Twenty years after "Pulp Fiction" exploded onto the scene, Bruce Willis's daughter, Rumer Willis, is tearing it up in a live Quentin Tarantino musical mash-up that pays homage to the indie blockbuster and every other Tarantino flick. And surprise, surprise, she's terrific.
Rumer Willis takes on multiple roles, most notably Mia from "Pulp Fiction" and The Bride from "Kill Bill" in "For the Record: Tarantino," which opened March 27 at DBA in West Hollywood, CA.
As The Bride, Willis belts out "Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" in bridal attire, fights O-Ren Ishii with a samurai sword and, as Mia, does a seductive dance as she sings "Son of a Preacher Man." She also recreates the famous dance contest from the film, move for retro move.
Previous "For the Record" productions were homages to the films of Baz Luhrmann (in which Willis played Juliet), Martin Scorsese and Robert Zemeckis. Songs from the films are now sung, live, by performers who smoothly switch characters from film to film as scenes bleed (literally, in this production's case) into another. For example, the stunningly voiced Rogelio Douglas Jr., ("Parks and Recreation," "Orange is the New Black") plays Django, Marcellus Wallace, and Mr. White (the Harvey Keitel character from "Reservoir Dogs").
Shortly before Willis went on, Moviefone grabbed her backstage to chat about taking on one of her father's most famous films.
Willis, who was six years old when "Pulp Fiction" came out, admitted, "I never watched it in its entirety until I had to do this show." She shared that her dad, who will come see the show at some point, "was really excited. He thought it was really cool." Willis pointed out that March 27 also happens to be Tarantino's birthday. She says she only met the director "once, a very, very long time ago." Her favorite Tarantino movie? "I really like 'Deathproof,' but I have to say I really love 'Pulp Fiction,' just because Mia's character is such a cool, funky chick."
Mom Demi Moore showed up for opening night, as she did when Willis opened up in the Baz Luhrmann show last year.
This actually isn't the first time For the Record has done a Tarantino production, but it's been "completely re-imagined" since its first incarnation as their debut production, says the series' co-creator, Shane Scheel. "We opened with this show three years ago, the very first thing," which was more of a straightforward presentation of songs from the films, rather than the interactive, cross-film experience it is now.
"We did a full production of it for SXSW and at that point it was following Tarantino's world chronologically," says Scheel. "After we'd done the last couple of shows, we wanted to do the same thing, where we mash everything up, like a concert trip through the mind of Quentin Tarantino."
Scheel says that Tarantino saw the "very first version of the show and he loved it. We hung out afterward for a long time afterward and talked about the movies and his choice of music for the films." He says, "I'm confident he'll want to see this latest version."
The actors put in two months' worth of prep for the show. Each role is triple cast, so that on any given night, the lineup is never the same.
"For the Record: Tarantino" runs through May 17.