‘Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club 2024’ is not one for the kiddies

Hosted by Kitty Glitter the Fem-Cee and 'Elvis,' this pop-counterculture event is bigger and sillier than you imagine.

If you’ve seen Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club before, you’re reading this review for fun, because you know I can’t tell you anything. That’s because, as I said in my review of last year’s show: The first rule of Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club, now in its 13th year, is nondisclosure. What happens when Elvis walks in, stays where Elvis walks in. I can tell you that as of this writing, even though the shows last weekend at GALA Hispanic Theatre have concluded, you can experience Elvis next weekend at The Creative Alliance in Baltimore. Produced by AstroPop Events, this delightfully designed example of counterculture is not in any danger of becoming mainstream, but if there’s such a thing as pop-counterculture, it’s Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club.

You probably can extrapolate from the title that this event will be big and silly. It’s even bigger and sillier than you imagine. Hosted by Kittie Glitter the Fem-Cee and “Elvis,” the beloved annual event attracts adult folk of every ilk. Kittie remarks that judging by the size of the crowd, on a day with bad weather and a worse forecast, people may be ignoring the first rule of Fight Club and talking. The sold-out show quickly filled the refunded seats of audience members who were weather wimps with waiting list hopefuls. The crowd on Saturday night was invested, engaged, and LOUD.

Ringside commentators Elvis and Kittie Glitter in ‘Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club.’ Photo courtesy of Creative Alliance.

Billed as one round of fighting alternating with one round of ta-tas, culminating in the finale, the format is stable and solid, which allows for creativity and surprises within the framework. It’s a perfectly pulchritudinous performance, and the participants look swell. This year’s script sets up clever puns, features several unexpected competitors, and includes your favorite recurring characters. After the intermission, there’s an audience participation/competition, which requires the purchase of something called Qualaase, or Quaalayse — I’m not sure how to spell it. Despite the violence being referred to as “cartoonish” (it is), do not mistake this for an all-ages event. There’s drinking, swearing, and adult jokes and situations, so this isn’t one for the kiddies.

AstroPop Events doesn’t share any information about its performers, techs, front-of-house personnel, producers, or directors. This ensures that major and even minor details of EBFC 2024 remain secret, but denies me the opportunity to heap well-deserved praise on the performers, costumers, prop fabricators, lighting and sound techs, run crew, and particularly the show’s director and writers.

A longtime fan tells me this is the best EBFC show he’s seen in a long time, and I, a relative newcomer, can see the script is tighter, the production values cleaner, and the props lower on the cheese-factor scale than last year’s show. The performances have also developed depth and humor in subtle but significant ways. Props all around for everyone involved in the production.

Scenes from ‘Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club 2023’ clockwise from top left: 2023- Burlesque performance by Gigi Holliday; Mr. Potato Head vs. A Giant Asshole; The Morton Salt Girl vs. The Gorton’s Fisherman; Kittie Glitter and Elvis demonstrate cartoon-like violence. Photos courtesy of Creative Alliance.

Since I’ve seen the production twice at DC’s GALA Hispanic Theatre, I can’t give perspective on next weekend’s Baltimore performances first-hand, but Creative Alliance’s Theater, where the show will play, holds a maximum of 200, so if there’s a show that’s not sold out, get tickets now. If you’re a fan of flesh, a connoisseur of cleverness, a lover of laughter, a backer of bawdy, a champion of cheering, a salutatorian of silliness or irrepressibly irreverent, there’s no reason I can imagine that you wouldn’t love this show.

Running Time: Two hours, including one 15-minute intermission.

Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club 2024, produced by AstroPop Events, played January 5 and 6, 2024, at GALA Hispanic Theatre and plays next on Friday, January 12 at 7:30 PM and 10 PM and on Saturday, January 13 at 5 PM, 7:30 PM, and 10 PM at The Patterson at The Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, MD, in The Theater. Call 410-276-1651 or email [email protected]. Purchase tickets ($30–$45) online.

For audiences 21+.

Final Factoid: If you can’t go but want EBFC merch anyway, visit the AstroPop Events website.


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