Friday, February 28, 2014

"Selene Luna's Dog and Pony Show" Trots Off After Downtown Las Vegas Run


Selene Luna opens with jokes on being a "little person" and
getting this gig through "Midget Rentals" 2/22/14 Las Vegas.


The first time I encountered Selene Luna live was at Dita Von Teese's "Strip Strip Hooray!" show in Vegas circa 2011. She rode out on a little motor bike, and came front stage dancing to rock n' roll and did an awesome strip tease. Selene Luna (pronounced like Spanish: Sahlehneh) had height challenged attitude and sexiness that was hilarious because of the movements she chose to make. She's been a stand-up comedy and burlesque mainstay in Los Angeles for years and has worked closely with comedic stars such as Margaret Cho. Splice forward to 2014. The news came through my desk that Luna was coming to Vegas with her own production entitled "Selene Luna's Dog and Pony Show" in February. I wanted to cover the show and also I was very intrigued to see Prince Poppycock who toured a different section of United States with Dita Von Teese in "Strip Strip Hooray!" (I believe in Chicago and New York). Since she's agreed to be interviewed, stay tuned for more about Selene Luna here in an audio format podcast. Now about the show review. 

Pasquale Rotella and Holly Madison
Holly Madison poses pre-show 2/22/14, Las Vegas Selene Luna's Dog & Pony Show. - It just so happens I sat next to Buttercup Delight who sat next to world-famous Playboy Playmate Holly Madison and husband Pasquale Rotella. They were kind enough to pose for me in these photos. I thought it was really cool that they chose to come see this show on a Saturday night in Las Vegas.


I had no idea this show would be full of amazing singing (not lip syncing) and top-shelf drag (the topest of top shelf, the "expensive booze" type drag that you probably haven't seen - ever - like I hadn't). The underlying theme of the show was gawking at the hilarity of life. Luna does that very well and also I walked away with a new perspective: How silly our judgement on fellow humans can be. "You don't know my journey" Selene Luna says as her tagline. In addition to seeing most the cast for the first time, I was also seeing the venue "Inspire Theater" for the first time. It houses many rooms and bars, a newsy cafe' and one 200 seat theater which has been used for Ted Talks, and is part of the Downtown Project.

There were five players and a host in the line-up for the Saturday show. The Friday show and Saturday show had alternate guest stars. Players included Host Selene Luna, Jackie Beat (comedic drag/singing), Lindsey Alley (comedic singing), Scott Land (Team America puppeteer), Audrey Deluxe (burlesque) and Prince Poppycock (drag/singing). Prince Poppycock and Jackie Beat did two songs each which were singing, not lip syncing. Lindsey Alley was hilarious with her Broadway-level singing act as a martini-guzzling ex-Mouseketeer. She tossed her ears aside and sang about Britney and Justin, while sparkling and hitting all the high notes and comedic marks one could hope for. 

L-R: Prince Poppycock, Audrey Deluxe, Selene Luna, Scott Land,
Jackie Beat - Curtain call at "Selene Luna's Dog and Pony Show"
2/22/14 - Downtown Las Vegas, Inspire Theater. 


Prince Poppycock is an operatic singer who pretty much floored the audience as the first and closing act. From another world is the only description I can give you save this video snippet below to indicate what costuming and opera singing Prince Poppycock brought before us. He was simply stunning. From his "America's Got Talent" TV appearance to the live stage experience, there is such precision and art in the act's presentation, those who see him live will relish the experience. 

Jackie Beat busts out actual parodies of famous songs bringing down the house. Beat never misses an opportunity for a gay joke (or the beat). "Dildos are forever" (parody of "Diamonds are Forever") was her first act, and "Baby's Got Front" (a parody of "Baby Got Back") was next. The audience got their moment when Jackie Beat (of over six feet) descended and teased the front row while never missing a well-timed lyric or limerick. Hilarious is the one word I'd use for Jackie Beat's performances. No matter what your comedic or sexual-orientation tastes are, a blaze of talent and giggles are all that are left on stage as she exits. 

Audrey Deluxe who produces the burlesque portion of Viva Las Vegas Rockabillly Weekender and is a Los Angeles resident, was the British Fembot who took no prisoners and twirled her baton in high, white boots, while never showing us her eyes. Tasseling and twirling she stripped and landed in a jump - flat on her shins. That looked painful. Follow Audrey  on Twitter @audreydeluxe for she has several exciting announcements she's making. She's also on Facebook. It was great to finally see Audrey Deluxe's act live. 

Audrey Deluxe stripping and baton twirling "Fembot" 
Act  2.22.14 Downtown Vegas

As a fan of the show and DVD owner of the film, it was a real treat to see special guest Scott Land, one of the marionette puppeteers from "Team America" (by creators of South Park). "They look so real" is something he probably hears a lot. He started with a little chat about the fact that each puppet takes about four months to make. He introduced each one in their own routine. The audience turned into melting children on cue- even waving to one of the puppets who ingeniously floated up on a balloon it blew up, with the help of its master. We saw Michael Jackson complete with the moon walk signature act, we saw Obama, who danced to a recording of "Single Ladies" by Beyonce and we also saw a very inappropriate little fellow with a stiffy, who floated near an audience members face. He is a must-see act once in a lifetime at least. I couldn't believe his command of audience and puppet, it was stunning to watch.

Laura Herbert who works for Future Restaurant Group, the company that operates Inspire said she reached out to Luna about bringing the show to Vegas. Herbert said she "...first saw Selene Luna strip (as Starlet O'Hara) at Miss Exotic World, back when BHOF Weekend was still ...in Helendale (CA)".

Herbert also told me how the "Selene Luna Dog and Pony Show" dates of Feb. 21 and 22, went. "The shows were fabulous. I couldn't be more thrilled - with the performers, the shows or how well both were received by our (largely local) audience. People love to dis Las Vegas - Downtown especially - but I think the success of Selene's shows proves there's a market here for the same sort of edgy, avant-garde entertainment that thrives in other, more "sophisticated" cities".

Luna's line-up for the "Dog and Pony Show" may change but the quality will not. Thanks to her star power, Luna's able to bring a fantastic top-notch talent and a unique show that's firmly in the variety category, with a heavy focus on her stand-up comedy as host, mixed with singing, drag, and a hint of burlesque.  After two sold-out nights, Selene Luna is anxious to return - perhaps monthly - to the Inspire Theater Downtown Las Vegas. She said she's just "awaiting the call". Learn more about this L.A.- based performer at SeleneLuna.com who runs a version of this show in Los Angeles a couple times per month.

If you saw and loved the shows (or missed them and are hoping to see them come back), the Inspire Theater wants you to let them know. Who knows, maybe they'll use your quote about, or to 'inspire' the return of, "Selene Luna's Dog and Pony Show". Find them at inspirelv on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And of course, tell a friend to do the same. Let's get this party started  keep this party going in Downtown Las Vegas. Selene Luna is the perfect sassy, savvy  Las Vegas show host. She is also following in the footsteps of one of the Rat Pack members who used to dominate so many Vegas rooms, Sammy Davis Jr.


Prince Poppycock Feb. 22, 2014 - Las Vegas

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Video NSFW for one instance of profanity