PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A “Star Wars”-inspired striptease has already taken over performance venues in cities across Canada, Europe and the U.S. Now, sexy Stormtroopers and other scantily-clad characters from the popular franchise are gracing Portland audiences.
“The Empire Strips Back”, a burlesque parody of the iconic space opera, started in Australia and has since expanded to meet the growing demand for international dates.
In Portland, the show has been held at the Alberta Abbey theater since Nov. 1. David Foster, one of the chief producers, said the Rose City felt like a perfect fit for the production’s next stop.
“It’s a city that’s known for alternative culture, for elements of nerd culture, or just pop culture in general,” Foster said. “It’s known for being a very cool city, so it took us a while to find the Alberta Abbey as our venue, but we were really looking hard. It was really a priority to get to Portland.”
The producer believes the show has performed well among audiences because it’s reached the “magical sweet spot” where comedy, dancing and a “Star Wars” homage share the same stage.
According to Foster, “The Empire Strips Back” serves fans of the original films as well as people who have never watched or been interested in them.
“When I first met [my wife], she must have been one of the few people in America who had never ever ever seen Star Wars,” he said. “I mean, she could think of nothing worse than watching a ‘Star Wars’ movie and she loved the show and yet the people who are truly obsessive also really dig it.”
Even though the performance is a comedy, the cast and the crew have taken the production seriously. The show features well-thought-out costuming, talented dancers and, naturally, a life-sized Jabba the Hutt that will make audiences feel like they’re in “Star Wars” themselves.
Tickets for “The Empire Strips Back” are on sale now, starting at $47.
The final show of the year is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 9.