The Ecstasy of the Agony
North Hollywood's California Institute of Abnormal Arts is a wondrous spot, sort of a man-made Bermuda Triangle, where the unnatural collides with the supernatural to create a decadent, sickly atmosphere. It's a surrealist's fantasy land where anything can happen — and frequently does. While any visit to the, er, facility is dizzying, tonight's latter-day freakercise, Zamora's Sideshow, ups the agony ante with a mixture of nauseating self-abuse, feats of daredevil skill and confounding old-school theatrics, served with a rock & roll twist. Headliner Zamora, the infamous Torture King who almost singlehandedly re-invigorated the classic American schlock sideshow format some 20 years ago, endures a series of the most ghastly and stomach-churning punishments imaginable — lying in a bed of nails, eating broken light bulbs, breathing fire, enduring thousands of volts of electricity, being pierced, suspension-by-sabre — the whole vile, astonishing gamut. The performance of seven-time Guinness World Record holder Frank Simon is equally mind-bending: He's a paragon of endurance who can balance such objects as motorcycles, kitchen ranges and washing machines on his teeth. Rounding out the night is Dr. Odd's Medicine Show, a fast-moving, self-propelled nightmare of Grand Guignol–gone-snakeoil shenanigans brought to you by Mike Odd, a renegade from the trash-rock troupe Rosemary's Billygoat. Stupefaction guaranteed. California Institute of Abnormal Arts, 11334 Burbank Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri., May 3, 8:30 p.m.; $12 online, $15 at door. (818) 221-8065, ciabnormalarts.com.
Fri., May 3, 8:30 p.m., 2013
Get the Events Newsletter
What's happening in town? From underground club nights to the biggest outdoor festivals, our top picks for the week's best events will always keep you in on the action.