A Nude Hope: A Star Wars Burlesque
Cute girls! Naked! Telling jokes! About geeky stuff! Gorilla Tango Theater's "A Nude Hope: A Star Wars Burlesque" delivers all that and more.
Gorilla Tango is quickly becoming the go-to place in Chicago for funny, smart, sexy burlesque with just enough geek thrown in to make it interesting, in an SEO kind of way. The other burlesque shows that Gorilla Tango has are a potpourri of geek culture like: "The Temple of Boobs," "Don't Blink," (Doctor Who) "Boobs of the Dead," "The Empire Brings Sexy Back" and "Boobs and Goombas" (Super Mario Bros.). The theme, if it isn't already obvious, is boobs.
Each of the performers plays several parts during the broad parody of the first "Star Wars" movie. All your favorites are there, except as hottie women with fun costumes and snarky lines (with the notable exception of R2D2, who is played by a laundry hamper).
As the familiar plot unfolds before the audience, we see young Luke Skywalker with his annoying proclivities ramped up, and know-it-all Obi-Wan Kenobi as a creepy old dude/sexy young woman with pasties! And that is the one factor that stays the same throughout each character from Storm Trooper to Wookie: pasties!
Young Luke and Old Ben travel along their well-worn journey to find a ship to take them to rescue Princess Leia, through the bar scene where a Greedo-like, half-naked creature is shot, sexily. From there Luke and Ben team up with the Millennium Falcon's hotshot pilot, Han Solo and his furry companion, Chewbacca.
A little disjointed, the plot skids along to Leia's captivity, a scene of (sexy) Darth Vader choking someone with his mind, and then Han, Luke and Ben rescuing Leia.
Leia and Luke try to avoid kissing and Han Solo does a sexy dance. In summary, if you haven't seen "Star Wars" (who are you?) this show will make almost no sense. If you are a fan, the jokes are on target, the parody is broad and the experience is overall very enjoyable.
"A Nude Hope" does its best to meld old-fashioned burlesque traditions with the new geeky version they are embracing. There is a traditional teasing fan dance, done with large silhouettes of the Millennium Falcon, two performers dancing and flirting (Storm Troopers), and an old time strip tease with a chair (courtesy of Han Solo) and a full-cast can-can dance. After this performance you will never look at any of the characters the same way again.
The wink-wink, nudge-nudge aspect for which burlesque is known is there. The plot is a thin veil used to see girls naked, to see girls dance, to see girls spin their pasties in two different directions. And the performers themselves are talented dancers and comedians with great timing and moves.
Gorilla Tango's show seems like a guilty pleasure and a little amateur. While this is a busy theater with a small house that runs three or more shows a night on the weekends only, for the most part, there is no set, harsh lighting, tatty costumes and clumsy sound.
But the performers know their craft very well and bring the sexy, the boobs, the dance, the flirtation and the awesome with every bump and grind.
"A Nude Hope: A Star Wars Burlesque" runs through May 25 at the Gorilla Tango Theater, 1919 N Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. For info or tickets, call 773-598-4549 or visit gorillatango.com