night!!!

Costumes were very intricate and beautiful, the choreography was complex and entertaining, lip syncing was spotty (but what do you expect in their 2nd language!), the ideas were well executed and just when you thought you’ve seen the best number, there were more that followed it (and with less skin!).

Our favorite was probably a performance of a Japanese Geisha, which was done by a very talented actor and dancer, who had a great comedic timing and had the audience at the palm of HER hand.

There were also a few numbers that featured costumes, music and styles from various parts of the world, such as Korean, Greek, Indian, Japanese and more!

Sadly, the show only lasted for 1.5 hours and we happened to be a bit late (thanks Bangkok Friday night traffic). We did enjoy a complimentary beverage that came with our tickets (around $28 pp). For an additional fee, you’re also able to enjoy a Thai traditional performance and Thai dinner at the theater prior to the main show(around $18 pp). Afterwards, the audience has a chance to meet some of the performers and snap a memento with them or of them, while the others are probably busy getting ready for their second show.

The Asiatique at Riverfront complex is quite impressive, with restaurants, shops and cafes that surround the Cabaret Theater. It’s worth checking out if you’re looking for something else to do in the area or while shopping for souvenirs and knick knacks.

Calypso Cabaret Show @Asiatique Riverfront

2194 Chareonkrung 72-76 Rd., Wat Prayakrai,

Bangkorlaem, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

Tel. +66 2 688 1415-7

Tickets and more information

If you enjoyed this post, come view the traditional performances from Cambodia and Taiwan that I personally got to see and photograph.:P

Where to stay while in Bangkok

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