So last week, Kim emails us to see if we wanted to see the One Hour Star Wars Trilogy as performed by the Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre, an offshoot of St. Louis Shakespeare. As the promotional materials promised “abolutely no Jar Jar Binks,” we decided to check it out. On Friday night, we went down to the Regional Arts Commision on Delmar (our first time there — it’s a nice place!) to see the show. We were seated in the third row of a small theater space. The show started with the classic title scroll and jumped straight into the action. The action came fast and furious, powering through all the movies in order. All of the classic quotable lines were there, and the plot of the movies was played straight, even as some of the individual scenes were played with a wink from time to time. Highlights included:
- Han shooting first by a mile. In fact, Greedo barely gets “On tah bootah, Solo?” out before Han blasts him.
- The attack on the Death Star had the actors “flying” in formation with Han and Chewie coming in from offstage to clear the way for Luke.
- The Imperial AT-AT walkers were guys dressed all in black, with foil-covered shoe boxes on their heads, lumbering across the stage with walkers (like, the kind that help old people to walk). Their movements were eerily similar to the the AT-ATs on Hoth
- Yoda was a Kermit the Frog puppet with ears added on. He was voiced by the actor who played Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- After Luke defeats “Vader” in the cave on Dagobah, he picks up the decapitated Vader mask that has a prinout of his face on the front. He runs around screaming “It’s me! It’s my face! Oh God, it’s a metaphor!!!”
- The actor playing Lando Calrissian was great. He brought out the Colt 45 cans at every opportunity, even dropping a Jovan Musk reference (“You forgot about that one, didn’t you?”) into the mix. He also did a great job with Moff Tarkin in the first act.
- As Luke (who was played as an airhead) struggles to figure out who his sister is, Obi-Wan asks “How many girls do you know, Luke?” Of course, he then realizes that he kissed his sister early in Empire.
- The Ewoks were hilarious. There was a lead Ewok (an actor in a bear suit) but the rest of the pack were stuffed bears strapped to the actors.
- And yes, Leia was rocking the gold bikini.
All in all, it was quite funny. While it looks like this run is complete, I’d definitely recommend catching it again. I’ve heard of this being done before, as it is the perfect vehicle for community theater. Quick, funny, and since it’s a parody, you aren’t relying on the quality of the individual performances to enjoy the evening. Two thumbs up.