Cult classics: Bricolage celebrates movies with devoted followings
For the final installment of its 2013 Midnight Radio season, Bricolage Production Company gives us a reel deal.
A double feature of cult movie classics — “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin” and “Godzilla vs. Mothra” — will receive Midnight Radio adaptations as part of its light-hearted celebration of films that may have died at the box office and been dismissed by critics but linger on in the hearts of a legion of followers.
“Critical acclaim doesn't come into it. ... The genre is so invested in the experience and trying to delight you that good or bad doesn't matter,” says Joe Lyons, a long-time fan of movies in general and cult movies in particular, as well as one of the authors for segments of “Midnight Radio: Cult Movie Classics.”
“Their hallmark is not that they are seen as great works of cinema but they speak to people,” says Gayle Pazerski, who collaborated on the show with Lyons and her husband, Brad Stephenson.
Now in its fourth season, Bricolage's Midnight Radio series has become popular with audiences looking for something different.
Following the format of a 1940s radio broadcast, a cast performs a pair of suspenseful-yet-funny dramas, complete with sound effects that embellish the tales with footsteps, slamming doors, claps of thunder and whatever else is needed to enhance reality.
Over a six-month period, the writing trio worked to condense the kung-fu classic “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin” and the sci-fi thriller “Godzilla vs. Mothra” into 20-minute radio scripts that form the centerpiece of the show.
“It was tough to do. We wanted to keep the through line, the essence of the story,” Stephenson says. Cutting “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin” was particularly tricky, since the original runs just under two hours.
They also wrote the spoofy commercials, game-show segment and fake breaking-news reports that are part of the evening, many of which draw on cult movie references.
The evening also includes musical interludes provided by a guest. In this case, it's Josh Verbanets, from the local indie-rock band Meeting of Important People, who plans to appear on stage with one or more of his bandmates at each performance.
Direct and indirect audience participation is always part of Midnight Radio.
That begins with a 30-minute pre-show happy hour in the lobby with games and entertainment that include a chalk board that encourages audience members to supply the words for a Mad Libs story that will be read on stage.
There's also a “Family Feud”-style game show that involves audience volunteers who compete to answer movie-trivia questions created by the authors.
“You don't need to be a fan of cult movies to enjoy it,” Pazerski says.
But you do need to bring a sense of humor.
“I wasn't serving as a curator,” Lyons says. “You tend to mock the things you love.”
Alice T. Carter is the theater critic for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7808 or email@example.com.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates win bidding for Korean infielder
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin won’t ask for taunting clarification from league
- Pitt recruit Whitehead remains committed
- Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
- Worker at Mercer County center accused of illegal sexual contact with juveniles
- Rossi: Steelers rising fast in mediocre AFC
- Economy police release sketch of woman whose embalmed head was found in wooded area
- French van driver carries out 3rd attack in 3 days
- Leon Ford’s civil rights lawsuit can proceed, judge rules
- MLB notebook: Twins extend Hughes’ contract
- Lawsuit against Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett’s Medicaid program overhaul say it could hurt poor