Hit Burlesque Parody, The Empire Strips Back, Makes Its Way To San Diego
The internationally acclaimed, The Empire Strips Back – the Unauthorized Burlesque Parody, has made its way to San Diego for a limited engagement at the Alderaan Memorial Theatre, a new Pop-Up Venue at 1944 Commercial Street!
The Empire Strips Back – dark, sexy and plenty of humor
Featuring parodies of all of the classic Star Wars™ characters, The Empire Strips Back, created by Russall S. Beattie, takes audiences to a galaxy far, far away, creating one of the most unforgettable (and unauthorized) theatrical interpretations of the beloved franchise.
Combining striptease, song and dance, troupe routines and plenty of humor, audiences are transported into a theatrical world to witness a menacing troop of seriously sexy Stormtroopers, a dangerously seductive Boba Fett, tantalizing Twi’leks, a delightfully lukewarm Taun Taun, a lady-like Skywalker, and of course, scantily clad and daring Droids. Even Darth Vader will explore her feminine side with a fantastical twist.
The Empire Strips Back celebrates a resurgence of burlesque, while delivering a fun and rowdy experience for fans of the art form as well as the classic film series. Ariana Bindman of SF Gate said, “Popularized in the U.S. in the 19th century, burlesque blurs the line between comedy and adult entertainment, incorporating camp and theater in playful strip routines.”
Bindman continued, “Dark and sexy … with each draw of the curtain, we saw a series of acts that were visually decadent and tonally unique … a captive Princess Leia gyrating in a bikini to the Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer’ or sexy stormtroopers stomp to the relentless ‘Seven Nation Army’ … or resident space pimp, R2D2 making rain by ejecting wads of cash into the air while a braggadocious Han Solo undulated to ‘Smooth Criminal’ making every goth and nerd in the audience scream like animals.”
She concludes, “I saw the Star Wars strip show and now I’m forever changed. An enormous success … one of the most memorable and impressive live performances I’ve ever seen. I know that The Force is already with them.”
Australian creator Russall S. Beattie says that producing “Strips Back” was inevitable. “I’m Peter Pan. I’ve never really grown up,” he said. “It takes all the best things about being a kid, and all the best things about being an adult and just jams them together.”
Asked about his knuckle tattoos, which spell out “Sexy Boss” — a nickname he earned while working in the burlesque circuit – he says. ‘I was drunk in Texas one night and got it and I could tell I was drunk because the ‘x’ is not center.’
From 150-seat room to sold out tours
The original production was booked in a small, 150 seat room in Sydney for a one-off, three-night run. Fast-forward to seven national sold-out Australian tours, an enthusiastic audience of over 100,000+, and a Huffington Post video feature boasting 20+ million viral views.
On its last U.S. tour, The Empire Strips Back was a sold-out hit in prestigious venues, from San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre, to Los Angeles’ Wiltern and New York’s PlayStation Theatre, with uproarious standing ovations and rave reviews. The 2022-23 Los Angeles engagement followed the hit San Francisco run at Chinatown’s Great Star Theater, rattling the walls of the 97-year old venue.
Roger Pincombe, Executive Director of the Great Star said “The Empire Strips Back was one of the largest, most exciting productions the theater has seen in recent decades, and it marks the start of a new era for our venerable venue.”
Beattie and producing business partner, Craig Ridgwell, have built a reputation for themselves in the Australian and London theatre circuits; clients include HBO/Foxtel, Warner Bros, EB Games, Sydney Film Festival, and Oz ComicCon. The two have worked alongside one another for 10 years as creative and producer of live shows, achieving cult-stardom for developing and promoting other internationally-acclaimed burlesque parodies such as Dames of Throne, Biba Wizard of Oz, Batman Follies, and Hail to The King, all seen by thousands in sold-out theatres across Australia.
The Hollywood engagement of The Empire Strips Back is produced by Foster Entertainment and Neil Gooding Productions, presented with Fever and Secret Los Angeles.
Info and Tickets
Tickets are available here.
For more info and updates, visit the website here and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.
See you there, San Diego!