The mainstreaming of porn took a significant step forward Saturday night as Evil Angel owner John Stagliano debuted the stage version of his highly acclaimed, AVN Award winning fetish-meets-hardcore film The Fashionistas.
The non-explicit, but erotically charged, multi-media dance review, which bears the same name as the film, but which has an entirely different cast, debuted to about 100 non-paying attendees, largely friends of the cast and members of the Evil Angel family, at the new Krave Las Vegas nightclub on the Vegas strip.
In the minutes leading up to the debut of his show, the culmination of more than a year of planning, Stagliano understandably was a bundle of nerves. But following the 90-minute review, a relieved Stagliano, who produced and directed the show, and with the help of choreographers Enrique Lugo and Nick Navarro, choreographed it, pronounced his satisfaction with what he had just witnessed.
“I think it went exceptionally well,” he told AVN, which was the only adult media invited to the debut. “I’m really happy. I’m so surprised. Yesterday at this time, I thought we had nothing. Everything was going to go wrong. The computer was fucking up…
“I am so amazed that we did a clean show. I loved it. Just a couple little glitches, which we’ll fix, but that was it.”
Though the dance review follows the same basic story of the film (which starred Belladonna — who was in attendance Saturday night — Taylor St. Claire and Rocco Siffredi), set in the L.A. fetish fashion industry, for those unfamiliar with the film it would be hard to follow the plot of the stage version in large part because there is no dialogue.
But no matter. The stage version is a multi-media smorgasbord for the senses — most especially the libido — a series of gorgeously choreographed and frequently fetish-themed dance numbers. Though very sexual in nature, the production has very little nudity beyond some beautifully bared butts; this is a John “Buttman” Stagliano production, after all.
The dance sequences are set to the recorded music, though with a live drummer, of such artists as Lords of Acid, Madonna, Prodigy, Led Zeppelin (“Whole Lotta Love,” which Stagliano reportedly used to strip to back in the day when he was a male exotic dancer), and of course, selections from The Fashionistas (the movie) soundtrack. Enhancing the audience’s experience are live and recorded video footage projected onto two large screens on both sides of the stage, and even some Cirque du Soleil-like touches such as acrobatic, scantily-clad female cast members sashaying down pillars of fabric from the ceiling directly into the audience.
It all added up to a thrilling 90 minutes which went by far too fast and which left many attendees wanting more, arguably the highest compliment an audience can bestow on a production.
“I think it was the best visuals I have seen in a long time,” newish Evil Angel director Jonni Darkko said afterwards. “I was semi [hard] during the whole thing. I think John is a visionary genius. I think that this is the hottest thing on the Strip. You don’t like this, you might be dead.”
Darkko agreed that the show represents another significant step in the mainstreaming of porn.
“I think that this is acceptable [to the masses],” he said. “It was titillating. It was exciting. It was not pornographic in any way, shape or form. It was fantasy. It was not disgusting. You could go to any review here in Vegas and see the same thing, but not done with this style.”
Stagliano concurred that his stage production is further evidence of the ever-burgeoning mainstream appeal of adult.
“That would be a big ambition of mine,” he said. “To prove that we have very talented people in porn. That we can compete. People underestimate what the fuck we’re doing. These people who are doing porn, really hard sex and stuff, that is the most unbelievable art in the world. I think. There’s nothing that mankind’s ever created that’s more intense than the most intense pornography.
“And this show is kind of an extension of that. It’s kind of taking some of what we’ve learned in that respect and brought it to the stage. And brought it more mainstream.”
Other Evil Angel family members in attendance Saturday night included Stagliano’s wife, former performer Tricia Devereaux, General Manager Chris Norman and his wife, former performer Nici Sterling, new Evil Angel director Justin Slayer, Stagliano’s long-time friend and company employee Jeff Marton, and former performer Careena Collins.
The film The Fashionistas is one of the most acclaimed adult titles of all time. It dominated the 2003 AVN Awards show in Las Vegas, taking home 10 awards, including the coveted Best Film and Best Director – Film statuettes.
The Fashionistas dance review will have an indefinite run, staging once a night at 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday at Krave Las Vegas, 3663 Las Vegas Blvd. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through the show’s Website, fashionistastheshow.com. For further information, call 702-836-0833.
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