Apparently, some revelers just couldn’t wait until Cinco de Mayo to celebrate: on May 1, 2, and 3, Lucha VaVoom, the Mexican wrestling and burlesque hybrid stage show based in Southern California, performed three shows in Los Angeles and Chicago as part of their “Cinco de Mayan” celebration tour.
An unusual combination of Mexican lucha libre wrestling, American burlesque, comedy, and acrobatics, Lucha VaVoom was founded by film costumer Liz Fairbairn in Los Angeles around twelve years ago, according to NBC News. After a relationship with a professional luchador, Fairbairn developed an affinity for lucha libre wrestling and decided to organize and promote wrestling matches herself. She added the burlesque element to help boost the event’s appeal in Los Angeles.
Almost a dozen years later, Lucha VaVoom sells out about twelve shows a year at the Mayan Theater in downtown L.A., drawing people from all over the country to the strange spectacle of costumed wrestling and between-rounds striptease and comedy.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, the shows have in the past contained a transvestite wrestler swan diving from third floor balconies, nearly nude female high wire acrobats, and masked three-man wrestling tag teams composed of a man, a woman, and a dwarf.
“New York has Broadway. Las Vegas has Cirque du Soleil. Mexico has Lucha Libre wrestling. Only Los Angeles mashes the whole thing together, then leavens it with ample doses of loud, blaring rock music, flashing lights, a celebrity guest performer and a cadre of burlesque-style comedians,” said Diane Christensen in the NBC report. “This is everything about L.A. that you love.”
The show’s popularity has exploded in Los Angeles; according to Inquisitr, Lucha VaVoom has found an audience with everyone from factory workers to Hollywood hotshots.
The show has also attracted a panel of celebrity guest commentators, including Fred Armisen, Brian Posehn, Patton Oswalt, and Jack Black, who provide color commentary during the matches. Monty Python member Eric Idle is a regular attendee: “There’s no show that’s funnier, sillier, or more entertaining than this one,” he said in the report.
Lucha VaVoom will reportedly hold performances later this year in Florida and Japan. Eric Idle said he wants to see the bizarre performances extend to even more locations worldwide. “I’d like to take it to England. I was just in Vegas, and there’s no show in Vegas this good.”