By Patrick Hurley
Doubling as a sort of cracked out version of Cirque Du Soleil, Absinthe, playing now on the event deck at L.A. Live, is equal parts acrobatic and acerbic.
The intimate Spiegelworld tent, which is reminiscent of a scene from a David Lynch film, invites the audience, up close and personal…apparently this is as close as you can legally get… to the incredible feats of physical prowess from the acts that perform in a small space at the center of the tent.
The show is emceed by a man known as the Gazillionaire, a filthy rich and vulgar eccentric who is a blissful cross between Andrew Dice Clay and Andy Kaufman’s alter-ego Tony Clifton. He and his dimwitted and hypersexual assistant, Daisy Dibble, act as interludes between the acts, and mostly make jokes of the crude sexual and/or racist variety, and pick on the poor audience members who are in the front two rows. They also perform a ballet duo set to an instrumental version of Whitney Houston’s “I will always Love you” which is pretty hilarious. And, by pandering to the lowest common denominator, this event takes the artistry of a Cirque Du Soleil show and filters it through a cult-movie lens, and we’re sort of left with a burlesque-style, cabaret comedy show that goes by too fast and leaves everyone with the feeling that they have had some kind of experience.
The acts themselves are nothing you haven’t seen before, if you’ve ever been to a Cirque show. The difference, of course, is how close you are to the action. The audience is so close, when a roller-skating pair, called “The Twizzlers,” take center stage, the front row is warned that if they stand up during the act, they will get “kicked in the fucking face.” It definitely adds an element you haven’t experienced before.
Likewise, with Los Dos Tacos, two men who swing across parallel bars just inches from each other and the audience, there is a sense that if they make one wrong move, they’ll take out people in the crowd. The added element of intimacy creates a dramatic effect to the acts that elicited squeals and gasps from the audience.
All of the acts are highly entertaining, and some more physically impressive than others, but all in all, this is a raunchy, impressive and hilarious experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
ABSINTHE at L.A. LIVE’s Event Deck
ABSINTHE by Spiegelworld, presented by L.A. LIVE
Venue: Spiegelworld Tent at L.A. LIVE’s Event Deck
1005 Chick Hearn Ct., Los Angeles CA 90015
Dates: Now playing for a limited engagement
Performance:Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30p
Schedule: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30p and 9:30p Sundays at 5:30 and 7:30p
Tickets: Prices – Starting at $49
Purchase – please visit AbsintheLA.com