Star Wars in Thirty Minutes Battles On in L.A. Through Feb. 1

News   Star Wars in Thirty Minutes Battles On in L.A. Through Feb. 1 As Yoda might say: run or run not, there is no flop. Patrick T. Gorman's irreverent look at George Lucas' "Star Wars" movies, Star Wars Trilogy in 30 Minutes, is a bona fide hit in Los Angeles, where it will extend a second time at Los Angeles' Coronet Theatre Upstairs, this time through Feb. 1.
Michael Cornacchia as Jabba the Hut and Maia Peters as Princess Leia, Steve Josephson as Yoda and James Snyder as Luke.
Michael Cornacchia as Jabba the Hut and Maia Peters as Princess Leia, Steve Josephson as Yoda and James Snyder as Luke.

The show, produced with the blessing of Lucasfilm and for the benefit of Festival Theatre USA, was to have closed Nov. 23, then extended through Dec. 28, before announcing the second extension into February.

The plot of the first three (in filming order, anyway) "Star Wars" movies is almost universally known. Young desert-dweller Luke Skywalker learns of his royal pedigree, becomes a sort of mystical warrior for the good forces of the galaxy and restores order to the universe with the help of his princess sister, a black market smuggler and various aliens and droids. All the while, Skywalker grows to be a man as he completes his near-mythical quest.

Normally, watching those first three movies — "A New Hope," "Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" — would take six hours and twenty minutes (and that's if you're not viewing the slightly longer "special editions"). Gorman, with the use of low-tech props like whiffle bats for lightsabers and a folding chair with flashlights for the X-Wing Fighter, cuts the story down to a fraction of that length, but keeps all the famous lines.

Star Wars Trilogy in 30 Minutes had a well received run at the 1999 Edinburgh Festival. Gorman's other credits include adapting Reservoir Dogs for the stage as well as writing the plays Four Guys Eating Out, The Host's Age and God Is Pooh Bear.

James Snyder is Luke with Maia Peters as Princess Leia, Mark Kelly as Han Solo and Scott Walker Mullin doubling as Darth Vader and Chewbacca. Also in the cast are Steve Josephson (C3PO/Yoda), Alan Lennick (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Jason Major (Lando Calrissian), Mark Reilly (Uncle Owen/The Emperor), Michael Cornacchia (Jabba the Hut), Mark Reilly (Nien Nunb), Leigh Anne Goodoff (Wedge/Boba Fett) and Gorman (Stormtrooper). Tickets are $15. The Coronet Theatre is located at 368 North La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood. For reservations, call (310) 657-7377. Star War in 30 Minutes is on the web at http://www.sw30.com.