WILLIAMSBURG — Just one glimpse of Madonna's tousled blonde hair, jean vest and sultry street dance steps in the pop icon's first music video "Borderline," and Cathy Cervenka was a woman transformed.
"I feel like I was born when Madonna's first album came out," said the Central Florida native who was blown away by the city girl's urban style and crystal voice in 1984. "She's superhuman."
Now, nearly 30 years later, Cervenka is bringing her hero's catchy tunes and effervescent vibe to a crowd of 1,000 steadfast fans, 25 performers, the "Material Boys" — an all-male band that plays bluegrass covers of the Queen of Pop's songs — and Madonna look-a-likes galore. They're celebrating Madonna's 54th birthday, even though the real star will be far away.
"I think she'd probably hate us. She probably wouldn't appreciate a tribute to her," laughed Cervenka, hosting the 10th annual Madonnathon Saturday night at Brooklyn Bowl one day after the singer's birthday. "Her publicist is aware of the show but Madonna's too big for us."
Cervenka may claim the celebrity is out of her league, but that hasn't stopped the fervent devotee from prepping three Madonna outfits to wear throughout the night.
First she'll sport a black crop top, leggings and bangle bracelets from the "Lucky Star" video, then a bustier with heart sequins for "Open Your Heart," and finally iridescent attire from "Ray of Light" — and each attire will have its corresponding wig.
"I saw a need for a Madonna show because she's the Queen of Pop...I don't see many [other] tribute shows to her because her music is actually very hard to play live," said Cervenka, whose company "Cathyland" produces other 80's events throughout the year. "I gather up musicians and all types of performers inspired by Madonna and they each perform their own favorite song of hers in their own way. It’s a little impersonation but a lot more interpretation."
Among the performers is the world's "top Madonna impersonator" Chris America, who usually does not make public appearances but is "coming out in full Madonna realness" at the tribute to sing three songs, including "Into the Groove" from the movie "Desperately Seeking Susan."
And as the stage rocks with flamboyant singers, dancers and even comedians, the expansive Brooklyn Bowl music hall will be bursting with fans to "take the show to another level."
"They're passionate and fun and love to dance," said Cervenka. "We get a real energy going in the room. It's really, really intense."
The "Madonnathon" starts at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Brooklyn Bowl. Tickets are $12.