Every now and then there needs to be a show that is risqué, ribald, and drolly inappropriate beyond our wildest fantasies. On specially social occasions we deserve a respite from the real world with extraordinary entertainment — intermixed with the handsome imbibing of exalted beverages — to allow us to live vicariously through outlandish behavior and incredible circus feats that not even our unconscious minds would permit us to fancifully consider. One might even call such a spectacle a combination of thrill and comedy, or, as the New York Times aptly puts it, “Cirque du Soleil as channeled through the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show.’”
Presented by the Spiegelworld company, and produced by Ross Mollison, “Absinthe” is precisely the vaudevillian extravaganza we’ve been waiting for in Southern California – launched and nurtured from the support of a successful Las Vegas residency at Caesar’s Palace since 2011. It is an intimately convivial 90-minute experience inside a “Spiegeltent” that houses a 9-foot-diameter stage, which, beginning on March 22nd for a five-week run at L.A. Live, will beguile the residents of the Southland. Like their Vegas counterparts, Angelenos will soon be galvanized by the ceaseless energy passing on from the stage to them (among 600 in all), as they sit in a sweat lodge of euphoria, except the sweating will likely only apply to the performers.
If the attendees perspire, it’s because of the show’s exaggeratedly fun characters, including the Green Fairy, who is renowned for her burlesque disposition, as well as Joy Jenkins, a bookworm whose repressed urges tend to fly off the page. More importantly, Jenkins is the assistant to the grandmaster of ceremonies and paragon of outrageous non-virtue, The Gazillionaire. Wearing a bedazzling suit, with slicked hair, a sparkling gold tooth (he claims to have been born with it), and a mischievous moustache, the self-proclaimed richest man in Vegas takes credit for mobilizing his resources and moving “Absinthe” to Los Angeles.
Naturally, the inscrutable Gazillionaire is more or less disinclined to reveal too many details about his origins, or his personal history, but he does budge a little bit. “I’ll tell you that I’m an only child, which explains most of my selfish behavior,” he explains. “My dad was a boisterous [bleep] and my mom was super hot. I travelled a lot, saw [bleep] and saw people piercing themselves, which created an incessant need for pleasure.”
While the grand wizard of brazenness never thought his life would take the direction it has, he’s not surprised, either, with regard to how he came to be the ignominious host of “Absinthe.” As he matter-of-factly puts it, “I’m just [bleeping] hilarious. I never wanted to be on the stage, but I thought I’d do it because I know I’m funny, and you’ve never seen anything like me.”
Now, the average person may take the uncompromising position that the lavish, limousine-riding Gazillionaire should be ashamed, or should, at the very least, feel penitent about his take-no-prisoners approach to living his jet-setting life, which involves a litany of lechery, nightly inebriation, and breakfast at noon. Yet, what makes him who he is – and you’ve got to respect him for it – is his unapologetic embrace of his unique identity and philosophy. “Look, I don’t take any one side,” The Gazillionaire confides. “I don’t believe one person is better than another. Everyone is an [bleep] and everyone is an idiot. I just do what I can do, which is to throw everything out on the [bleeping] table to open up a conversation.”
Certainly, to do as he wants, not what is expected of him by society and rules of decorum, sustains his inviolable “too much is never enough” credo. “I don’t give a [bleep]. I kick doors down and give old people the finger, and then flip the table,” The Gazillionaire pronounces.
Undoubtedly, then, it should come as no shock that The Gazillionaire is supremely confident about having an untamed, unrestrained, and unbelievable run at L.A. Live. “I know we’re going to [bleeping] smash it, and it’s going to be [bleeping] great,” exclaims the opprobrious emcee. “The action that we have is of the highest quality, with accessibility at two feet away, where we’re going to be right in your [bleeping] laps.”
For more information about “Absinthe” at L.A. Live, please visit AbsintheLA.com