Who’s ready for Solo to be released in theaters? I know I am. Ever since I saw the space fur coat that Lando Calrissian was wearing in the trailer, I’ve been excited and I can’t wait until Memorial Day Weekend for the Solo film to be released. However, in the following weeks before that movie’s released, you may want to take in a different kind of theater and check out a delightfully hilarious, musical play, Solo Must Die.
Opening on May 4th, the unofficial official Star Wars holiday, this original play written by Ari and Jordan Stidham ( who also play the lead roles in the production, Grand Moff Levine and Han Solo respectively) tells an untold story of Han Solo which takes place between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back which has the smuggler crash landing on Cloud City and coming to terms with his new position in life as a prominent part of the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. The play is told through the point of view of Hugh (played by John Ryan) who, in the play, wrote this as a fan fiction story that he’s sharing with his friend Colm (played by Jordan R. Coleman).
In the play itself, which again is very hilarious, the players are very interactive with the crowd and the feeling of the production is very inclusive of those in the audience. Ari Stidham shines as the fictional Grand Moff Levine who has big dreams of meeting Darth Vader and killing Han Solo. Levine is a senior officer in the Empire who is stationed in Cloud City and works under his direct supervisor, Lando Calrissian, played by Keenan Montgomery. Han Solo, played by Jordan Stidham, crash lands on Cloud City and gets into several hijinks with both Calrissian and Levine and as the story unfolds we see the reactions of both Hugh and Colm as they continue to read the fan fiction as we, the audience, enjoy the show.
I must say, the fun that the cast was having as they delivered their lines and sang the original songs made for this play made the watching experience that much more fun. The songs were hilarious and kept the story going without getting way to out of hand and it was awesome to see all of the references to the original franchise included as well. The play included 13 songs with music and lyrics by Hughie Stone Fish and Ari Stidham and one of my favorites was Porgs of a Feather, seriously you have to hear it to fully appreciate it, sung by Lando and Solo. We even get a song sang by Kylo Ren and BB-8 entitled Am I a Toy, a reference to the backlash the newer movies in the franchised has gotten for being, what some call, too “toy friendly”.
As for production, the small scale of the set made the experience that much more enjoyable as it was in an intimate setting which still housed a good amount of people. The sound quality made it easy to hear everyone deliver their lines and songs and every seat was indeed a good seat. The play is housed in the Hudson Theater in Hollywood, which houses several events simultaneously.
Solo Must Die is a hilarious trip through some of your favorite and in one case your least favorite of Star Wars memories. It combines the stories that we love about Star Wars and also pays homage to not only the original series but also to those who have written their own version of Star Wars fan fiction. This is definitely a play for and by the fans of the Star Wars series and is definitely something you should check out before Solo comes out later this month.
Solo Must Die is playing at the Hudson Backstage Theater on 6539 Santa Monica BLVD, Hollywood CA 90038. You can buy tickets by clicking here!!! And please enjoy the show. May the force be with you.
Comedian, Cosplayer, podcaster and Hug Dealer, Aaron has been a lifelong geek and loves to share his nerddom with the world. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Aaron now lives in Los Angeles sharing his talents with the world and just plain being a geek.
You can check out Aaron’s podcasts: Aaron Explains the Universe and Stupid Movie Tuesday on iTunes.