Special

Critics

LemonMeter

85 %

Reviews: 10

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 2

Special is the World Premiere comedy that commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the worst variety show in television history with a behind-the-scenes imagined look of how The Star Wars Holiday Special came to be. How could it miss? It was riding the coattails of what was at that point the most popular movie of all time. It featured appearances by cast members, including Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. It had great guest stars like Bea Arthur, Harvey Korman, Art Carney and (in holographic form) Jefferson Starship and Diahann Carroll. There was even a cartoon sequence (the first appearance of Boba Fett). The narrative involved the celebration of the Wookiee holiday Life Day (because there's no Christmas in Space), as Chewie's family wants to celebrate despite the intrusion of Imperial Storm Troopers. What could possibly go wrong? Everything. The Love Boat pulled better Nielsen numbers than The Star Wars Holiday Special. CBS never aired it again. You can find bootleg DVDs or see the show on the Internet, but never on your regular TV, cable, or streaming service. How did it happen? See Special, the play, to find out. Presented by Ol' Bait Shop Productions. A guest production at Theatre of NOTE.

Reviews

Avatar

The one caveat that needs to be said is the Star Wars Holiday Special is required viewing before attending Special. Without an understanding of it, you would probably feel like you were on the outside of an inside joke. But for those of you who consider yourself a “fan” of the show, Special is a must-see that will keep you laughing, and may even make you want to rewatch the Holiday Special. And just remember, May the Force Bea Arthur.

sweet - Cole Geryak - Laughing Place - ...read full review


Avatar

What a show! Even if you're not familiar with the Star Wars Holiday Special, there are laughs throughout. The actor characterizations are hilarious, the direction superb, the play and subject matter more original than any other I can think of. Even when it's not "ha-ha" funny, it's thoroughly amusing and learning how the special happened is crazy and ridiculous fun.

sweet - Wizard


Avatar

Frankly, I had high hopes for this outing at Theatre of Note, and those hopes suffered a similar fate to that of Alderaan, Princess Leia's home planet.

sour - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review


Avatar

The true account behind “Special” and the ill-advised creation of the 1987 “Star Wars Holiday TV Special” has the very real potential to be the next “The Disaster Artist” (The Room) or the behind-the-scenes expose for Trolls 2, some of the sincerely worst popular entertainment ever created. And the fact that Bruce Villanch, the self-aware perpretator of this cringe-worthy extravaganza appears both on stage as a key character and was also in attendance in a the flesh on the night I attended made this the high point of at least my entire day! It all gets a little muddled with everyone playing multiple characters, and with perhaps too-much over-concern over how much Satire can skewer existing IP, but the core account here is certainly worth a look, and it's my New Hope that this ambitious and at times hilarious production will lead to an even more fully realized telling of this pop space-opera spaceship-wreck.

sweet-sour - Steven Vlasak


David MacDowell Blue

The roller coaster ride involved uses six very talented actors to perform the forty roles, come of them commenting to the audience about what really happened, others playing everything from extras to nerds eagerly awaiting the special, to many of the execs and actors directly involved.

sweet - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


Avatar

“Special” delights and satisfies its core demographic while appealing to anyone fascinated by Hollywood's ongoing inability to understand itself.

sweet - Melanie Hooks - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


Avatar

Although the constant shifts of character sometimes proved confusing, the frequent changes also kept the story moving along at a frantic pace. While SPECIAL may not be the definitive answer to the question raised by everybody involved in the TV bomb, it certainly offered some amusing possibilities.

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar

The show is a good time for fans of Star Wars. You do not have to have seen The Star Wars Holiday Special to enjoy it, but a love for the franchise is a must. So sit back, relax, and — as they say in this show — “May the Force Bea Arthur.”

sweet - Julia Stier - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

The comedy lumbers, although surprisingly the show moves pretty quickly. And for as many truly funny bits, there are more times than not where you'd rather they just didn't ‘do that'.

sweet-sour - Tracey Paleo - Gia On The Move - ...read full review


Avatar

Given some time, some better contextualization (for instance, lighting the interstitial videoclips so they are visible) and maybe some funds, this could grow up to be a hoot. For now, it's recommended mostly if you are already in on the joke.

sweet - Valerie Milano - Discover Hollywood - ...read full review


Avatar

Although the comedy is well paced and the premise of the plotting is interesting and amusing, one would have to view the originally source (The TV special) to have all what's seen on stage to make some sense. Underground recordings of this special has been floating around for decades as made available through comic book and/or SciFi conventions and gatherings, as well as through internet portals as YouTube. But once the TV special is seen, then the ideas expressed in this show keeps its comedy in high gear.

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Laughs abound from start to finish as we witness how the ridiculous nature of the script, backstage politics and out-of-control spending doomed The Stars Wars Holiday Special in 1978 to go down in history as being the most horrible TV special that nobody talks about, notoriously known for its extremely negative reception by Star Wars fans, the general public, and critics.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

The one caveat that needs to be said is the Star Wars Holiday Special is required viewing before attending Special. Without an understanding of it, you would probably feel like you were on the outside of an inside joke. But for those of you who consider yourself a “fan” of the show, Special is a must-see that will keep you laughing, and may even make you want to rewatch the Holiday Special. And just remember, May the Force Bea Arthur.

sweet - Cole Geryak - Laughing Place - ...read full review


Avatar

Frankly, I had high hopes for this outing at Theatre of Note, and those hopes suffered a similar fate to that of Alderaan, Princess Leia's home planet.

sour - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review


David MacDowell Blue

The roller coaster ride involved uses six very talented actors to perform the forty roles, come of them commenting to the audience about what really happened, others playing everything from extras to nerds eagerly awaiting the special, to many of the execs and actors directly involved.

sweet - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


Avatar

“Special” delights and satisfies its core demographic while appealing to anyone fascinated by Hollywood's ongoing inability to understand itself.

sweet - Melanie Hooks - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


Avatar

Although the constant shifts of character sometimes proved confusing, the frequent changes also kept the story moving along at a frantic pace. While SPECIAL may not be the definitive answer to the question raised by everybody involved in the TV bomb, it certainly offered some amusing possibilities.

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar

The show is a good time for fans of Star Wars. You do not have to have seen The Star Wars Holiday Special to enjoy it, but a love for the franchise is a must. So sit back, relax, and — as they say in this show — “May the Force Bea Arthur.”

sweet - Julia Stier - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

The comedy lumbers, although surprisingly the show moves pretty quickly. And for as many truly funny bits, there are more times than not where you'd rather they just didn't ‘do that'.

sweet-sour - Tracey Paleo - Gia On The Move - ...read full review


Avatar

Given some time, some better contextualization (for instance, lighting the interstitial videoclips so they are visible) and maybe some funds, this could grow up to be a hoot. For now, it's recommended mostly if you are already in on the joke.

sweet - Valerie Milano - Discover Hollywood - ...read full review


Avatar

Although the comedy is well paced and the premise of the plotting is interesting and amusing, one would have to view the originally source (The TV special) to have all what's seen on stage to make some sense. Underground recordings of this special has been floating around for decades as made available through comic book and/or SciFi conventions and gatherings, as well as through internet portals as YouTube. But once the TV special is seen, then the ideas expressed in this show keeps its comedy in high gear.

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Laughs abound from start to finish as we witness how the ridiculous nature of the script, backstage politics and out-of-control spending doomed The Stars Wars Holiday Special in 1978 to go down in history as being the most horrible TV special that nobody talks about, notoriously known for its extremely negative reception by Star Wars fans, the general public, and critics.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

What a show! Even if you're not familiar with the Star Wars Holiday Special, there are laughs throughout. The actor characterizations are hilarious, the direction superb, the play and subject matter more original than any other I can think of. Even when it's not "ha-ha" funny, it's thoroughly amusing and learning how the special happened is crazy and ridiculous fun.

sweet - Wizard


Avatar

The true account behind “Special” and the ill-advised creation of the 1987 “Star Wars Holiday TV Special” has the very real potential to be the next “The Disaster Artist” (The Room) or the behind-the-scenes expose for Trolls 2, some of the sincerely worst popular entertainment ever created. And the fact that Bruce Villanch, the self-aware perpretator of this cringe-worthy extravaganza appears both on stage as a key character and was also in attendance in a the flesh on the night I attended made this the high point of at least my entire day! It all gets a little muddled with everyone playing multiple characters, and with perhaps too-much over-concern over how much Satire can skewer existing IP, but the core account here is certainly worth a look, and it's my New Hope that this ambitious and at times hilarious production will lead to an even more fully realized telling of this pop space-opera spaceship-wreck.

sweet-sour - Steven Vlasak