Star Wars: Live on Stage!

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Through Dec. 27. Tickets are $20; visit www.darkroomsf.com/starwars.
The Dark Room Theater, 2263 Mission (at 19th St.), S.F.

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Who the hell knows how they did it, but somehow the funky people behind one of the city's funkiest theaters, the Dark Room, got permission from Lucasfilm to perform Star Wars live on their little 8-by-10-foot stage (although they were forbidden to use any of John Williams' musical score). Just as amazingly, they pull off a glorious show despite having a reported special-effects budget of $100 and at least one cast member who admitted to never having acted before. While they employ little moments of parody, such as referring to Tatooine as the "playa," and minor side scenes of a duo of bickering stormtroopers, this is a fairly faithful adaptation of the original movie. Much of the continued hilarity comes from the pure ridiculousness of earnestly staging a multimillion-dollar sci-fi epic on a shoestring budget. Since most audiences have the script practically memorized, half the fun is waiting to see how each scene will be staged or what each character will look like. The incredible handmade costumes steal the show: C-3PO is a creative jumble of golden face paint, tights, CDs, and molded plastic; Chewbacca, meanwhile, looks like a thousand pounds of fake fur was sewed together. This show is a true original and not to be missed by diehard fans. It's what the original would have hilariously looked like if George Lucas didn't have his millions.

 
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