Wookiee Hut Reviews presents:
Star Wars Stage Shows:
Star Wars Musical Edition
One-Man Star Wars
Star Wars in 30 Minutes
C3, Indianapolis, IN
Review by Rosie, MaceVindaloo, Diana, VagBoy, Csillag, BunchBox, SuSu
What do you get when you put a group of MIT students, a bunch of Broadway and movie show tunes, and a classic space opera together? Star Wars: Musical Edition a hilarious, rollicking version of George's dorky and popular saga!|
MIT must not give these guys enough schoolwork to do because they have the time to create this incredibly funny show featuring all the best parts of the Star Wars: A New Hope story, pair it with filked lyrics based on the music of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Man of La Mancha, Phantom of the Opera, Evita, West Side Story, even Aladdin, Les Miserables, and much more! Favorite audience scenes: Obi Wan knocks off Jar Jar Binks (to the cheers of the crowd), storm troopers tap dance while lamenting that they have no names, and Chewie gets a medal! What more can you ask for?
Clever use of props, costumes, and sets, of course. The Millenium Falcon sporting fuzzy dice was classic and could even be considered a nod to George's other classic film, American Graffiti. The three papier mache x-wings strapped onto the actors that zoomed around in the final battle sequence and changed position as they were shot down were a riot. Best of all though were the cardboard wall panels representing the walls of the garbage masher and operated on stage by storm troopers. The same walls were the bar at the cantina, the control panels on the Death Star, and blaster doors which concealed Obi-wan's death by his former pupil so the man could get off-stage! That had us all on the floor.
Of course the audience, standing in for the rebel troops after the victory at Yavin IV, spontaneously stood up for the award ceremony and applauded wildly when Chewie finally got his medal!! (We LOVE that we did not have to explain any of this to anyone around us!)
This show had us laughing so hard our guts actually hurt for a couple of days after! We talked about it for the rest of the weekend and made sure to get there early the next two days to get better seats to see it again and again. If it would not violate copyright laws left and right, we would happily pay for a video of this show to watch over and over again. This show alone was worth the price of admission to the con.
But there was more, much more! There's the One Man Star Wars and Star Wars in 30 Minutes. The OMSW was to be shown in the same hall as the Musical right afterwards so we just stayed put. We had great seats after all, and announcements were made to make sure we packed ourselves in there was a huge audience to see this man!
Canadian Charlie Ross also must have had WAY too much time on his hands to create this one man version of our favorite space opera trilogy, but he must be great at parties for entertainment. In any case, he extracted the highlights of all THREE movies, including sound effects and editorial commentary as well as some real knee-slappers (Luke after removing Darth Vader's helmet: I thought you were black ...) Different ships represented by different arm positions had the audience in stitches too Y-Wings, behind you ... X-Wings, up and forward ... Lambda Shuttle, down and away on an angle, until it docks ... (yeah, we bet you know what he did!)
Ross made all the sound effects himself ... there was nothing on the stage but HIM and a bottle of water he'd sip on between episodes. To depict explosions, he's jump up and holler "BOOM!" then run around the auditorium to depict the shockwave ... and he did all the character voices and actions, too!
Ross must have also seen the video of Michael Flatley's Feet of Flames because he did his own version of Flatley's inspirational "Follow your Dream" speech but it was better because it wasn't Flatley, the stage entertainment version of Jar Jar Binks: "If we can be arrested for being dorks, we'd ALL be in jail!" after which he explained how his dream came true to do this show ... and how he always wanted to be arrested by Imperial stormtroopers! And thus he was escorted from the stage by members of the 501st.
As if watching Ross in an hour wasn't frenetic enough, we got to see the entire SW Trilogy in 30 minutes! Again this was extremely amusing because the creators, USC's Festival Theater USA, picked the highlights out of the three films and using minimal props (and probably a ton of caffeine backstage, and maybe they locked the restrooms so they couldn't use them ...) put on a hilarious, speedy rendition of the saga.
This rendition was especially funny for it's "economy," too: One actor portraying both Darth Vader and Chewbacca transitioned between characters by opening and closing a black cape (brown bathmat pasted to his chest beneath!) and donning and doffing a black sunglasses! Yoda was represented by a green bathrobe and fists with thumbs sticking outward held up to the sides of the actor's head for his ears (they moved appropriately as Yoda grunted, "You will be!"). The X-Wings in this version were metal folding chairs worn around the necks of the actors with small Christmas lights wrapped around the "feet" to depict the laser tips. TIEs were griddled ceiling tiles held up to an actor's ears as he went running and screaming (Doppler effect!) by the Falcon cheap and hilariously effective. Vader's death scene cracked the entire audience up when his voice went from deep and menacing before the mask came off ("For once, let me see you with my own eyes"), to whiny- and wimpy-sounding afterward ("Tell your sister you were right").
In all three versions of the Star Wars saga that we saw at C3, Han Solo was a crotch-grabbing braggadocio and Luke the whining wimpy guy, and Chewbacca was the comedian and underrated hero. Some things will never change can anyone say successful depictions of archetypes??
We also love all the depictions of R2D2. In the Musical, he's a limited edition cooler, complete with casters and handle, by which the 'droid got hauled around. He was was also kicked, shoved, pushed, with a synthesized voice provided by a keyboard. In the 30 Minute version, he was a white trashcan with a domed lid who was carried around by C3PO, or whatever castmember was avaiable. The trashcan even got to sit in the "X-Wing" in front of Luke as he left Dagobah! In the One Man depiction, the astromech was a series of Charlie Ross's lip whistles and raspberries, most effectively depicted by C3PO's responses to the little 'droid.
As a graduate of the USC film school, George is quite generous about allowing these parodies to be created and performed at venues like C3, but the LFL lawyers spoil the fun and don't allow sales of videos. But these shows will live in our memories forever. If you get a chance to see these shows, be sure you do! Personally, we'd attend any con that had these performances. Charlie Ross also has a "One Man LOTR" show which we are dying to see ... let us know if you hear anything about it!
some photos from www.sw30.com and www.onemanstarwars.com
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