It was a full house in attendance for the opening night of “A Nude Hope: A Star Wars Burlesque” last Saturday night at the Gorilla Tango Theatre. The crowd was full of fans who had come to see the latest geek-themed burlesque show, following up on the success of “Boobs and Goombahs” – the Super Mario Bros. themed show – and they came ready to hoot and holler. When performer Stella Cheeks – dressed as a busty version of C-3PO - came out with a laundry hamper decorated to look like R2-D2, setting the pseudo-droid on the floor by pointing her bottom at the audience and bending over oh-so-suggestively, the tone for the evening was pretty much set.
What followed was a delightfully, saucy homage to the film that many sci-fi nerds and movie geeks credit for inspiring them in their youth. When the collective troupe of performers came out in the beginning to give their take on the classic open “A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away…” I guffawed at its ingeniousness. When “Luke Skywalker” – AKA Bottom Heavy Betty – first walked on stage and griped about needing to go to “Tosche Station to pick up some power convertors”, the Star Wars geeks in the audience laughed approvingly. (I sure did.)
The show uses the plot of Star Wars as a template to string musical bits together, from Obi-Wan Kenobi – played by Diva La Vida – using the Force to get a pair of stormtroopers to do a striptease; to Darth Vader – Hello Dali in a black cape, sunglasses and helmet – getting the final say on a heckler in the audience who happens to be a Star Trek fan; to a Kabuki-style dance performed by Zoe Drift and involving fans made of two halves of the Millenium Falcon. And it cleverly gets around the rights issue of using the actual movie soundtrack by setting the routines to 70′s music. I especially enjoyed the bit when Luke and a very attractive “Chewbacca” – also played by Hello Dali in a fur poncho -worked the crowd for ‘tips’ for the dancers. I was more than ready to throw a few singles into the hat when Chewie came around, all despite the fact that her Shyriiwook – the language of the wookies – needed some polishing up.
Yeah, I did have a couple nerd nitpicks – like some lines that aren’t quoted quite verbatim – but when Cinnamon Twist as Han Solo says “Let’s cut the bulls**t and put this into lightspeed,” I really began to wish that George Lucas had put that line in the original screenplay. In the end, the show is fun, frisky and I fell in love with a wookie.
” A Nude Hope: A Star Wars Burlesque” gets a Geek Factor rating of 4 out of 4 proton torpedoes.
Directed by Timothy Bambara
Written by M.C. Curran
Choreographed by Rachel Singer
Featuring: Bottom Heavy Betty, Diva La Vida, Zoe Drift, Hello Dali, Stella Cheeks, Maire Curiosity, Cinnamon Twist and Ginny Martini
Produced by Gorilla Tango Theatre’s Geek Girl Burlesque. Show Rating – R
Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.