Lucha Libre is a peculiarly Mexican phenomenon, but titties speak a language anyone can understand. So the Lucha VaVoom show, which had its Halloween event last night at The Mayan in downtown, has cleverly placed itself at the intersection of colorful wrestling masks and glittering pasties, with a wee smattering of comedy sprinkled in. Here, burlesque girls serve as our ambassadors, sweetly ushering the uninitiated into the sometimes baffling world of Mexican wrestling with their gentle, smiling breasts.
Don't get Lucha Libre? It's fun, and any similarities to actual wrestling are coincidental. Mexican wrestling is to Greco-Roman wrestling as Tapatio is to tahini. The displays of physical prowess, drag-like unitards, and simmering homoerotic undercurrent are all turned up to eleven, and rules are nowhere near as important as showmanship.
Still, the appeal pales in comparison to that of naked ladies, especially ones that can perform their own feats of physical prowess, such as midair splits on a brass pole, one-legged hula hooping, or lifting a male dance partner in the air. These can be tough acts to follow, no matter how menacing your Chupacabra mask, which is why Lucha VaVoom's long, drawn-out wrestling matches sometimes felt like agonizing dry spells, often leaving the crowd craving less body slam and more booby show. Once we've seen your dramatic costumed entry, a few piledrivers, flips, and audience leaps, it's time to come back to the comely lasses. The ratio of burlesque to wrestling currently stands at about 20-80, which means it's time to turn up the T&A.
Still, Lucha VaVoom's Halloween show is a hoot, and you'll see things here that you won't see anywhere else. Dancer Leigh Acosta's opening burlesque routine, a mock witch-burning trial that gave way to a pole dance that was as much athleticism as eroticism, and was impressive on both fronts. And as if they were hearing — and mocking — our pleas for more chicks, the post-intermission matchup featured a pair of crazy chickens in day-glo colors versus voodoo priests, all under blacklights in a fight that looked like an acid-fueled dramatization of what can happen when you put too many chickens in one pen, or a nightmarish depiction of debeaking day at the Tyson plant. Yet when one considers the traditionally adversarial relationship between voodoo practitioners and chickens, it all begins to make sense.
Wrapping up with a pas de deux between dancers Trixie and the mustachioed “Evil Hate Monkey” (who actually seemed kind of cuddly) set to Bonnie Tyler's epic hosanna “Total Eclipse Of The Heart,” the show ended on a strong note, offering up the best of the Lucha VaVoom mix: absurdity and nudity. Hey NBC: if you're looking for ideas that might boost your Olympics Nielsen ratings, there's a show you've got to see.
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