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Last Dance

It’s been ridiculed by audiences and critics, lampooned by drag queens and sock puppets. And now the Upright Citizens Brigade has staged a more scholarly spoof of Showgirls, director Paul Verhoeven and writer Joe “I’m a tit man” Eszterhas’ Vegas-stripper ode to All About Eve, that’s half interpretive dance with dialogue, half Inside the Actors Studio–style interview. Of course, the questions creators Jackie Clarke and John Flynn ask Eszterhas (a beer-swigging John Reynolds wearing an open bathrobe) are mostly rhetorical: “Why would you rape a woman who’s fully willing to sleep with you?” And, of course, Eszterhas’ answers mostly end with “pussy.” Lennon Parham’s Eve Harrington/Nomi Malone doesn’t have the frizzy hair or deadly acrylics of Elizabeth Berkley, but she does have the demented eyes of Karen Black. And all your favorite scenes are re-created, from Nomi’s arrival in Vegas to the ass-kicking revenge she exacts upon her friend’s rapist to the big lap dance that’s cleverly choreographed to the soundtrack of Saved by the Bell, the kiddie show that made Berkley a TV star. Even if you’ve followed every one of the film’s funny reincarnations, like the cinematic version of a Phish phanatic, you’ll no doubt learn some new tidbits: Berkley was paid a mere $100,000 for her part, while Eszterhas got a cool $2 million. (If there were any justice out there, a bra would be burning Eszterhas.) For the final show, the real Rena Riffel reprises her role as naive stripper Penny. Tell a gay friend. Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hlywd.; Fri., June 27, 8 p.m. $8. (323) 908-8702.—Siran Babayan


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