PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

750 Words About Dick

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The PopCulteer
November 30, 2012 

This week we’re devoting the PopCulteer to a review of a digital download. In April of this year, over four nights at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, Eric Idle staged his original play, “What About Dick?” with an all star cast of Brit expatriates performing a fairly undescribable but hilarious evening of conceptual comic theatre.

Rather than go for television or theatrical release, “What About Dick?” is a digital download that combines the best of those four performances. The plot is indecipherable. The best I can come up with to explain it is that “What About Dick?” combines elements of Monty Python with the stream of consciousness storytelling of The Firesign Theater into an hysterical hybrid where even the cast members have a hard time keeping a straight face.

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Don’t Forget “Mary”

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Up above you see a special video of the Trio that ends the first act of “Mary A Rock Opera.”  You still have four more chances to see this Dan kehde-Mark Scarpelli homegrown Christmas classic, tonight through Staruday at 8 PM, and Saturday afternoon at 2 PM at the WVSU Capitol Center Theater.

The story of the nine months prior to the birth of Jesus Christ through the eyes of a young girl destined to be the most important woman in the Christian tradition, MARY has become a family friendly holiday tradition throughout the greater Charleston area, and continues to give audiences new insight to the days and months leading up to the first Christmas.  New to this Contemporary Youth Arts Company production this year is the introduction of a second cast of young performers who will take on the principle roles during the matinee.

The above video is a performance of the stirring “Trio” that ends the first act, with both sets of actresses portraying Elizabeth, The Archangel Gabriel and Mary combining to form a “Double Trio” of six wonderful voices. As Elizabeth we have Lo Mallory and Susanna Tucker. Singing the role of Gabriel are Maddy Gourevitch and Susanna Morris. In the tile role of Mary are Katie Shaver and Rowan Maher.

The piano is played by composer, Mark Scarpelli. Speical thanks to Lee Harrah for the camera assist.

The WVSU Capitol Center Theater is located at 123 Summers Street, Charleston. Tickets are available at the door prior to each performance: $10.00 for adults. $6.00 for students and seniors (65+). Call the WVSU Capitol Center Theater office at 342-6522 for advance ticket sales and group rates.

The Cheesy Knockoffs Return

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The PopCulteer
November 23, 2012 

So it’s Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, a day where hardly anybody’s going to bother going on the Internet to read anything. Yet, the PopCulteer always comes on Friday and with the bonus of knowing that not too many people are going to bother reading this, I’m going to take this week for a self-indulgent visit to my own past as a nationally published columnist.

Back in the late 1990’s, I was the action figure columnist for Toy Trader Magazine. Toy Trader was a competitor to Krause Publications’ Toy Shop and thanks to having several pages of high quality articles each month, we were rapidly eating away at Toy Shop’s readership. This came to a sudden end when Toy Trader’s parent company was aquired by Toy Shop’s parent company and our magazine was assimilated into theirs. Since Krause only paid one-tenth as much as we were getting from Toy Trader Magazine, none of the writers made the leap to the new publication. I continued covering action figures for MasterCollector.com for a few years, but then moved on to this here PopCult blog of which you should already be aware.

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Up top you see RFC 174 “Mark Wolfe Design Shirt.” This week’s episode of Radio Free Charleston features music from Qiet and Farnsworth, plus a special performance from the Dan Khede/Mark Scarpelli rock opera, MARY. We also have some fresh DEVO hat animation and part of a complete breakfast. Host segments were shot on the river side of our beautiful State Capitol Building. Our titular shirt comes to us from our good friend, Mark Wolfe, and plugs Mark Wolfe Design, pretty much the hippest design firm in town.

We start the show with something childish and hysterical and we’re not going to say anything more about it.

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Monday Morning Art: Ragnarok

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The theme for last night’s edition of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School was Ragnaok, which is the term for the end of the world in Norse mythology. It was chosen as the theme because of the predictions of the end of the world thanks to the Mayan Calendar ending.

Because the Mayans and The Norse are just like two peas in a pod, or something. But it was a fun night, and prizes included John Hodgmen’s new book, the “Cards Against Humanity” game and, yes, Twinkies.

Anyway, today we have some quick digital paintings of Vorel Sarkany as C’Thulu(above), Penny Maple as The whore of Babylon and Molly Tilly and Cornelius Dapperdu as John Hodgeman and Jonathan Coulton. As always, click to enlarge. And remember, tonight in PopCult, it’s time for a new episode of Radio Free Charleston.

The PopCulteer
November 16, 2012

We’ve got just a few short items for this week’s PopCulteer and then we’re going to wrap it up with a photo essay featuring the Wayward Girls School of Burlesque. It’s a little weird not having an ArtWalk on the third Thursday of the month, but in November they always have it on Black Friday. Your PopCulteer is still trying to figure out a way to photograph the exhibits next week without setting foot in a retail establishment on Black Friday. Stay tuned to see how that works out.

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Monday Morning Art: Hello Kitty

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This week we kick off PopCult with a digital painting of our own Kitty Killton misusing a couch, based on a photo taken last week at a shoot for The Wayward Girls School of Burlesque. You will be seeing way more images from this photo shoot in the coming weeks. As always, click on it to see a bigger version.

Sunday Evening Video: Veteran’s Day

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In honor of Veteran’s Day, we re-present the three-part Radio Free Charleston special from the “Tribute To The Troops II” concert, held last August at the Amphitheater in St. Albans City Park.  Thanking veterans and active duty military for their service to our Democracy.