Fatale Factory Presents DESPERADA – The First All-Female Western Cabaret Live October 14th In Hollywood At The Florentine Gardens
The last year has left many acutely aware of their surroundings, spending more time at home than ever before. With the recent isolation in our not-so-distant past, people are turning more and more to entertainment as an escape. But you can’t escape DESPERADA, a brand new live show that rattles you from your daydream. Fatale Factory brings Angelenos the full cabaret experience – step into the ring of fire!
DESPERADA is a narrative-driven female-centric show that paints the Old West all new. As the first all-female Western show, with a cast of cirque artists, glorious dancers, burlesque starlets, and a variety of debaucherous outlaws performing uniquely western disciplines, the show appears to be anything but conventional. However, the themes are familiar, tying battles of good and evil, the notorious pathos of western films, and a cinematic nostalgia together with shocking feats and entirely unfamiliar twists. This carefully crafted juxtaposition between Western history and folklore is what makes DESPERADA a distinctive, yet universally enticing experience, transporting viewers within the confines of a Hollywood theater.
Even the venue itself plays a part in crafting the illusion. Florentine Gardens, an often-forgotten space at the far end of Hollywood reminiscent of a moorish palace was once a prominent show house of Hollywood’s Golden Era, whose stage was graced by Marilyn Monroe, Lili St. Cyr, and Yvonne De Carlo among many others. With a vast ballroom, wood-paneling, and impossibly high ceilings, Fatale Factory is dusting off this relic to restore it to its original show business lustre.
While much of the allure of this show lies in the excess–the extreme performances, the abundance of glamour, a complex narrative told through movement –DESPERADA was a show born out of necessity, filling a void in the entertainment landscape of a city known for that very industry. As the show’s creator, showgirl Tosca Rivola puts it, “Los Angeles is not a show city. The entertainment in this city is geared primarily towards parties, which do not provide the same energy and diligence as a live show.” Having performed in cabarets and shows all over the world, Rivola set out to create that environment in the city she now calls home.
With the initial purpose of integrating a particular kind of live theater back into Los Angeles, DESPERADA has gone on to tackle many other topics of significance. As the first all-female western, it is already breaking new ground, but rather than leave it at that, Rivola and the Fatale Factory have gone quite a bit further, taking a previously male-centric and one-dimensional piece of history and diversifying it in terms of race, gender, and even narrative. The few men that take the stage do so as secondary characters, familiar tropes without depth, flipping the traditional script on its head. It is the men who pick up the clothes for the women who fling them around in spectacle, and forage for props backstage while the ladies perform the main event, establishing a new hierarchy in the world of DESPERADA. In this diverse retelling, audience members relinquish the ownership of the western narrative, a story that is so often exclusively male, white, and American. Rivola, who is a first generation immigrant from Prague, uses her distance from the story to weave a different tale about observed American culture, heightening and modifying the familiar tropes.
While DESPERADA broaches certain injustices, it is an entirely self-aware show. At its core, it is entertainment, and within that one can only address so many issues. However, even with the limitations, this show takes an important step, choosing to eradicate the male-centric nature of the tale and emphasize diversity and change. The show provides a departure from the classic cabaret centered around beauty to subvert audience expectations, taking viewers on a wild revenge fantasy ride, centered around danger and physical creativity.
While many are still hesitant to jump headfirst into the carefree indoor lives we once led, DESPERADA, with its sprawling ballroom and thoughtfully spaced cabaret-style seating, is a comfortable option, the perfect foray into normal life–that is a much more suspenseful and glamorous version of regular life which includes large fire stunts, the descent of a saddle from the sky, and Western debauchery galore, unveiling a new fempire upon the good people of Los Angeles.
October 14th, 2021 serves as both the premier of this brand new show and the kick off DESPERADA’s monthly residency at Florentine Gardens.
About Tosca Rivola
Tosca Rivola is a bonafide showgirl, professional acrobat, and performance artist specializing in Roue Cyr and Burlesque. Rivola has created a name for herself in a number of arenas. With a multicultural background, an insatiable appetite for aesthetics, and a refined technical skill set, she is an asset to a variety of creative fields. Among her accolades, Rivola competed in the Wheel Gymnastics World Championships twice, was published in The Hollywood Reporter and is a touring cast member for Dita Von Teese.
About Fatale Factory
Fatale Factory is a full service entertainment production company curated by Tosca Rivola. Having produced the wildly successful cult classic show TARANTINA, the first all-female reimagining of Quentin Tarantino’s menagerie of heroines, the company is utilizing the forward momentum to bring Los Angeles DESPERADA. With the ability to create anything from atmospheric entertainment to a full-length stage show, Fatale Factory is able to accommodate any theme, length, concept, and locale. Recent clients include Google, Nike, McLaren, Saudi Royal Family, and Ignite.