Pillow Fight Club comes out swinging.
It’s Friday night at the Chicago Athletic Association and, while the game on the basketball court appears hot and heavy, the ballers are taking more than a few water breaks to peek into the adjoining workout room where the action, if not heavier, is certainly hotter.
We are bearing witness (and witnessing some baring) to a sparring session between members of the newly minted Pillow Fight Club. Before you get all meta on us, let Franky Vivid, the Vince McMahon of the PFC, give you his honest appraisal: “It’s exactly what it is: beautiful girls in a ring with pillows.”
Vivid and partner Michelle L’amour are the dynamic duo behind the Lavender Cabaret, which produces such scintillating burlesque shows as FemmeTV and Star and Garter Burlesque. Drawing on their bevy of twentysomething beauties, they’re billing this spectacle as a “combination of the WWE and America’s Next Top Model.” The public gets its first chance to watch the feathers fly Thursday 10 when PFC premieres at Joe’s.
Things kick off with an appetizer course: a single-elimination, one-on-one tournament. Each bout consists of two two-minute rounds, which seems like a helluva long time to be swinging while trying to stay pretty. (The girls think you’ll see a cardio class like this coming soon to a gimmick-happy gym near you.) “Costuming is difficult” too, adds Miranda Simek, a former Sugar Baby with the FemmeTV show, who’s hoping for Victoria’s Secret to catch wind of the action and outfit the ladies with some specially designed, barely there threads.
The winner of each bout will be determined by a three-member panel of judges pulled from Chicago’s comedy scene: Ed Furman, C.J. Sullivan and Pat Brice will perform their shtick in between the rounds.
The action heats up when four three-girl teams square off in a tag-team battle royale. The women will attempt to dislodge their opponents’ pillows, and the last woman standing receives a cash prize and the title of Total Domination Champion.
Vivid also promises to liberally season the night with exhibition matches (think tickle fights) and wacky tiebreakers (charging at each other with cushioned jousts, for instance).
While the rulebook won’t be made available until Thursday night (so far, Vivid and L’amour are the judges, jury and hangmen when it comes to a “regulating body”), we have been assured that the No. 1 rule of Pillow Fight Club is that there will be wardrobe malfunctions. As L’amour notes, “Sexy is our business.”
The show’s concept was hatched during talks with Spike TV. The cable network tapped Vivid and L’amour for programming brainstorm sessions, hoping to concoct a show that will appeal to its mostly male audience. Thursday’s inaugural bouts will be videotaped and pitched to Spike execs as a pilot episode that may prompt more fights in various cities, with contenders drawn from around the country.
In case you haven’t guessed it yet, the camp factor has been turned up to 11 for PFC. The cartoonish team names are self-evident barometers of that agenda, and identify distinguishing characteristics for fans: the Pocket Rockets (petite ladies with energy to burn), Triple Threat (tatted-up barroom brawlers), the Glamazons (glamour girls) and SoftCorps (gym rats in it to win at any cost).
But don’t assume the antics are entirely tongue-in-cheek. Cassie LaGreca, a student of L’amour’s, has been preparing by “honing her skills” in impromptu battles with friends.
“[I’ve been] looking for any excuse to start pillow fights,” LaGreca says. “I’m definitely going to bring it.”
The ladies battle between the sheets Thursday 10 at Joe’s. See listings.