“Star Wars” and nudity are a harmful combo.
Give a nerd each Tatooine and ladies in tassels, and who is aware of what untold havoc will probably be wrought?
But that’s what “The Empire Strips Back,” a humorous sci-fi burlesque present within the East Village, has on supply: A gung-ho night for ticket-buyers who know what made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs and/or wish to see girls tantalizingly take away articles of clothes.
1 hour and half-hour with no intermission. On the Orpheum Theatre, 126 Second Avenue.
Unsurprisingly, there’s a number of overlap with these two fan teams.
That’s clearly evidenced early within the present by the howls of approval when a scantily clad dancer provides Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder a carwash onstage as Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” bares.
“Seems Luke wasn’t such an harmless farm boy in spite of everything!” says “Strips” emcee Eric Newton.
Later, when Princess Leia gyrates alongside a remote-controlled R2D2 — its red-and-blue gentle blinking in digital ecstasy — I had a disconcerting suspicion that the taboo goals of lots of these round me have been lastly coming true.
Pores and skin-baring “Star Wars” favorites abound within the extraordinarily bizarre manufacturing created by Australian Russall S Beattie that’s toured world wide. It final performed New York in 2019.
Now, “Strips” is sitting down for an open-ended run on the Orpheum Theatre, which has been decked out with white panels to seem like the within of an Imperial Star Destroyer.
Most diehards will probably be relieved to search out nearly each character right here is from the unique trilogy, with no Rey or Anakin in sight.
When Newton requested if there have been any Jar Jar Binks followers in the home, he obtained shocking variety of (in all probability drunken) cheers.
“I really like discovering out who the Jar Jar followers are,” he stated. “As a result of then I do know who’s on medication!”
A newly feminized C3PO sheds her bronze armor piece by piece; Darth Vader will get attractive with stormtrooper background dancers of their signature white armor; Two Twi’leks (Jabba the Hutt’s inexperienced slave ladies) have a serene duet; Boba Fett is a bounty stunner; Greedo even reveals up for a bit.
Firstly, a lady taking part in Luke comes out using a Tauntaun. The beast keels over, she takes her high off dealing with away from the viewers and makes use of the animal’s insides for heat — similar to Luke did in “The Empire Strikes Again,” however with extra va-va-voom.
That weird first scene establishes the true the star of this “Star Wars” parody — the design.
For a manufacturing that’s on no account endorsed by LucasFilm or Disney, the costumes, masks and set items are impressively detailed and can go away even the pickiest of followers happy.
The night’s gimmick is repetitive — as a lot of burlesque tends to be — however the technical parts are at all times visually enamoring.
Being a strip present, “Empire” reverses the same old “Star Wars” solid breakdown, which is a sprinkle of girls in a sea of dudes. Right here, it’s principally gals and a few guys to combine issues up.
A ripped Han Solo dramatically breaks free from his carbonite jail and goes full Chippendales with Chewbacca as they groove to a medley of songs together with Run DMC’s “It’s Tough” and “I Need It That Means” by the Backstreet Boys.
Towards the tip comes one of many strangest sights I’ve ever witnessed.
The scary hooded Emperor takes the stage as Bonnie Tyler’s “Whole Eclipse of the Coronary heart” performs.
He proceeds to get virtually nude, stripping right down to a blue bodysuit with vulgar appendages. Not but completed, he straddles a Dying Star-shaped disco ball and is hoisted into the air to Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball.”
It was nightmarish sight that made me determined for just a few stiff drinks on the Cantina in Mos Eisley.