A Song Time Ago! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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A Song Time Ago!

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A Song Time Ago!, ImprovOlympic. It's difficult to be original in a spoof of Star Wars; after all, the first installment has been around since 1977. Yet writer-director Jason Chin in A Song Time Ago! makes us laugh, offering more than just the usual jokes about the Force, the relationship between C-3P0 and R2-D2, and the sexual tension between Han and Leia, Leia and Luke, and even Han and Chewbacca. We're also treated to the comedy of Darth Vader dancing, asides about the Jeff awards, snippets from The Muppet Movie sound track, a Scooby-Doo-style chase scene, and mockery of DVD director commentaries. A Song Time Ago! also features movie trailers derived from musical numbers: songs from Xanadu, Annie, and Little Shop of Horrors have been revamped to fit the likes of Harry Potter (Mary Archbold makes a great boy wizard), Attack of the Clones, and (less successfully) Spider-Man.

Many of the cast members are hilarious. Andrew T. Mason makes Chewbacca's grunts melodic, and Eric Lindberg is all arrogant swagger as Han Solo. Mike Otto seems to channel C-3P0 (and provides slide-whistle sound effects for R2-D2), and Pete Shukoff as the whiny young Luke is a true standout. John Ostendorf's costumes are quirky fun, and Stephanie McCullough's live musical accompaniment adds to the show's action-packed feel. You don't have to be a sci-fi geek to enjoy the silliness of these late-night space shenanigans.

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