Star Warz Burlesque Returns with New Characters R2-D2, Chewbacca and Death Star
It's only been two months since L.A. burlesque troupe Devil's Playground first took on the characters of Star Wars (Episodes IV-VI), but since then, a lot has happened. The success of the first performance prompted Devil's Playground founder Courtney Cruz to move the show to the recently renovated Music Box in Hollywood. With a space far larger than their usual home of Bordello, the troupe was able to transform the show into an experience, complete with additional characters, revamped costumes and new sets courtesy of Carlos Flores.
Josh "CuriousJosh" Reiss Daisy Meadows as Chewbacca
Musically, Devil's Playground delved deeper into the Star Wars theme than at the first event. The night began with Obi-Wan behind the decks playing a set of glitchy hip-hop and electronic music filled with sci-fi sounds and references to the film series (think of things along the lines of Jedi Mind Tricks). The dancers once again worked with a wide variety of tunes, running the gamut from disco to garage rock to electro to techno. The difference this time was in the presentation. Songs flowed together seamlessly, with individual pieces tightly edited to include sound effects that helped keep the music in line with the parody.
The biggest change, though, was the story. The first Star Warz Burlesque show was essentially a series of performances linked together by wise-cracking MC Matthew McCallum. This time around, McCallum plays Han Solo, who has recently been frozen in carbonite. Though physically trapped, his mind goes wild, with each monologue leading to another burlesque routine. We broke down Solo's carbonite dreams below.
Darth Vader Goes Soft Shoe
Josh "CuriousJosh" Reiss Charlotte La Belle Araigne as Darth Vader
The curtain rises to reveal the interior of the Death Star. There's heavy breathing, lots of it, and Darth Vader (Charlotte La Belle Araigne) makes an entrance fitting for an Imperial lord. He is imposing. Wait a second, Vader is really a girl and she likes to twirl her lightsaber as she bursts into a disco soft shoe routine.
Josh "CuriousJosh" Reiss Audrey DeLuxe as Boba Fett
As Vader tosses off the last bits of her cumbersome costume, a shadow appears from within the audience. It's Boba Fett (Audrey DeLuxe), ready to snatch Solo and bring him to Jabba the Hutt. Or, maybe she's just ready to dance like a 1960s go-go dancer.
The Droids Have Moves
Josh "CuriousJosh" Reiss Lucy Fur as C-3PO and Sin Fisted as R2D2
Seemingly out of nowhere, C-3PO (Lucy Fur) and R2-D2 (Sin Fisted) appear. Kraftwerk's jam "The Robots" pumps through the club and C-3PO nervously scurries towards the front of the stage. The song is overwhelming and the protocol droid can't help but reveal a special talent. C-3PO can tassel twirl.
Josh "CuriousJosh" Reiss Sin Fisted as R2D2
Not to be overshadowed by her constant companion, R2-D2 bursts free from her mechanical prison, revealing herself as a contortionist. But this astromech droid can do so much more than twist her legs over her head. She's a pop-and-locker with a phenomenal sense of rhythm who can climb a pole without ever losing a beat.
The Princess and the Gangster
Josh "CuriousJosh" Reiss Scarlet O'Gasm as Jabba the Hutt
Solo's nemesis, Jabba the Hutt (Scarlet O'Gasm), is smoking a hookah, glistening in the stage light when we see a small, hooded figure lurks through the audience (not a Jawa, though they did appear to tidy up the stage between numbers). Jabba is oblivious and slowly strips away the worm suit as Goldfrapp plays in the background, unveiling a chain bikini. The cloaked person sneaks upon the stage. Indeed, it is Princess Leia (Olivia Bellafontaine)! Instead of being subjugated to a life as Jabba's slave, she immediately tugs the gangster's chain and proceeds to writhe down the catwalk.
Josh "CuriousJosh" Reiss Olivia Bellafontaine as Princess Leia
The Wookiee Just Wants to Relax
Josh "CuriousJosh" Reiss Daisy Meadows as Chewbacca
Things are getting harried on the Death Star. Chewbacca's (Daisy Meadows) best friend is missing. But, more importantly, she needs a bath and a shave. Everyone's favorite Wookiee takes a bubble dip and dries herself by shaking her way across the stage.
Enter the Stormtrooper
Josh "CuriousJosh" Reiss Courtney Cruz as the Stormtrooper
It's the moment everyone has been way for this evening. After seeing her photo far and wide across the Internet and after the image had been permanently inked onto one tattoo devotee, the Stormtrooper (Courtney Cruz) makes her way through the Death Star with gun in hand. She is ready to kick your ass. The crowd screams loud enough to shake Solo from his deep freeze. But, this isn't the end.
The Death Star Isn't What You Think It Is
Josh "CuriousJosh" Reiss Miss Mia Vixen as Death Star/Imperial Commander
A Death Star inside the Death Star? Solo's been having some crazy visions lately. But soon we learn that this is merely a disguise for one Imperial Commander Daine Jir. Like the Stormtrooper preceding her, she is fierce, one of few people with enough guts to sass Darth Vader. But Vader is nowhere in sight and Jir needs to cut loose.