‘Star Wars’ Burlesque Show Storms West Coast With Sexy Stormtroopers

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A group of Australian burlesque dancers are performing a truly stripped-down version of “Star Wars” ― emphasis on the strip.

The appropriately titled “The Empire Strips Back — A Burlesque Parody will be storming California starting May 31, hot on the heels of the release of the new “Star Wars” film “Solo.”  


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    The cheeky show ― emphasis on “cheeks” ― features 12 dancers acting out 60 separate characters from the movies, including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and scantily clad stormtroopers.


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    Russell Beattie, the show’s director, said the sexy sci-fi show began long, long ago in a theater far, far away ― 2011 in Sydney, Australia, to be exact.“We created it as a bit of a joke,” Beattie told HuffPost by email.


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    Beattie and others were working on a parody “Star Wars” book called Wookieerotica when they got the idea.

    “Since we were creating the costumes and doing the work, we thought we’d put a one-night show for a hundred of our friends and fans,” he said. “Little did we know that it would become our biggest production.”


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    A full-blown version debuted in 2014 and has had a successful run in Australia. Along the way, there were challenges.

    “Finding the right Chewbacca for our show was difficult,” he said. We needed someone who is that tall and has the dance training that the production requires.”


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    Figuring out the proper choreography for Darth Vader or other characters is also something Beattie had to keep in mind.

    “We make sure that everyone has a good understanding of who the characters are,” Beattie said. We might change the character’s gender, costume, etc., but the core characteristics always stay the same.”


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    The first show of the six-city tour will be in Riverside, with Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and Sacramento to follow before the show ends in San Francisco on June 9.


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    Beattie also promises that anyone who fears they might see “Solo” spoilers at the show need not worry.

    “We mainly stick to the originals. They are so well-known, and hence, so easy to parody,” he said. “The latest films are very divisive and our show enjoys bringing the fans together.”


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    “Star Wars” isn’t the only film series that Beattie has burlesqued.


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    “We’ve done ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Batman,’ and ‘Kill Bill,’ to name a few,” he said. “We did talk about an ‘Avengers’ one a few years back. But the fan boy in me would want to spend too much money making a life-sized Hulk for the show. Our next parody production will be ‘Ghostbusties’ — a ‘Ghostbusters’ parody.”


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