At the Rio Theatre

with Geekenders’ production of The Lust Jedi

Image courtesy of The Rio Theatre

By: Courtney Miller

Ambience: B-

Picture it. The stench of stale sweat is paired with the confusingly appetizing smell of fresh popcorn. Performers in costumes are selling raffle tickets by the single, triple, or butt-or-bust-circumference. Weird Al Yankovic covers are serenading you with extra repetitions of the Star Wars-inspired parodies. One poor lady named Raquel is being run off her feet by the booze-demanding attendees.

     It’s like you were there, right?

     Having never attended any sort of comic convention or other nerd-tastic event, the 400-ish geeks in one place was the largest gathering of the kind I’ve ever seen. The speakers and emcees were on point, using “guys, gals, and non-binary pals” as their greeting and making corny meme references throughout their preliminary introduction.

Music and dance: A+

Did the cast and crew of Geekenders perform their own music? Of course not. But it was still really awesome to see up to 30 geeks perform choreography to crowd-pleasers such as “Under Pressure,” “I Will Survive,” and “Do You Believe in Magic?”

     Now, to the butt-shaking, breast-whipping, and overall shimmying, all of which is what you’re truly reading this for: they were all top-notch. There was no fear of baring a little too much, and each performer was energetic, enthusiastic, and committed. Plus, it was the first burlesque show I’ve attended where someone didn’t lose a nipple covering. Good glue jobs, all!

Acting: B

Basically, if you ever wanted to see The Last Jedi, but with dance battles and tasteful stripping instead of special effects, it was great acting. They even brought out toy blasters and lightsabers for some of the more battle-based scenes. BB-8 came out on a unicycle, R2D2 wore roller skates, and it was hilarious watching them navigate the stairs leading up to the stage without injuring themselves.

     While it was clear that the performers are fans of the franchise, they had no problem referencing memes like Poe ‘Hot’ Dameron, nor did they refrain from calling out the franchise’s stupidity regarding easy plot fixes that apparently no one, except every single audience member, could figure out (see: vice-admiral Holdo unnecessarily dying with the ship instead of using autopilot).

     Special shout out to the person who played General Hux. Not only was my friend in love with his fuckboy portrayal, but he easily commanded every scene which he graced with his presence. To echo the performers, “You can’t fix shitty dudes!”

Bar service: C

They didn’t have Growers Peach Cider which was the first flaw, and honestly, the fatal flaw for my friend. The second was that poor Raquel the server was overworked, and my friend and I, who had already made the people near the aisle let us in and out no less than three times, could not evict them yet again to go to the bar. Otherwise, it was fairly standard.

Accessibility: A

With zero stairs leading from the entrance to the seating, this place is fairly accessible. They even cleared out front row seats back in the day to have permanent wheelchair seating at the front. They don’t get an A+, however, because while their washrooms are somewhat accessible, for truly wheelchair- or scooter-accessible washrooms, they ask that you go two doors down to Broadway Sushi to use their accessible washrooms instead.

OVERALL: A-

For $20 a person, this was a great night out filled with non-stop laughs, fellow nerds, and a pleasing variety of nipple tassels. What more could you really want?