Anyone who sits in the front row at the burlesque circus show “Absinthe” is advised to lean back.Once the Russian roller-skatin.and more »
When: Opens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and runs through April 23.Where: L.A. Live’s Event Deck, 1005 Chick Hearn Court, Los Angeles.Tickets: $49-$129.Information: www.axs.com.
Anyone who sits in the front row at the burlesque circus show “Absinthe” is advised to lean back.Once the Russian roller-skating couple starts to whirl, look out.“You might get kicked in the face, but that’s all part of the excitement,” says The Gazillionaire, the lecherous, foul-mouthed character who guides the audience through the visceral 90-minute theatrical experience by Spiegelworld, which moves into a tent at L.A. Live for a five-week run, beginning Wednesday.The perils go beyond the possibility of getting clobbered.
Inspired by the absinthe and opium-fueled cabarets of late 19th century Europe but based in the present, the adults-only show features a Green Fairy, half-naked acrobats and other provocative circus performers on a 9-foot-diameter center stage that doubles as the domain of The Gazillionaire.The outlandish gold-toothed host has no filter when it comes to voicing his attraction to what Spiegelworld impresario Ross Mollison describes as “incredible sexy and talented circus” performers.“The Gazillionaire looks at these acts different than you and me,” Mollison says, explaining that the story is he didn’t really want to do the show.
It comes through in his attitude. He even pokes fun at people in the audience.“With comedy, if you don’t piss off a couple of people, you’re not doing it right,” says The Gazillionaire, staying in character for the entire interview. “If people are sensitive to that sort of thing, then they should sit at home and put their head under a rock. It doesn’t have to be so heavy. Let’s get a little drunk and talk about vaginas.”It’s true that “Absinthe” is not for the faint-hearted. As Stage and Cinema puts it, the show is “loud, abrasive and in your face” and “wears its vulgarity like a badge of honor.”
And the show is on an upward trajectory. As it heads to L.A., “Absinthe” celebrates its sixth sold-out year at Caesars Palace and was recently dubbed “the No. 1 greatest show in Las Vegas history” by Las Vegas Weekly. But that’s Vegas.“You fly into a town like Las Vegas, and the moment the plane lands everybody is doing cocaine and drinking excessively and losing their (expletive) minds,” he says. “In Los Angeles, they’ve got a lot of money that I’d like to take, so hopefully people are willing to come and lose their mind a little too.”
Be warned, it’s not a complacent night.“Sure, we’ve had people basically watch the show through their iPhone, but I destroy them until they cry,” The Gazillionaire says. “We’re going to wake you up so that you’re suddenly participating without really even knowing it.”