The same folks who brought Star Wars: A Nude Hope, The Wizard of Bras, and The Empire Strips Back to Vancouver are taking on one of the most disturbing pop culture totems of all. Yes, the Geekenders have set their sights on the movie that introduced a tight-pantsed David Bowie to a generation of impressionable young filmgoers.
The Labyrinth: A Spectacular Burlesque Adventure puts a burlesque spin on the 1986 cult classic Labyrinth. The show kicks off July 18 and will play for two performances at the Rio Theatre.
Anyone who’s seen the original Labyrinth will probably recall certain details, including the specially-made Muppets (aka puppets created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop), Bowie as the Goblin King, the Goblin King’s ’80s frightwig and Jennifer Connelly nearly being gobbled up by the Goblin King. It’s all ripe for a somewhat naughty spin, which Geekenders promise to deliver with their trademark attention to detail and blend of comedy and music.
The Labyrinth: A Spectacular Burlesque Adventure will feature choreography from Patrice Bowler, who has worked with Theatre Under the Stars, Collective Hallucination Theatre, and Theatre Royal in Barkerville, B.C.. Performers include Trixie Hobbitses, Sherry Hymen, Roe Butts and Draco Muff-Boi.
According to a press release issued for Labyrinth: A Spectacular Burlesque Adventure, “In the past year-and-a-half, Geekenders shows have been seen by almost 10,000 people in British Columbia. The troupe members entertained thousands of people at sold-out theatrical spectaculars that combine Vegas-style production value and striptease with comedy, parody, theatre, and abiding love for geeky classics. Geekenders performers have appeared as guests at various Vancouver conventions, and have traveled all over the Pacific Northwest.”
Labyrinth was directed by Muppet master Jim Henson. Some trivia about the movie: it owes (and acknowledges a debt) to the works of children’s author Maurice Sendak; the screenplay went through at least 25 drafts, including ones rewritten by George Lucas and Elaine May; some of the dialogue between Jareth (the Goblin King) and the goblins is a direct reference to an exchange between Cary Grant and Shirley Temple in the 1947 movie The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer; Sting and Michael Jackson were both considered for the part of the Goblin King. Perhaps most importantly, earlier this year Seattle rapper Nacho Picasso paid tribute to David Bowie with a single titled “David Blowie”, on which he appropriates the singer’s role as the Goblin King in Labyrinth and samples the Labyrinth song “Within You”.
Labyrinth: A Spectacular Burlesque Adventure runs July 18 & 19 at the Rio Theatre, 1660 E. Broadway. It’s a 19+ show. Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 at the door.