Check out the photo gallery “Star Wars Goes Burlesque.”
Devil's Playground brings Star Warz Burlesque, their wild and sexy tribute to George Lucas' classic sci-fi characters, to a bigger and bolder playground when they takeover Hollywood venue The Music Box (aka Henry Fonda Theater) this Friday night.
Founder (and tattoo muse) Courtney Cruz describes the revamped production of the show, which debuted at Bordello in January, as “burlesque theater.”
“It's not like Bordello where curtain goes up, girl does her thing, curtain goes down,” she explains. “Here, it's the whole experience, right as soon as you walk through the front door, in the lobby, on the rooftop and on the stage before and after the show. There is going to be stuff going on before the actual show. I want this to be an experience for people and I want them to feel like they've stepped into a place in a galaxy far, far away.”
We met up with Cruz, who portrays a stormtrooper in the show, as well as Lucy Fur (C-3PO) and Star Warz Burlesque newcomer Daisy Meadows (Chewbacca) for a little back story behind their upcoming performances, including the scoop on Wookiee turn-ons and C-3PO's talent.
Courtney Cruz (The Stormtrooper)
Why the stormtrooper?
I like guns and helmets. [laughs] No.
In the movie, they didn't have a lot of lines. It wasn't a character with a lot of speaking. Anytime that stormtrooper stepped onto the screen, it demanded the attention of everyone who was watching. It's a fun character to take on. Plus, I had some of the costume pieces.
I thought it would be a fun one turn into a sexy character. In the movie, they were so not sexy. There's that contrast that is always fun for me.
What was the inspiration for making it into a sexy character?
I think just deciding to do Star Wars and deciding what characters would go best with what girls, it was one of those things where I was like do I do a stormtrooper or Darth Vader? I kind of like the dark thing a little bit, the mystery behind the masks is always fun for me.
You do a lot of villains or antiheroes like the Joker.
I find a certain sex appeal with the darker characters. I think I'm attached to them a little more than the heroes.
Do you remember the first time you saw Star Wars?
Yeah, sitting on the couch on a Saturday morning with my brother in a t-shirt and chonies probably, eating cereal, Captain Crunch probably.
Did you have the toys?
I had Darth Vader and Princess Leia, the bigger ones, not the little ones, with the stands, the collectibles. I had a really cool Darth Vader bank. That was my favorite. It was a bank, like a piggy bank. When you would put a quarter in, the lightsaber comes up, the light comes on and it goes back and forth and you hear the breathing noises [stars breathing like Darth Vader] and then it goes, “Impressive. Most impressive. But, you are not a Jedi yet.”
Lucy Fur [C3PO]
I do love my robots, my droids. I already had the mask, oddly enough, I've had it for four-and-a-half, five years. I saw it in a toy store once and thought oh, I should get that, I'll use it someday. It had been sitting in my closet ever since. Then [Courtney Cruz] said we're doing a Star Wars show and I said, oh, I have a mask, I'm halfway there.
Why paint instead of armor?
I think that the dichotomy between being a robot and being flesh, once you take those panels off, you just see flesh and you don't see a robot.
What inspired the performance?
I like the way he wiggles his head and moves his arms. I like to incorporate humor into what I do because I think pretty-pretty is boring. I like to be pretty and funny.
You portrayed Zelda and Link at the Video Game Girls show last summer. What's the difference between Zelda and Link and C-3PO?
Oddly enough, I had wanted to perform as Zelda and, specifically, Link for a really long time because I'm a big video game player. When she said video games, I said, I knew exactly what I want to do. But, she was doing all women, but Link kind of does look like a girl with his flowing blonde hair, so it works to do “Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?” and have him turn into Zelda. I had a lot of fun with that. I had a lot of fun making the Hylian Shield and getting online and figuring out how to do that.
I think they're similar in that they're geeky things that I really do love.
Do you remember the first time you saw Star Wars?
My first memories of Star Wars, I feel like they played them every year, all three of them, on some cable channel. I definitely remember those and of course, I've seen the new Star Wars.[laughs] I think it's worth it to note that there is no Jar Jar Binks. They're all the classic characters. I think there were something about those that were really great. Maybe the new characters don't have the same power. Maybe if you're six, maybe Darth Maul, but for anybody our age…
It's not going to be the same. We weren't six when we saw it.
You're portraying a character that is very uptight and rumored to be gay, how do you channel his spirit?
It's all in the head movements, with the bobbing. The hilarious thing about me being C-3PO is that the C-3PO droid does not come in a female form. They're male. That's not an angle I could work. There was no way I could come out and say, “I'm a guy droid.”
I think it's great to introduce to Star Wars fans that this droid had a special tassel talent. Nobody knew that. Who knew that he could speak so many languages and tassel twirl?
How did you prepare for it?
I remembered how he moved, re-watched some clips from the movies and spent a while painting myself gold.
Daisy Meadows (Chewbacca)
Originally, I wanted to be an Ewok, but the true fans don't really like Ewoks that much. There was no Chewbacca and, of course, that's an important character that needs to be covered.
What do you think about Chewbacca when you're choreographing?
I've been watching the way he moves a lot. It's interesting. Even though he's sort of a big oaf, he's actually pretty mobile and really active. I'm trying to get the Chewbacca nuances.
What about the music?
That's been interesting. There were songs that I thought would be good for a space theme, like “Space Oddity” by David Bowie because it's relevant to Star Wars and it's from the same era. Courtney felt like it might be a little too slow and she's right, it probably is too slow. Then we were thinking of animal themes and someone suggested “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails, but the lyrics I think don't really suit the essence of Chewbacca, so we're still working that out.
Have you seen the Star Wars Holiday Special?
No, I haven't. I've been looking for it on YouTube, but all you find is that it's horrible, nobody should watch this, it's an insult. I want to watch it.
But, Chewbacca was at the MTV Movie Awards back in 1997. He won the Lifetime Achievement Award and Princess Leia gave it to him and it's really awesome. I remember that from when I was in high school and then I saw it again on YouTube.
What would turn on a Wookiee?
I don't know. Probably oil massages, something kind of sensual. They have a lot of muscle mass, so a good deep tissue massage could be relaxing, set the mood.