A: I was working at a coffee shop in 2003 while boosted on caffeine and summoned my Weird Al powers. Since I was already versed in all things Star Wars and a child of the 80’s, I naturally came up with parodies. The first one was “Go Chewbacca Baby”. I brought some of the songs to my improv group and they all said I should do it as a Fringe show. I got up some cash and put it together with my friends and an opera singer (Leia). We sold out 6 of the 7 shows.
Q: How has the show evolved over the years?
A: In late 2008 I was contacted by James Brendlinger of Penguin Point Productions and Lake Howell HS and he told me that a few of his students wanted to do some Star Wars themed skits and was wondering if I would be able to assist in writing and info. (He had heard about it from a mutual friend, my original Threepio.) So, I go to meet with him and James springs on me that he wanted to do my show, ALTA. No playwright ever says “No”. I turned my 45 min show into a 70 minute show by adding more scenes, characters, and 80’s songs. Since I’m at heart an improviser, I’ve given the show the ability to bend and change depending upon the casts input. No two shows have ever been the same and I strive to alternate the casts to get different things out of different peoples perception of the 80’s.
Q: Is Star Wars making a come back going to have an impact on the show’s exposure?
A: Heck yes. For me, Star Wars never left. I thank America for the “Husky Boys” size because that was the only way to get Star Wars shirts that fit me. But now, you can get freeking GRAPES with the Star Wars IP on it. It’s utterly non-stop on the sheer volume of Star Wars ‘stuff’. James recommended that we hold of on doing ALTA until this year because of the sequels and the ‘free press’ we’d get. So since the SW exposure is now the “common people” versus “geek” zeitgeist, I’m sure we’ll have no problem putting butts in seats.
Q: What do you want visitors and locals to know about A Long Time Ago : The Eighties Strike Back to know about it that they may not already know?
A: The story of Star Wars is actually in the lyrics. It moves so quickly that you miss them.
Q: What social media does the show use?
A: Nothing right now. But feel free to search for it.
Q: Describe A Long Time Ago : The Eighties Strike Back in 5 words or less.
A: “We Built Cloud City”