Los Bastardos Presents Moulin Rouge! All-Con 2016
– Rachel H.
* Phillip (Conductor)
The Unconscious Argentinean – David
Toulouse – James
Audrey – Biondini
The Doctor – Pete
Green Fairy – Christina
– Rachel R.
Nini Legs in the Air:
Like A Virgin Dancers:
– Rainbow G.S.
– Rachel R.
– Rachel H.
ALL-CON YAAAAAY! MOULIN ROUGE *falls asleep from exhaustion*
When we were told by our magnificent director Leah that we would be helping out with a shadowcast production of Moulin Rouge, the hands couldn’t go up fast enough amongst the ranks of Los Bastardos. Along with some friends of the convention and some friends of those friends, we set out to put together a Spectacular Spectacular performance!
Oh God why
Months of watching the movie again and again and again to learn the choreography and the lines and the pauses (Christian, seriously, get that stuttering thing under control) drove us to exhaustion for most of us and insanity for a few others! The night before and the day of the show was a picture of chaos as props and costumes and sets were built, re-imagined, and rebuilt. People left things places that would show up in other places and discord was rampant. We managed to pull together just in time for the doors to open and wow, All-con attendees didn’t disappoint!
Against all thoughts, we were entirely full! That’s right, somehow, on a Thursday night when the convention wasn’t even ready to sell badges, we filled an entire room with people who were just as retardedly in love with this movie as we were.
ON TO THE SHOW!
The preshow music was an awesome mix of women-empowering mash-ups and the dancers did NOT disappoint in their ability to bring it! The lights dimmed and some sexy ladies of Los Bastardos (Leah, Kristin, Ali, and Biondini) got the crowd pumped up and slightly aroused with a sexy performance of Lady Marmalade. After Leah kicked us off the stage and introduced the production, the lights dimmed and the game was on.
We open with Phillip dressed as Satie conducting his imaginary orchestra in a fantastic overture and fade to James in the most fantastic Toulouse costume you will ever see. (Seriously, he made this harness thing to strap to his thighs so he could walk around on his knees comfortably with little shoes poking out!) He sang the beautiful opening ballad from on top of our (BEAUTIFUL AND ARTISTIC) elephant and the lights went up on Brian, typing away at his (authentic) typewriter. After the standard introduction where he informed us that yes, we were in Paris and yes, this is about whores, we were interrupted by David flinging himself onto the stage in a red onesie as our Argentinean. Phillip (Satie), myself (Audrey), and Pete (The Doctor) quickly scurried in to look down on our unconscious comrade. In a rapid scene change, Brian barrel-rolled out of the way so that Cody could leap into place ready to go as Christian in the Swiss poet outfit. Divas were sassy, Doctors were confused, and words couldn’t be decided on until Cody opened his mouth and beauty poured out. On stage, the menfolk drank some naughty water and Christina in the most fabulous green underwear you will ever see (with complete glowing wings) seduced our Bohemians as the Green Fairy of Absinthe. As the men were led offstage, the belles of the ball and Paul as Harold Zidler took the stage in preparation for the CanCan.
CanCan was a dazzlement. These girls put SO MUCH into their outfits; HUGE billowing skirts with layers and layers that they shook and shimmied until the audience was cheering. You could see the hours and hours of practice as all of the girl NAILED the dance, and rhinestones and silk and satin flew everywhere and in faces until it was time for the SPAHKWEEN DIAMOND.
Jenny. Wow. You guys have to look at the pictures in order to understand the fabulous and SHINY that was her Satine costume. She stunned the audience into silence as she was rotated on the firm shoulders of Pete and Cody (but only because we couldn’t figure out how to rig an ACTUAL trapeze). They whirled her around until they deposited her gracefully on the stage and from there the number was full of energy and Jenny copying Satine squeak for squeak. Once Jenny and Paul got to dance together, they totally creeped on the tables where Chris, Gus, Brian, James, David, Pete, and I were sitting, enjoying a quiet evening. Somehow Gus with his pedo-stache was mistaken for Brian’s clean-shaven chin, and then it was time to vanish. Because movie magic is just that: magic, we couldn’t REALLY figure out a way to get the same girl in and out of a full costume, SO WE DIDN’T!
Brilliantly swapping behind the swishing skirts of our Diamond Dogs, Jenny hopped offstage to change while Ali popped up in the most fantastic pink outfit you will EVER SEE EVER.
Let’s take a moment to talk about this girl’s costume: She bought three huge ostrich-feather boas, hand-dyed them to be the right pink, hand sewed on every single rhinestone onto her boobs and crotch, and topped it off with a FABULOUS wig that just screamed Satine. After leading Brian around in a dizzying dance where even MORE misunderstandings happened, it was time for our Diamond to ascend to the glittery heavens where she belonged. Unfortunately she died. Well, kind of. She did fall backwards to simulate death. The audience was full of bloodthirsty die-hards though, so we appeased their lust for blood by launching a blow-up doll dressed EXACTLY like Ali into the audience for them to sob over while we got ready for the next scene. Rachel H. teased a bit as we got a quick glimpse of her beautiful red dress she would be wearing for other scenes as she chatted with Paul about sexing poor Brian up. James, David, Pete, and myself snuck behind the elephant to creep on the…poetry…while Jenny took the stage once again as Satine. She was all legs and lace as she prepared to be seduced by the fumbling attempts at poetry that Brian was trying to tell her. The look of absolute discomfort and the shrieks of laughter were a testament to how happy people were with Jenny’s rolling on the ground and orgasmic squeals. Brian proceeded to serenade the absolute fuck out of her anyways, and then shit hit the fan.
The thing about Gus’ Duke was you couldn’t tell if he was about to rape you or try and strangle you; and the audience Ate. It. Up. Seriously, nothing quite beats the look of orgasmic bliss on his face as Jenny stuck her head between his legs to shoo Brian offstage. After flinging him around like a ragdoll, Jenny finally shoved Gus offstage and proceeded to drop her glorious 5’10” frame onto Brian’s delightful 5’4″ one. Jon watched everything happen like a freaking creeper from on top of the elephant as he stepped in for his scenes as Zidler, and dove backstage so he could sprint to the other side and come on for his proper entrance. Soon, it was a madhouse of Bohemians, Bourgeoisie Pigs, and Moulin Rouge Employees as excuses were made.
Spectacular Spectacular was absolutely fantastic, tons of energy and tons of pelvic thrusting and some mad improv skills. After Gus managed to make everyone in the room feel dirty with his “it’s a little bit funny *twitch twitch* this feeling insiiiiide” bit, we finally convinced him that throwing his money at us was a good idea, then dove off stage. Rachel H. took the spotlight in her beautiful Strawberry Satine dress, singing Fly Away so perfectly and wistfully that we almost wish Brian didn’t have to interrupt, but then we remembered that the Elephant Love Medley was next so it was okay. Let me tell you, listening to the audience singing almost louder than the movie was freaking awesome, and every single one of you should feel fantastic because of it.
After the lovers decided on being lovers, our editing of the film showed through as we cut the mushy montage out and skipped right to the part where Gus is crushing his hat in an oddly phallic manner while screaming at Paul that Satine was to be his alone. Cut to the other side of the stage where Cody and Ali are canoodling behind closed doors and Zidler is once again watching their intimacy (seriously, dude?) and some super sneaky Like a Virgin background dancers moving onstage and you have the set up for the gayest scene in this whole production.
Like a Virgin was performed by Gus and Jon as the Duke and Zidler, respectively, and Biondini, Erica, Sean, Mariah, and Wade as the glitterpants background waiters. I don’t even know how to describe the dance other than GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY that ended with like, thirty confetti cannons and bottles and poppers that showered the audience in sparkles as if what they just watched wasn’t homosexual enough. Then things got serious as Mariah as Nini opened her mouth (again) and let the Duke onto the idea that Ali and Brian (in the cutest hipster scarf/hat combo ever) were diddling behind his back. Enter Ali slow walking in her GORGEOUS gown to distract Gus from the obvious lurve happening between Satine and Christian. Then rape happened.
Tango: Oh man, tango. Months of stepping on toes, debating foot placement, and working around sudden injuries came together into the most intense tango anyone is likely to see outside of a legit tango performance. David and Camille got way up in each other’s grills as the Argentinean and Nini as the others started trickling their way into the audience. The partners were Eris and Paul, Biondini as the man with Kristin, Ali as the man with Mariah, Phillip and Christina, and Cody and Erica. At the end of the number when the Duke is definitely raping Satine, Rachel H. instead stood in front of the screen with the now legendary Consent is Sexy sign, hiding the blatant trigger warning from view. After Nini (died?) from some pretty serious manhandling, the scene shifted to a beautiful and haunting performance of The Show Must Go On performed by Ali and Paul.
Once Satine tells Christian that he can gtfo, the scene shifts to the opulent and colorful Hindi dance scene. The ladies on stage were Mariah, Erica, Kristin, Biondini, Christina, Rachel H., Rachel R., and Rainbow (who was technically playing a guy). The gentlemen were Cody, Pete, and Phillip while Jeff took the stage in a fabulous red robe as Zidler. Kristin was flipped upside down and Biondini and Erica were lifted and the other girls kept beautiful synchronicity with their arms until it was time for Jenny to once again take the stage as Satine. After a riveting performance, she was lifted and spun by our men and lowered perfectly so she could recite the final words of the song surrounded by our girls and guys in a picture perfect shot. (Seriously, go look at the freaking album)
Some wicked cool white sheets were put up as Biondini took the stage in a white wedding gown for our final scene. Brian chased her through the sheets, demanding to pay his whore and generally causing a lot of angst. Everything came to a head when the lights came up on Christian and Satine in a painful position (my legs were killing me) and Jeff (now in an even MORE fabulous white robe and turban) covered our asses by making it seem like it was part of the show. Cursing pauses for effect, Brian finally threw Biondini to the floor before making it rain on her whore ass with some bills stuffed in his pocket before walking away. James shrieked from backstage the catchphrase of the movie and Biondini stopped and proceeded to try and copy Nicole Kidman’s perfect lungs and failed miserably. She must have done something right, because Brian started singing back! Everyone was filled with warm fuzzies and everything was going great until Toulouse finally managed to get back on stage, sending everyone into a frenzy before leading us in a fantastic and goosebump-inducing group performance of Come What May.
As everyone cleared the stage merrily, something was clearly up when Biondini started acting all kinds of funny. Sure enough, death was once again upon us as she spat up enough blood to stain her white wedding dress (Ali slipped her a blood capsule during the chaos of Come What May) as well as Brian’s face as she finally and sadly died.
Except for the part where she didn’t.
You see, we didn’t like the movie’s ending, so we made our own!
Christian yells at somebody, anybody, to get The Doctor! So we did! In a troll move that ended up sending the audience to their feet screaming with joy, Michael Bartosh as the 10th Doctor stormed the stage, saving Satine’s life force in a move that can only be called epic! As time reversed and Satine was brought back to life, Jenny strutted down the aisle in her sparkle dress from the opening number, throwing a sexy smirk over her shoulder as the ending credit song Living Dead Girl played. After that were bows and more bows and pictures and almost tears and teardown and then it was done!
All I can say, as someone who busted butt along with so many other talented performers and craftspeople, this show was epic.
Freedom. Beauty. Truth. Love.