Burlesque and Star Wars compliment each other like chocolate and peanut butter, and in this city, we’ve savored them together often since around 2010, when Los Angeles’ own Star Girls Burlesque presented the first documented striptease show from a galaxy far, far away. This month there’s a chance to sample these two great tastes that taste great together from a different traveling show out of Australia (and subsequently San Francisco) that’s keeping the nerdy/naughty concept alive. We’ll always love the L.A. originators, but this force is pretty fierce, too. The Empire Strips Back, which runs through Jan. 28 at the Montalban Theater in Hollywood, is a slicker and more modern-minded production than we’re used to, but it’s just as fun.
Rather than the old school bump n’ grind celebrated by local burlesque, Empire presents a Vegas-style variety and dance show with a comedian emcee, popular music and truly impressive props “parodying” George Lucas’ epic films. Of course, Princess Leia reigns here, and she’s depicted in two vignettes- taking off her iconic white sheath for R2D2, who makes it rain dollar bills, and in slave bikini garb, gyrating for a life-size and life-like Jabba the Hut. There’s also sexy stormtroopers, a Han Solo and Chewbacca couples stomp (they did it all for the “Wookie”) and a Death Star ride that turns Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” into something galactic and giggle-worthy.
Though it’s promoted for 18 and over audiences, the show is fairly wholesome and not an actual strip club spectacle– little skin is bared save for a few flashes. It is sexy, though. Scantily-armed Stormtroopers, a foxy Boba Fett, enchanting Twi’leks, and decadent dances from Darth and some droids round out the raucous space romp.
The Empire Strips Back at the Montalban Theater, 1615 Vine Street, Hollywood; Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m., running through Jan. 28. Tickets and more info at empirestripsback.com
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