In a city with so many entertainment options - it speaks volumes that Rita D’Albert’s and Liz Fairbairn’s Lucha Libre and burlesque revue, Lucha VaVoom regularly sells out, and has done so since it began its semi-regular shows at The Mayan in 2002. Now in it’s tenth year -- the embodiment of the old saying “Time flies when you‘re having fun” -- the show itself is a mixture of the aforementioned elements of Mexican wrestling and exotic dancing, as well as stand up comedy, and a little bit of Theatre of the Absurd. Lucha VaVoom shows have, historically, been held on weekdays, however, taking advantage of Cinco de Mayo falling on a weekend this year, the smack-downs and sultry striptease will be happening on Friday and Saturday - the first ever weekend shows in Los Angeles. What better way could there possibly be to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla than with an massive Mexican-style brawl?
Though not official “league bouts,” [Yes, there is actually an official Lucha Libre league in the US.] a VaVoom show is a great representation of the bombastic, frenzied, and sometimes hysterical action you’d find at smaller Lucha Libre venues in Southern California, and South of the Border (where Lucha reigns supreme) - with an LA twist. You don’t really need to be a fan of wrestling at all to enjoy the show, but for those who have been disappointed with the lack of spectacle in American wrestling, Lucha Libre is a perfect antidote for the Bonebreakin‘ Blues, harkening back to the days when the Iron Shiek was a figure of menace, and “Dream Team” meant Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. Epic battles between good and evil. A level of showmanship you just don’t find in contemporary American fighting sports of any kind. And it doesn’t get any better than Lucha VaVoom. And the roster is heavy on Luchadore talent. On hand to dish out the pain are local favorites Little Chicken & the Crazy Chickens, and Dirty Sanchez as well as two Mascaras (the term for Luchadores who wear the crazy masks commonly associated with the sport) from Mexico’s CMLL (Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre), Angel de Oro and Stuka.
However, unlike a typical Lucha Libre event, Lucha VaVoom breaks up the violencia with a little sexo - las Buxoticas. The lineup of first-class Luchadores is rivaled only by Vavoom’s roster of beautiful burlesque dancers, some of LA’s finest. Moana Santana and Bonita LaBelle will be performing, as will VaVoom regulars Leigh Acosta (who will be performing a Mexican Hat Dance - on a pole!), the gender-defying, lovely Karis, and ecdysiast extraordinaire, Lucy Fur.
Historically, the list of celebrity hosts for Lucha VaVoom is as impressive as the rest of the show. From SNL’s Fred Armisen -- who actually kicked off the first show with the debut of a character he would later use on SNL, Fericíto -- to Dana Gould, Tom Kinney, Patton Oswalt, and the Roastmaster General himself, Jeff Ross. And you never know who may just be dropping by. Robin Williams, Jack Black and Paul Reubens have been to shows in the past. More recently, Drew Carey and Monty Python’s Eric Idle stopped by to check out the Valentine’s Day show. Hosting the madness this week are comedians Blaine Capatch and Jeff Davis.
The Cinco de Mayo shows promise to be an amazing time in particular. In addition to the wrestling, the dancing, and the comedy, there will be a donkey photo booth, Aztec dancers, Folkloricas, Mariachis, Salsa dancing, ladies’ wrestling, and a giant Conga line. Typically, Lucha VaVoom offers tiered pricing for seats ranging from $35 for bleachers and bar access to $55/$65 to get closer to the action. However, in keeping with a VaVoom tradition, all tickets for the Cinco shows are $45. Good news for your wallet - but take it from somebody who’s been: get there is early as you can to stake out a table or seat. “Fashionably late,” is going to put you toward the back of the room. Be advised: there are no more tickets available for the Saturday show online, but there are still plenty of tickets for the Friday show. For more information on tickets, go to Ticketweb.com