“Jedi!” Memories…

In 1997, I came up with and directed “Jedi! A Musical Tour de Force.” It was crazy fun. We ran at iO for a about five months. We were Fridays at 8 AND Saturdays at 8 and 10pm. Crazy times. We got some great reviews. We got a cease & desist.  I wrote in exhausting detail about the entire thing, but the website that hosted it is gone now. I’ll work up the memories to rewrite it some day soon.

Any way, today’s news about Disney & Lucasfilms brought back some memories and I listened to the soundtrack of “Jedi!” Here’s one of the songs… hope you like it. (BTW, that’s Tim Chidester as Han, Stuart Ranson as Leia, and Mike Ross as Luke. The music was written and performed by the simply amazing Dave Adler.

Sage, Rosemary & Theme

I really enjoyed the recent “Greatest Event in Television History.” It was all the more fun for knowing and watching the original show, “Simon & Simon.” In fact, I watched it with a friend of mine who asked, “Was this a real show?” Here’s the final product of the Adam Scott project; a shot-for-shot remake of the “Simon & Simon” opening theme:

The theme was written by Barry De Vorzon who also created the amazingly cool theme for the tv show, “S.W.A.T.” I started thinking of the weird and great 80’s theme song and how we’ve left those behind to use bad pop songs that the studio has in its lockers. While there are so many great theme songs from the 80s, one man wrote all of these:

(I found this Gotham City video version and I liked it so much I’m using it here but it doesn’t really have anything to do with anything…)

All three were written by Mike Post. And he was really prolific back then. He wrote the theme songs for “The A-Team,” “Blossom,” “LA Law,” “Magnum PI,” “Hunter,” “Hardcastle & McCormick,”NewsRadio,” “Doogie Howser MD,” Riptide” and more than a dozen more. I’ve always admired Mr Post and I can hum just about any of his theme songs. So, thanks, Mike!

An Old Improviser Remembers

Years ago, there were no late night shows at the ImprovOlympic Theater. On Sundays, there would be the 8pm show and the great team Georgia Pacific was the anchor slot. You might have heard of some of them; Joe Bill, Mark Sutton, Lisa Lewis, Jack McBrayer, Pat Shay, Kris Hammond, Chris Day, Bumper Carroll, Joe Canale, TJ Jagodowski, Tami Sagher. I hope there isn’t anyone I’ve left off.

We used to just sit around and hang out after the shows. One night, after the shows, we were all just sitting around talking and listening to music (tape cassettes!) when “American Pie,” by Don McLean came on. I remember Jack McBrayer took the stage and started acting out the song. Pat Shay, on the side of the stage, began to pantomime baking an apple pie. Jack would act out the lyrics to the verses and then Pat, right on time, would deliver a hot apple pie at the beginning of the chorus. Jack would gleefully toss the pie into the audience as Pat looked on in horror and despair. Jack would continue pantomiming all the lyrics as Pat would begin baking a new pie. and it would begin all over again.

The “act” was so funny and so popular, people would chant “Pie! Pie! Pie!” to get them to do it. Those were fun times. Whatever happened to Jack and Pat?

(disclaimer: while some may dismiss this as me being a name-dropper, I think it’s more like someone remembering and missing his old friends.)

Randomness

Heh. Haven’t really written anything for awhile… been a bit busy. At the beginning of 2012, I wanted to do an election sketch show with WNT and a Halloween show. That’s it. Since then, I started up SATURDAY/Saturday, a show I’m very proud of thus far and that take up a great deal of my time and energy. Right now, I have Whirled News, SATURDAY/Saturday, the Improvised Horror Movie. All running at the same time all on the same day.

I love all the submissions I’ve been getting for SATURDAY/Saturday. Friends with great ideas, strangers who become friends with great ideas, it’s super fun.

The new TV season has started up and I do my due diligence (as I have since I was 10) by watching every show at least once. The Neighbors- humans and aliens living together… It’s a very well done Coneheads TV show. The Mindy Project is fun but a little man-crazy for me. The New Normal seems like the NBC response to Modern Family. Partners- I have to recuse myself… I was David Krumholtz’s camp counselors in 1986. That’s how old I am. Downton Abbey is back to form. Great stuff.

That brings us to Elementary on CBS. I am obsessed a bit with Sherlock Holmes and the most recent BBC outing (“Sherlock”) is a masterpiece of homage/modernization. CBS was in talks with the creators of the BBC show, then retreated and said they were going ahead with their own production. So, I watched it. And it wasn’t too bad. But it wasn’t Sherlock Holmes. With CSIs, Law & Orders, Mentalists, Monks, NSCIs flooding our bandwidths this show breaks no new ground. This version of “Sherlock” doesn’t seem that great or smart. It’s competently done, but it’s not Sherlock Holmes. I’ll watch the BBC “Sherlock” again, thanks.

Good lord, someone’s pinched milordship’s shirts!

I was prescribed minoxidil for blood pressure. You may have heard of minoxidil… it’s usually prescribed for hair replacement… It was originally invented for BP, but the side-effect of hair growth is a better seller. Anyway, it does wonders for my blood pressure, but the side effect is that I’m hairier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. More eyebrows, back of my hands, even my shoulders have hair where there’s been none before… it’s like a third puberty. I even have to shave my face every other day instead of my usual every fourth day. It’s disgusting to be honest… I don’t know how my more… Mediterranean friends deal with it.

I tried a pumpkin spice latte from the Starbucks. I must admit it was delicious.

There’s a restaurant here in Chicago Chinatown called Hing Kee. They make the noodles right in the middle of the room. When you order a noodle dish you can watch the noodles go from the making to your dish. AND they have Shanghai Soup Dumplings; they look like a regular dumpling but when you eat it they’re full of delicious soup! They are wonderful. Go and try it!

 

The Improvised Horror Movie begins this weekend! Saturdays at Midnight. It’s the form that Del Close invented. I changed about two things and it’s always a delight to see it in action. I’m excited for this version to be seen by audiences. The show will end with a performance of the Thriller Dance!

Later, there will be a special presentation on Halloween night! Wednesday, October 31st at 10:30pm, we’re improvising a Horror Movie and then iO will be having big costume/dance party!  I’m really looking forward to that.

 

Anyway, I’m going to try to write more. Hope all is well. See you soon.