This should go without saying – if you’re a Star Wars fan then you need to see The Empire Strips Back. But that’s probably why you’re even reading this right now! Recently I saw this burlesque parody show in San Diego before it moved on to Chicago and New York. Now let’s talk details without mentioning spoilers.
Now this entire show seems like it was the brain child of someone who loved Slave Leia and wanted everyone in the movie to be that incredibly sexy. This epic burlesque performance takes the iconic Star Wars franchise and gives it a sexy, comedic twist. From stormtroopers to Darth Vader himself, the beloved characters of the Star Wars universe are all here, shedding their outer layers for your viewing pleasure.
Empire Strips Back San Diego
Their San Diego pop-up show took place in what was essentially a large warehouse in downtown. I thought it would be in a theater, but I liked how it wasn’t as big as that. However the downside of it not being in a theater is that the seating made it very difficult to see. The seating stands that they had were not very slanted. So sitting behind even someone close to the same height as you was still an obstacle.
Every scene is about 3 minutes long and in between sets, Lando Calrissian’s “nephew” acts as the MC. At first, I didn’t like that every song was then stopped by the MC, but I came to like it. Lando’s “nephew” did a fantastic job and was very funny. I also appreciated that they laid down rules for the audience at the beginning. They encouraged the audience to cheer and clap, but to remain respectful. It’s a burlesque show after all – not a strip show. They did not want people screaming at the dancers to “take their clothes off” or to show them anything extra.
The performers are all incredibly talented and manage to combine dance, humor, and sensuality into one seamless performance. You’ll often see the male characters from the movie portrayed as female dancers. And the musical selection falls more in pop music than it does music from the movie. For example, the first scene was set to “Dirty” by Christina Aguilera.
Now you think Slave Leia would have been the star of the Empire Strips Back, but that wasn’t the case. Because I expected Slave Leia, I was more shocked and wowed by all the other characters that were put through the burlesque filter. Every character was portrayed with precision and panache. And the costumes! WOW! The costumes were stunning, with intricate details and strategically placed cutouts that leave just enough to the imagination.
I will keep the rest of my opinions to myself because I don’t want to give too much away. So I will leave it at this. If you’re a Star Wars fan, a lover of burlesque, or just looking for a unique night out, The Empire Strips Back is not to be missed. The show is a perfect blend of nostalgia, humor, and sex appeal that will leave you feeling like you’ve seen something truly special. Don’t wait – grab your tickets now to this burlesque Star Wars parody and join the rebellion against boring entertainment!