For those of you who don't know, in the wake of the very first Star Wars movie back in the 1970s, a Thanksgiving special was produced and was aired exactly once. It had problems, so many that George Lucas exerted a great deal of energy preventing it from ever being aired again. He sought hard to prevent it ever from being seen. Certainly no official VHS or DVD was or is forthcoming.
Special by Andrew Osbourne is about the making of that special, about a train wreck of talent and skill and myopia as well as raw misunderstandings turned into a dark comedy, almost but not quite a farce.
The elements involved include about forty characters, all with different motives and viewpoints about the special, what it should have been, what they were trying to do. whether anyone should and/or who should be blamed and why. Frankly George Lucas did not want to do this special, but when he came up with a framework for it, i.e. the Wookies celebrating a holiday called Life Day, the studio execs and others were baffled. Lucas, deep in the heart of preparations for The Empire Strikes Back. wanted next to nothing to do with television and felt overwhelmed, especially since he was/is a control freak now in charge of a gigantic process/franchise of whom all his film director friends disapproved.
|Credit: Kerr Seth Lordygan
And so on.
|Credit: Andrew Osborne
Which is really a testament to the fact I knew who these people were during the show itself, even if I didn't catch their names. Each performer walked on and after a while we know who they were by them simply walking on! You can call this skill, you can call it good directing (by Kerr Seth Lordygan), or natural talent, stage presence, the result of practice. Hardly matters. Some combination of "all of the above" seems pretty clearly the answer.
|Credit: Andrew Osborne
But neither I nor the audience ever broke up with laughter. But--more importantly--the show lost not one audience member at intermission, and never once was I bored or less than entertained.
Special by Ol'Bait Productions plays Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 5pm until January 13, 2019. It will also have a special New Year's Eve performance on Monday, December 31 at 8pm. All performances are that Theatre of Note, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd. (just north of Sunset), Hollywood CA 90028.