REVIEW: The RouGe FoLLiEs
New show this Thursday, Dec. 6
To be honest, the enchanting couple of hours spent at The RouGe FoLLiEs at Hollywood Boulevard’s King King didn’t start out so enchantingly. First of all, as I discussed with Killough as we walked down shabby back streets to the club, I was confused about why the show wasn’t called Les Follies Rouges, which would’ve been grammatically correct if not entirely original, and also what’s with the random capitalization? Was some artistic pretentiousness afoot? ‘Cause you know how I hate that.
Second, some of the cast members came out to “entertain” the guests waiting in line in the seedy parking lot behind the club with a faux-inebriated improv performance that continued even after we were all seated and hoping the performers didn’t come to our table to make us uncomfortable. They did. I glanced over at Killough and wondered if he was feeling like we were trapped at an amateur hour in a strip mall. He was.
All that faded away when the first number began and glorious, sexy, unapologetic stereotypes of Pin-ups and China Girls and Sailor Boys populated the stage, moving in a perfectly synchronized Fosse-esque jazz style to surf guitar music. Within seconds, we were in a scene from “All That Jazz”. The show progressed from there with hardly a misstep, bringing lust and drama and beauty to this cavernous old space in the middle of Hollywood and I had to admit that I was totally charmed. The dancing and choreography throughout are first rate and range in style from old MGM musicals to Fifties burlesque and Sixties go-go to modern dance. The only constant is talent and a steady stream of seductiveness.
In the midst of it all, handsome comic Ignacio Serricchio does a stand-up routine that seems like a surprise, taking to task the hooker look that’s so popular amongst Hollywood club-goers, which seems ironic when he’s surrounded by performers wearing even less. In the very next number, the dancers try to one-up each other as they appear from every direction, each covered in different colored balloons like so many bizarre clusters of grapes. After they’ve worked the stage for a bit, they proceed to pop each other’s balloons to the brassy tune of “The Stripper” until they’re all out of clothes.
This might be a good place to note that the guys in the show are seriously hot and also that they’re not wearing a lot. Two out of the three appeared in Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” video, so that should tell you something about their dancing abilities. The women are also something to behold, coming in gorgeous shapes from luscious Kelleia Sheerin to fierce, statuesque Ayesha Orange. The pole dancing bit, where some of the girls seductively have an “L-Word” moment as lovely chanteuse Lyndsay Haldorsonn sings about it, brought screams from the audience. In the normal pole dancing workplace, it would have rained bills but these talented dancers are here more for the sheer love of putting on a show.
As I went to the gents’ at intermission, the show’s MC Ross Steeves helpfully scribbled in my notes, “Great 1st Half. Ross is a genius.” There is a bit of genius in guiding us so skillfully through all the sexy variety of The RouGe FoLLiEs but the show’s creator, beautiful Lisa Eaton, deserves much of the credit for this heady blend of cabaret, vaudeville and burlesque. Her history in choreographing racy shows in the early Forty Deuce days, followed by work with entities as varied as Dior and Enrique Iglesias have paved the way for this excellence.
I definitely recommend rounding up as many friends as you can to enjoy this show, which is nearly sold out. Book your tickets HERE !
The RouGe FoLLiEs
Thursday, 8th November and 6th December
Doors at 8:15, show at 9:15
King King Hollywood
UPDATE: The December show will take place at the Henry Fonda Theater, 6126 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles. It’s likely performances will continue in 2013. Check their Facebook page for updates.