Monday, 22 February, 2010 5:33 PM
provides glimpse into Cinematic Titanic's upcoming stop
credit: Joshua Targownik
members on the Cinematic Titanic
OAK, Mich. -- This upcoming Saturday, February 20, serves
as a milestone birthday for the creator of one of the most popular
television shows of the last twenty years. A day before celebrating
it with shows in his birth state of Wisconsin, however, he will
be further east for a night of riffing in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Joel Hodgson accompanies
the movie riffing troupe Cinematic Titanic into the Royal Oak Music
Theatre for two consecutive shows. Each show, the first starting
7:00 p.m and the last at 11:00 p.m., will screen a lesser known
feature film while the ensemble quips away on its content.
on the night’s schedule will be the 1960s Japanese sci-fi
flick War of the Insects, a “beautiful [and] in color”
feature (as described by Joel) centered around a drug-addicted bomber
pilot who encounters an island swarmed with the titular creatures.
show will feature the cast riffing on and perhaps ripping into Samson
and the Seven Miracles of the World. Though the flow of the
title made it sound as though Smokey Robinson made some kind of
contribution to the original movie, Joel reassured that it was just
another sword-and-sandal installment, similar to those that frequented
one season of his MST3K tenure.
this time, Joel explained, centered on the Maciste-based “Samson”
journeying to China and thwarting the intentions of villainous Mongols.
This pair of films, like the content of Cinematic Titanic tours
in the past, comprises of limited title selections for most of a
season. Joel mentioned, aside from adding a third film yet to be
determined, “All the movies we’re working on will be
the same until the end of spring.”
Titanic, which features additional MST3K alumni such as Trace Beaulieu
(the voice of Crow T. Robot) and “TV’s” Frank
Conniff, takes up a format similar to what made MST3K famous in
terms of theatre riffing.
with this group, Joel stated, is that performing live events required
a greater length of scripted planning that leaves less room for
adlibbing and spontaneous comment than what was commonplace in the
know that people want to believe it is mostly improvisation,”
he said, before adding that each cast member is provided with close
to 120 lines and thus is hard pressed on time to pull jokes out
of the air. There would be times, Joel mentioned, where the cast
members would pull quick in-jokes on each during live proceedings,
yet remain limited out of concern that they would fly right over
the audience’s heads.
of the proximity of the shows’ date to Joel’s 50th birthday
(the same day that Cinematic Titanic will perform a pair of shows
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin), it seemed as though the choice of Royal
Oak had some background resonance with the group.
when asked about its scheduling in relation to the Milwaukee date,
Joel revealed that “It was kind of an accident. I didn’t
design that at all.” Still, Joel did confirm that he had at
least spent a brief part of history in Royal Oak during the height
of his stand-up career in the 1980s.
He mentioned that the last time he was in the area during that period,
it was performing a gig at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, and
that his clearest memory about the club turned to be the kindness
and support of its owner.
to the listed tour dates on Cinematic Titanic’s website, the
group will take a nearly two-month break before performing a string
of shows along the East Coast in mid-April. The highlight of this
stretch for Joel, mentioned so far on the website, is an April 17
appearance at the Nokia Theatre in New York City.
to the shows this Friday night, Joel Hodgson was unsure of what
he felt the attendance would be, but he did pass along information
that would delight anyone unable to make the event: that efforts
are being made to get both riffed films onto DVD.
are $35 per show or $50 for the double feature. Click
here to order tickets for one or both of the shows. Doors open
at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. All ages are welcome and both shows are reserved
seating. The Royal Oak Music Theatre is located at 318 W. Fourth
St. between Washington Ave. and Lafayette Ave. in Royal Oak, Mich.