Erin (and A Star Wars stan) @ ‘A Musical About Star Wars’ - That’s literally the name
What’s it about?
A Star Wars musical goes awry in the best of ways, with many costume changes.
“It’s B, of course”, he scoffs, leaning back in his seat. I listen to The Beastie Boys singing something about space as I watch my 20-year-old boyfriend answer the Star Wars trivia questions being projected on stage. The boy has more confidence, but slightly less excitement, than the 7-year-old girl in front of us wearing Princess Leia buns and tap shoes.
For the record, I don’t really care about Star Wars. I’ve seen all of the movies except two, a LONG time ago, and couldn’t tell you anything about them. I could, however, talk about the poetic-ass photo I have on my phone of Carrie Fisher on the Star Wars set, sitting in a trash can holding a bottle of wine. My boyfriend, on the other hand, LOVES Star Wars, which is why I found myself at A Musical About Star Wars. That’s literally the name.
It is my general opinion that most movies do not need to be turned into musicals, although I hadn’t really considered Star Wars being one of those films. I still think that, because this is not a Star Wars musical. It is exactly what the title says, a musical about Star Wars. There’s a difference!
In this musical within a musical, two men in an astounding multitude of costumes attempt to convince their strident, female, AMDA alum castmate that Star Wars isn’t the oppressive and vile force she thinks it is. I’ll be the first to say it, so you don’t have to: this sounds terrible. It sounds like the sort of thing that two guys who get beat up in a 1990s teen movie would come up with in the hopes of publicly legitimizing an obsession. It would be very easy to dismiss this musical as the reductive ramblings of addicted fans, with a token caricature of what an alien might think a feminist is.
The thing is, that’s the point. This is not a show written by Star Wars fans for the purpose of trapping you in a dark theatre for an hour and a half and explaining in excruciating detail why George Lucas is a genius. Nor is it a white feminist blathering on about a boycott of genuinely enjoyable and harmless movies, while the world burns because of more important things. It’s a gentle mockery of cultures that obsessively latch onto (or reject) media, while still appreciating and validating the merit behind their passions. They acknowledge the stereotypes of Star Wars fans and self-proclaimed ‘actor-vists,’ laugh at them and point out their flaws, but also recognize that it’s fine for people to care about things. It’s a blend of cultural satire, heartfelt love of a franchise and the genuine desire to have fun onstage, even if it does mean breaking out very tight droid bodysuits.
As I’m sure you can tell, I don't really care about Star Wars. But I care about my boyfriend, and he cares about Star Wars. Even if I think it’s a little silly sometimes, because objectively some of the movies are just bad (feel free to make bets in the comments on the likelihood that he breaks up with me if he reads that sentence), Star Wars brings him and millions of other people a whole lot of joy. Watching my boyfriend laugh at things I didn’t understand, and seeing that little 7-year-old girl bouncing in her seat when—⚠️ Spoiler ⚠️—a BB-8 costume was revealed made me disregard any issues I had with the show itself and just have fun.
While walking out of the theatre, I asked my boyfriend what he thought. He collected his thoughts with a grin on his face. He talked about how he loved that the whole thing was a giant inside joke, but one that even I was able to appreciate, and how he loved to see unabashed nerdiness onstage and just have fun with that. He had so much genuine joy on his face and in his voice that it made every joke I didn't understand worth it.
I’ll admit that by the time we finished, I was a little jealous. I don't have something like he and that little girl have with Star Wars, which never fails to bring joy into their lives. Which is fine, but honestly, I felt a little lonely. But more important than that, I’m glad that there is a show out there that makes people laugh and smile, and answer insanely obscure trivia questions. Maybe don't bring your 7-year old, but go see this show with someone who likes Star Wars. And if you are that person, see it with someone who doesn't, they’ll enjoy it just as much as you.
Tell us about your experience.
In the comments below.