Looking through the Long Island theater scene this weekend, you’ll find your typical holiday theater lineup. There are a half dozen Nutcrackers and Christmas Carols, some choirs, and, in small corner of Port Jefferson, a Jedi Cabaret.
Yes, you read correctly. Star Wars fans, rejoice, because the fun doesn’t stop after Episode VII. For one night only, on December 20th, the Bluebox Theatre Company will be performing an evening of Star Wars and showtunes, entitled Jedi Fighting AIDS. All proceeds will benefit Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS. The show features more than a dozen musical performances of favorite Star Wars characters singing crowd-pleasing Broadway hits. There will even be a light saber battle. It’s all in the spirit of giving.
Bluebox, the small Port Jefferson-based theater company, is locally known for its fresh, quirky takes on theater. “We’re trying to do shows no one else is doing,” says Bluebox’s David Morrissey Jr., the director of Jedi Fighting AIDS. “We really try to do shows that will interest people who, because of what theatre has become, might not be there in the first place. It’s such a great thing to see something performed right in front of you. It’s such a good experience… We want to expose people to an art form that typically isn’t marketed toward them, because, why shouldn’t it be?” Instead of sticking to the typical theatre repertoire, Blue Box has put on shows such as Night of the Living Dead, The Twilight Zone and The Breakfast Club. This Star Wars cabaret is the latest in a growing line of distinctive selections that local audiences have come to expect from Bluebox.
For David Morrissey Jr., the idea for this latest project came one day while he and his fellow actors were discussing possibilities in a mismatched cabaret. “I love The Lion King, and there’s this song called ‘Shadow Land,’ about a broken home. I thought, how great would it be if I dressed as Princess Leia and sang that song?…. Then I got to thinking about other great matches, like Jabba the Hutt singing ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls.’ …So, we made a list, cut it down, and with Star Wars Episode VII coming out we said, ‘Let’s do this!’”
Bluebox is tightlipped about most of what Sunday’s performance will entail, hoping to keep the performance a surprise for the audience. Morrissey did mention one performance he’s rather fond of. Princess Leia, in her infamous slave getup, will be performing “All That Jazz.” “I don’t care if you’re only kind of a nerd, or a huge nerd, but that to me is the best thing ever,” Morrissey says. Also making an appearance on Sunday night will be Darth Vader, and an underwear-clad Boba Fett.
“We love to give back to the community,” Morrissey says. “We wanted to try doing a cabaret, not a play, and solely a fundraiser, so it just seemed like the right idea. We knew the theater crowd would be highly supportive of the cause.”
The funds will all go toward Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS, one of the nation’s leading AIDS charities. The non-profit provides essential services for people suffering from HIV, AIDS, and other illnesses. “There have been a few people in my life who have been diagnosed with HIV, and I mean, thanks to this organization people have made great strides, but it’s still not fixed.” Bluebox will be contributing to Broadway Cares’ fundraising through the evening’s profits.
So join Bluebox Theatre Company at the Performing Arts Studio of NY in Port Jefferson on Sunday, December 20, at 7 p.m. Tickets are available through Eventbrite. You’ll have a night of good-natured, nerdy fun, all in the spirit of giving. It’s a cause that any Jedi can get behind.