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Entries in Boobs on Endor: A Return of the Jedi Burlesque [2014] (1)

Friday
Nov212014

Boobs on Endor: A Return of the Jedi Burlesque (2014)

Six, Jugs, and Rock 'n Roll

Forget the ultimate Star Wars blu-ray box set, I want Gorilla Tango Burlesque's original-trilogy spoof on home video.* Before you accuse me of being a perverted old man, let me clarify that I'm as big a fan of the writing, directing, and acting as I am the pasties-covered assets parading across GTB's intimate black-box theatre.

Boobs on Endor: A Return of the Jedi Burlesque closes out the company's three-chapter parody, which began with A Nude Hope and continued in The Empire Brings Sexy Back. It also maintains a stellar streak of sharp satire and liberating, hilarious entertainment that puts allegedly geek-centric fare like The Big Bang Theory to shame. Writer Andrew Daar and director Nicole Keating love the source material enough to skewer it mercilessly, and conjure up fresh gags that will surprise even die-hard fans of George Lucas' thirty-seven-year-old franchise.

In keeping with Gorilla Tango tradition, Boobs on Endor approaches its story from an off angle. We begin sometime in the future of a long time ago, with two members of the galaxy's dominant species, The Ewoks, debating the younger creature's staunch, revisionist-history politics. We flash back to a version of Jedi's events, where Luke (Jean Wildest), Han (Whiskey Collins), Leia (Biggie), and the gang are all (once again) horny idiots fumbling their way through a revolution against a just-as-clueless Galactic Empire--which is run by a deliciously over-the-top Emperor (Bailey Irish). In this universe, the Force is seductive in more ways than one, making Darth Vader's** climactic good-guy turn as much about salivation as salvation.

On a side note, I never understood people's beef with the Ewoks, and am happy to see the teddy tribe finally get its due--even if only in this unofficial context. As played by Royal T and Madamne Marie (who double as R2D2 and C3PO, respectively), the creatures are sassy, proud, and endlessly amused by bumbling humans and stormtroopers who write them off as cuddly accessories--right before getting speared to death or taken prisoner.

There was an electricity in the air at the performance I attended, a positivity and giddiness that can't be explained by a front-of-the-house bar, the promise of rampant semi-nudity, or even geek-catnip subject matter. Every Gorilla Tango show I've seen (including the non-burlesque comedy, Once Upon a Rom Com: The Bill Pullman Story) is a tribute to the love of entertainment: in theory, one could take out the jiggling flesh and still enjoy a funny, sexy brain-tickler of a show. These aren't "just dancers", they're gifted comediennes whose antics would be just as compelling if they were outfitted in billowing Sith robes.

Bursting with pop-song kitsch (you'll find new appreciation for The Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" and Lady Gaga's "Born This Way"), a surprising nod to The Princess Bride, and an "In Memoriam" video salute to the fallen of the Star Wars universe's, Boobs on Endor: A Return of the Jedi Burlesque is a cornucopia of cool, top to...um, bottom. My new hope is that Gorilla Tango does something with the prequels next. Yeah, they're that good.

Boobs on Endor: A Return of the Jedi Burlesque plays Saturdays Saturdays at 10:30pm at Gorilla Tango Theatre Bucktown (1919 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL 60647). Tickets are $28. For more information, call (773) 598-4549 or visit www.gorillatango.com/endor.

*Which will never happen because, as we're told at the outset by a drunken, ranting Boba Fett (Misty Orkyd), taking pictures and video is strictly prohibited.

**Vader was played by Tallulah Twist in the performance I saw. The actress is the understudy for Sherri Blossom.