They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

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This American Life Live Part 2

Surprised I Didn't Write About This Last Year

I meant to. But back on Thursday 1 May 2008, we went to Celebration North Theatre #2 not to see a movie, but a live HD feed from NYU where Ira Glass was doing a theatre broadcast of This American Life. Actually, it was really for the SHOWTIME TV version, which since we don't get SHOWTIME, we were pretty clueless about. It was great fun and well...

See Ira Glass is one of the most dangerous men in America. Every Saturday morning we put on the local NPR station and doze, wakeup, eat, play with kitties, etc. to Weekend Edition Saturday, Car Talk, Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know? and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me: The NPR News Quiz. From 8am to 2pm. But then it's a rush to get the radio turned off, before Ira Glass can speak at 2 o'clock. Because we have been sucked in too many times to count. (grin) And because of the nature of the stories, you really can't do anything else for an hour -- and then Saturday is truly shot to hell and beyond. We once sat in a grocery store parking lot for half an hour waiting for an episode of This American Life to end.

I suspect Ira Glass is amused by his strange powers over people.

This Year

The other week I heard a blurb on Michigan Public Radio on the long drive home about this year's event for Thursday 23 April 2009 (last night) and we were off to the web site and then ordered tickets.

Ira Glass will host an actual episode of the radio program, performed onstage by some of our favorite contributors. Dan Savage, Starlee Kine, and Mike Birbiglia will tell stories. David Rakoff and Dave Hill will conduct a ‘special investigation.’ Plus a new cartoon by Chris Ware, additional visuals by Arthur Jones, and a very special appearance by Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! The performance will last around two hours. We’re going to capture the whole thing with a bunch of HD cameras, and send it live* to movie theatres all over the country.

It’s gonna be a fun night. We hope you’ll come.

So in reality it was about 90 minutes, which they'll edit down to under sixty. They showed some video segments which would clearly make zero sense on a radio show and then some comments about editing the show, etc., which also would be cut. But Ira is an artist. And once again the Grand Rapids Celebration Cinema North Theatre #2 was sold out and packed. Yay Public Radio people.

The theme of this episode of the radio show, to air locally on WGVU-FM at 2pm Saturday 2 May 2009 -- while I am at Penguicon -- is "Return to the Scene of the Crime." As is typical in This American Life, scene and crime and return are interpreted in many different ways.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Uh, so what does the 2008 Internet phenomenon have to do with all this? Well, Joss Whedon -- Dr. Horrible's creator and the force behind Buffy, Angel, Firefly and now this odd Dollhouse thing -- was invited to sing on the radio show. Apparently doing a musical Internet movie wasn't sufficiently weird, there is a commentary track on the DVD which is also written as a musical. Very meta.

I love the concept of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and am convinced that Neil Patrick Harris is the only person who could've been Dr. Horrible (grin), but this was the first time I saw any part of one of the episodes, which they played. See, I don't web with the sound turned on and I dislike jumping onto huge bandwidth sinks with everyone else, so I figured I'd see it later. Like when the DVD came out. Now I'll probably have to buy the DVD. Thanks, Ira. (evil grin)

There is definitely something surreal about watching them make a radio show over a 430-theatre live HD video feed which includes stuff from the commentary track of an Internet movie musical... This American Life indeed.

Dr. Phil
Tags: events, npr

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