‘The Empire Strips Back: A Star Wars Burlesque Parody’ returns to Los Angeles

‘The Empire Strips Back: A Star Wars Burlesque Parody’ returns to Los Angeles

Ever wanted to see Darth Vadar do a strip tease?

While the “Star Wars” franchise has released over 20 films and series in the last 45 years, one comedic outlier is coming to a galaxy not so far away. “The Empire Strips Back: A Star Wars Burlesque Parody” is returning to Los Angeles at The Montalbán Theatre from Oct. 10 through Dec. 1. Tickets for the event are on sale now at theempirestripsback.com.

The 18-and-over parody show runs about two hours with a 15-minute intermission and spoofs beloved characters from the original trilogy through risqué and polished dance choreography. The show is open to Star Wars fans or people just looking for a night of laughs. While the show boasts a Star Wars first philosophy, guests don’t necessarily have to be die-hard fans to enjoy the spectacle. It’s packed with pop culture, from the sultry stormtroopers dancing to modern hits to the disco wrecking ball that swings across the stage à la Miley Cyrus.

Attendees can expect a Tauntaun, a 13-foot by 9-foot Jabba the Hutt prop puppet controlled by hidden puppeteers, a full-sized landspeeder, a working R2D2 robot, and more than 30 Star Wars characters. The production quality is also out of this world, including plenty of lightsabers, blasters and costumes designed to move (or be easily removed) for certain acts in the show.

Last year, Los Angeles Magazine reviewed the show, writing, “I watched, in awe, as the confusingly attractive Tuskin Raiders danced in perfect synchronization to, of all the songs in the world, ‘Chop Suey’ by System of a Down.”

Related links

‘The Empire Strips Back: A Star Wars Burlesque Parody’ invades Southern California
Star Wars: Where all the new shows fit in the fictional timeline
Disneyland gears up for 3 different Star Wars fireworks shows

There is also an element of gender swapping by actors and actresses that adds a layer of variety to the traditional aspects of the show’s lore. The show’s Darth Vader, Boba Fett, C-3PO and Skywalker are all played by female actresses.

Australian burlesque producer Russall Beattie, the show’s creator, first toyed with the idea in 2010. In a 2017 interview with the Los Angeles Daily News, he said he’s also done burlesque-themed shows based on “Game of Thrones” and “The Wizard of Oz,” but that “Star Wars” works best for parody.

“To make it a good show, it has to be well-known and with burlesque, if you take away all the sexiness, it’s still about parody, and to sell the punchline you need a good setup,” Beatie said in the interview. “‘Star Wars’ is so ingrained in popular culture that even if you don’t like ‘Star Wars,’ you still know ‘Star Wars.’ If you saw that character on stage, we could go straight to the punchline because the culture of ‘Star Wars’ is so ingrained in everybody that it’s easy to turn those into burlesque characters.”

Because the show is a parody and within the boundaries of satire, it is protected under the First Amendment’s free speech rights, and it has avoided any lawsuits since it first began touring.

Related Articles

Things To Do |

New Vegas attraction lets you become a player in a video game world

Things To Do |

Rewards, points, miles: A primer on travel credit cards

Things To Do |

Travel: What I’ve seen on 33 cruises I’ve taken since the pandemic

Things To Do |

After 60 years of Rolling Stones concerts in Southern California, the fans tell all

Things To Do |

Ever tried a goth taco? Evil Cooks serves Mexican cuisine with a diabolical twist