Australia

First Burlesque Show; The Empire Strips Back

Ever since seeing the film Burlesque with Christina Aguilera and Cher, I’ve wanted to see a  real-life show with the lights and the music and the costumes. The film was amazing and I figured an in person experience could only be even better, right?

I must admit, a Star Wars themed Burlesque show was not what I had in mind. Also, I’ve only ever seen two of the films, so I felt at a bit of a disadvantage when standing in line at the theatre and seeing a large proportion of people dressed up. But, I have to say it was probably one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.

Yes, it was a burlesque show, but it wasn’t just a seedy two hours of mostly-naked women prancing around the stage (I mean obviously there was some of that). It was also really funny, with Hans Solo and Chewbacca stealing the comic-factor of the show. They were the main comical act and they did it justice, their (might I add) fully-clothed  bromance had the crowd in stitches laughing with their attempts at impressing us with their dance-off. They had an old style boom-box blaring out the hits, they ran through the audience pumping us up and though Chewbacca never spoke (obviously), he had as much personality as in the films. wookieerotica02The show had also published this lovely ‘WookieErotica’ magazine, at $50 I felt it was a bit over-priced but there were a lot of eager people in the crowd who had bought it before the show had even started!

The MC had his own way with the crowd too, riling us up before each act, encouraging us to cheer just that bit louder “They can still hear you!” and implementing a wookie-off. Something I am not likely to forget in a long time is hearing a theatre full of people attempt their best Wookie impression. It was god-awful and hysterical.

The burlesque act themselves were mostly riveting, having a female Luke Skywalker seductively washing the side of a hovercraft, topless, was a bit odd, but the audience didn’t seem to mind the sudden gender change too much. This occurred with C-3PO and Darth Vader too.

The performers were skilled at showing only what they wanted shown, with the imperial guard being one of the the most alluring acts of the night. With what seemed like a red sheet attached to the mask front and back, the three woman were in-sync and performed their risque act with such seductive precision it was phenomenal.

Some acts were better than others, with the scene between Leia in that famous gold bikini escaping from Jabba the hutt, she played out the fantasies of many in the audience. The Stormtroopers, I personally think, took the stage by storm – hah, gettit? – and completely stole the show. Before this act a man in the audience was leaving to use the bathroom and the MC actually advising him that he “wouldn’t want to leave right now if I were you… no really. Don’t leave” earning a laugh from the crowd and a sense of intrigue. Six identically-dressed stormtroopers marched on stage and during their dance routine they removed piece by piece an item of the uniform.

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It was seductive, engaging, fascinating and compelling, not to mention impressive (I definitely wouldn’t have the confidence to get up on stage and perform like those women did!).

I was surprised at how  downright hysterical it was and I’m glad this was my first burlesque experience. I would 100% recommend to anyone who has the opportunity to see it, you don’t even need to know what Star Wars is about to enjoy it. I only learned the majority of the names post-show so I could write this blog – guilty!

The cast also came out after the show and we got a very unflattering picture taken – bad angles all round, but sure, why not share?

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