March 3, 2004
Toronto set for Lucha Vavoom
Burlesque dancers mix with wrestlers in hot, fun show
By JASON TCHIR - Toronto Sun

Nothing goes with masked Mexican wrestlers like a little old-fashioned striptease. "It's all about sex, violence and comedy," quipped burlesque artist Rita D'Albert, aka Ursulina, who'll help add the vavoom to Lucha Vavoom, a show coming to Toronto this week. "We have the girls and then we have these masked wrestlers fighting a battle between good and evil. It's fun."

The show mixes explosive wrestling matches with burlesque, where ladies gussied up in sequins and feathers tantalize the audience by slowly taking it all -- well, most of it -- off.

"It's all about the tease," D'Albert said. "I hate going to a stripper where they just walk out naked. That's no fun."

The show -- at Kool Haus Thursday and Friday nights -- was a hit in Los Angeles, a reflection on how hip Mexican wrestling, or lucha libre, is becoming in the United States.

The wrestling matches -- starring luchadores like Los Cadetes del Espacio (the Space Cadets) and Gringo Loco -- are given blow-by-blow commentary by comedians Patton Oswalt of CBS' The King of Queens, and Blaine Capatch, host of game show Beat the Geeks.

"It's definitely not a sporting event," promoter Gary Topp said. "It's entertainment."

While masked wrestlers were once relegated to grappling werewolves in cheesy B-movies, they're now appearing in music videos, commercials and in the Mucha Lucha top-rated cartoon series.

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