PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Monday Morning Art: The Hot Streets


If you’ve poked your head outside of the safety of air conditioning anytime in the the past three or five months, you may have noticed that it’s been hot, painfully hot, some would even say “gosh-damned heckishly hot.” In fact, we just wrapped up the hottest July in recorded history, and that’s not just on Earth, but also includes all the other planets and the sun. To capture this environment of extreme hottery, today’s art is a digital painting of a scene from Summers Street in Charleston, seconds before things reach a critical temperature and burst into flames. Click the image to see a bigger version.

Meanwhile, Monday on our sister internet radio station, The AIR, the Monday Marathon keeps you cool as a cucumber with 24 hours of The Swing Shift  You can listen to a full day of yours truly spinning the best Swing music of the last century, beginning at 7 AM and running through Tuesday morning.  In fact, if you are one of our loyal international listeners, you may know that this marathon immediately follows the regular Midnight Sunday marathon of The Swing Shift, so if you tune in early enough, you can hear 31 hours of The Swing Shift, with no repeats among them. Tune in at the website, or listen on this handy embedded player…

This week we are once again bringing you the original Adventures of Captain Marvel movie serial from 1942. I posted this here a couple of years ago, but that video has been yanked from YouTube, so this week we’re going to present a new and improved print that also edits out all the redundant openings and closings from each serial, and gets the running time down to under three hours.  With the much-hyped “Shazam” movie coming out next year, which is based on the awful “New 52” bastardized version of Captain Marvel that Geoff Johns foisted on us, I thought it might be good to show how cool this superhero could be when he’s not played as a comedic super-powered version of the movie Big.

I have made no secret of the fact that my all-time favorite superhero is Captain Marvel. Though known primarily as “Shazam” by less-cultured folks, Captain Marvel debuted from Fawcett Comics in 1940 and was pretty much the top-selling superhero in comics until 1953, when his publisher decided to cut their losses after years of a nagging copyright infringement suit filed by National Periodical Publications, now known as DC Comics, the publishers of Superman.

The suit had little merit, but questionable rulings in appeals courts, coupled with a massive decline in comic book sales industry-wide, convinced Fawcett Publications to give up. Fawcett decided to quit the comic book business and paid off DC, agreeing never to publish Captain Marvel again without DC’s permission.

Mired in another comic book sales slump in 1972, DC made an agreement to lease (and later purchase outright) Captain Marvel so they could publish him themselves. Unfortunately, during the time Captain Marvel was out of the public eye, Marvel Comics trademarked the name for their own character (they didn’t want anyone else publishing a book with “Marvel” in the title after Myron Fass had released his own legendarily-awful character with that name) so DC had to go with “Shazam” as the title of their book (actually the full title was “With One Magic Word, Shazam”).

Captain-Marvel-DC-Comics-Billy-Batson-aThe character went on to star in his own live-action Saturday morning program and during the 1970s was one of DC’s four most-merchandisable heroes. Kids in the 1940s and the 1970s fell in love with Billy Batson, who could turn into the super-powered Captain Marvel just by saying “Shazam.” DC had mixed results with the character in terms of sales, though, and the original Captain Marvel has been rebooted, with great versions and not-so-great versions many times over the years.

Adventures_of_captain_marvelBut tonight we go back to the original incarnation of the hero at the height of his popularity for the entire 12-chapter serial, The Adventures of Captain Marvel. from 1941. This is widely considered to be the greatest superhero movie serial from the golden age of Hollywood, and while it’s not entirely faithful to the comic book, it’s a great adaptation and a lot of fun.

So set aside just under three hours and enjoy the show, or order the DVD, which has just been released, so you can watch one chapter at a time. Either way, this is the REAL Captain Marvel, not a lady using the name, or a big dumb guy calling himself “Shazam.”

The current comic book version is pretty bad, demonstrating a complete misunderstanding of what made the character work so well on the part of Johns. The upcoming movie looks like a fun parody of the original concept, with the goofy twist of Captain Marvel being just a kid in an adult body (in the original comics he has the wisdom of Solomon, which sort of blows that crappy idea out of the water).

It’s a double-edged sword for fans of the original Captain Marvel:  If the movie fails, then DC will never try to make another movie with him, and will probably abandon the idea of publishing any comics beyond what Geoff Johns wants to do.  If the movie is a success, then generations of kids will grow up with this lousy parody of the original concept, and won’t know just how good the original comics were.

The RFC Flashback: Episode 146

From October, 2011, we bring you Radio Free Charleston 146, Pepper Fandango Shirt. This episode found us driving around the state looking at the fall colors. We had great music this week with songs from Born of Conviction, John Lancaster, Gabriel, and the cast of Jack The Ripper, plus we have animation from Frank Panucci and an art film by yours truly.

Our host segments were filmed all over West Virginia as Melanie Larch and I made the Charleston-to-Clarksburg-to-Parkersburg-to-Charleston loop so we could check out the changing foilage and basically just take a day away from everything.

This was a fun show, loaded with music and cool stuff, and you can read the original production notes HERE.

The PopCulteer
August 3, 2018

Welcome to part two of the epic Tennessee Travelogue. At the end of part one, after checking out of the second hotel on our trip, we had just spent a couple of hours taking in the wonders of McKay’s Bookstore in Knoxville, and then spent about another hour visiting Nostalgia, a really cool vintage store with a pop culture bent. Having performed our morning retail therapy, we then made our way South to Chattanooga.

Right before we reached our destination we made a little side trip. Just North of Chattanooga, from Interstate 75 you can see what looks like a huge Knife outlet store. It is actually The Knife Shoppe at Frost Cutlery, and it’s a pretty cool place to check out.

Let me explain that Mel and I have an appreciation for well-made knives. One year for Christmas I got Mel a reproduction of Michonne’s Katana from The Walking Dead, and I somehow wound up on the Bud K mailing list and started getting their catalogs. It was filled with cool stuff, but when I ordered from them I discovered that much of what they sold was made in China, and I was also turned off by the far-right-wing poltical novelties and confederate flag stuff that pollutes their catalog and website, so I chose to stop doing business with them.

We didn’t know what to expect from The Knife Shoppe, and expected pretty much the same as Bud K, but we were very pleasantly surprised. The confederate stuff was minimal for a store in Tennessee, and all of their knives were not only made in the USA…they were made right next door at the factory!

We were in there for quite some time. I wound up buying a cool Bowie Knife, Mel got a pretty folding knife and we grabbed a surprise box of knives because I’m a sucker for surprise boxes, so our friends can probably expect some sharp gifts for the holidays this year. If you’re heading down I 75 and have some time to spare, The Knife Shoppe is a fun place to visit.

Here’s a wide-angle shot of the friendly store filled with all sorts of sharp, pointy weapons.
Of particular note is the nearly twelve-and-one-half-foot-long, 900 pound Bowie Knife.

After leaving The Knife Shoppe it was a short drive to hotel number three on this trip, which was the Hilton Garden Inn in Chattanooga where we’ve been stopping on our way to ToyLanta for a few years now. We checked in and then ran out for dinner and a quick visit to Toys R Us during their final week in business.

That visit was pretty depressing. It had started raining hard as we pulled up and Mel stayed in the car while I went in to the mostly-deserted and depleted store. I made a token purchase, and to be honest I don’t remember exactly what I bought, but it was cheap and did not turn out to be the last thing I ever bought at TRU.That’s a scene from the store at the right.

Following that, and still in the downpour, Mel and I decided to hit the nearby Guitar Center, just out of curiosity. We don’t have one of these locally, and the chain is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, so we decided to see what all the fuss was about while we had the chance.

What we found was a store with a decent selection and okay prices. We also found that it played host to a large group of either musicians or employees who were heavily involved with expressing themselves loudly on some of the instruments, oblivious to the fact that they had little, if any, talent. Mel could not try out any of the keyboards because some guy was pounding out the worst dreck imaginable on a synth cranked up to eleven. I couldn’t get close enough to some of the guitars to examine the prices because of someone who appeared to be auditioning for the lead guitar chair in the Portsmouth Sinfonia. We were going to try to retreat to safety in the percussion room, but backed out quick when we heard what sounded like a completely arhythmic attempt to rape a set of bongos.

We found a safe, quiet place to eat dinner and wound up back at the hotel to rest up for the next day, when I would finally go to my first (and last ever) Official GI Joe Convention.

Last week I explained how I used to work for the GI Joe Club years ago, and would have been comped to go to the conventions then, but was unable to travel because I was the full-time caregiver for my disabled mother. I’d worked for Brian Savage for a few years, almost twenty years ago, and had never met him in person. This was a bittersweet big deal for me.

I should also point out that, being a recent convert to the ways of the smartphone, on this trip I used the navigation function, much like normal adults do in this century, and it made life much easier.

We woke up the next morning, checked out of the hotel, had breakfast and found our way (rather easily) to the huge Chattanooga Convention Center. Of course, we got there before we could get in to the show. Your PopCulteer is nothing if not habitually early. Luckily we ran into out buddies from ToyLanta, and hung out with Mike Gardner (with yours truly, at left), Scott and Charlotte Beckmann, Buddy Finethy, Brian Becker, Steve Bugg, Jack Hall and many other good friends that I didn’t get photos of and won’t mention because I don’t remember whether I saw them in Chattanooga, or last week in Louisville (this is what happens when you wait more than a month to write about a toy convention).

After spending just a bit too much time hanging out, we discovered that there was a very long line to get in before we could make our way inside. The better part of an hour later, we were able to pay to get in. That hour flew by because we got to hang out with fellow Joe fans and cosplayers and everybody seemed to be in a really good mood.

The line, wrapping around a hall, and then going on for a bit after that before we got in.

Once inside, I made a beeline for the GI Joe Club booth, where I plunked down my money for a complete set of “As Seen On TV” black and white GI Joes, plus a couple of extra acccessory sets I needed. Eventually I’ll get around to posting reviews of this cool stuff.  I decided to pass on this year’s convention set because it just didn’t connect with me.  It’s a great set, but I’m cutting down on collecting military sets, prefering the Adventure Team stuff.

Once I loaded myself down with stuff from the club, I began to make my way through the dealer’s area. About three minutes in I ran into Mark Otnes, of Patches of Pride and The Joe Report fame, who proceeded to interview me, unaware that I’d basically just gotten there. You can read that interview HERE, and I swiped Mark’s photo of me for the head of this post. Mark does an incredible job of covering the Joe scene, and his blog is a must-read for action figure devotees.

Mel and I made our way around the vendor floor, buying a few things and running into more friends from ToyLanta. We decided to deposit what I’d bought so far in the car, so we made a quick trip to the parking garage and then went back in.

Charlotte Beckmann and Brian Becker, wisely taking a break.
Scott Beckmann and Steve Bugg, happy to be there.

I’d been told by my buddies at ToyLanta that if I didn’t want to mess with the after-hours events, I could probably see everything I wanted to see in four hours. They were right. This is no knock on the club on the convention. This was the most professionally-run toy convention I’ve ever attended. The only hitch was that it was devoted to all permutations of GI Joe, and that meant that probably 80% of the vendors and guests were dedicated to the Real American Hero Joes, which I respect, but do not collect. They just came out too late to be a part of my childhood.

After making another pass around the dealers room, Mel and I settled in one of the many comfortable couches in the convention center to wait for the other big event I wanted to be part of, the “Name Your Price” sale, where the Club dumps out copious amounts of oddities and leftovers from their warehouse and you cram what you want in a bag and haggle over the price.

While waiting for the sale, I noticed that, sitting across the hall from me, was Jim Beard, whose Captain Action pulp novel I’d reviewed here in PopCult, and who had just published a new book that was a collection of essays about GI Joe, written by some of the top experts on Joe, and edited by Jim. I walked over and introduced myself and bought a copy of the book, and it’s on my long list of things to review here in the blog.

I was first in line for the sale, which involved standing in line for half an hour or so, and I got a small, but swell bag of goodies, including some super-articulated Joes with unpainted heads and a nude Counter Culture Adventurer figure who needs some hair repairs, and with that, I was pretty much spent.

Waiting in line for the big sale, I did get to meet Brian Savage and Lanny Latham, from the Official GI Joe Club, albiet briefly, and I didn’t really get to socialize any with them. Still, it was cool to finally get to shake their hands. It was wild attending this convention as a complete civilian, too. I did not take many photos or shoot any video. I just wanted to soak in the experience.

I did grab just a few photos of the floor of the convention, so let’s take a look at those…

The cosplayers were not all deadly serious.
These guys were pretty much like the Ghostbusters WV crew, only they dress like GI Joe: RAH guys. All for a good cause.
The vendor’s room occasionally got crowded.
Master artist, Larry Selman, and some of the work he’s had printed on GI Joe Classic Collection boxes.
More wheeling and dealing went on in every corner of the hall.

I haven’t mentioned before how this trip was undertaken with my newfound knowledge of how Myasthenia Gravis gets worse in extreme heat. Most of this trip took place during an extreme heatwave. I was able to pace myself and have a wonderful time, but the convention marked day four of the trip, and standing in line to get in to the convention, plus standing in line for the sale, did a number on me, and by 3 PM I was ready to head out. We said our goodbyes and jumped in the car for the drive back home.

Along the way, we stopped in Richmond, Kentucky for one last hotel stay. This town was chosen so that we could stick our heads into a Meijers store and a Peddler’s Mall before heading home the next morning, and we did, and it was fun. I even found a Marx Comanche horse for cheap at the Peddler’s Mall right before we headed out on the final leg of our journey.

We made our usualy stop at Big Boy in Winchester, KY for lunch, and made a final stop at the Barboursville Toys R Us, and we were home in the afternoon. It was a great trip. I was happy to be part of the final Official GI Joe Convention, and I’m wondering what the future holds for Fun Publications, Brian’s company that’s run the GI Joe Club and put on the conventions for so many years. There are few organizations in this country who can put on a toy show this well (Fun Publication also ran the Transformers club and BotCon until recently), and it’ll be interesting to see what they decide to do after the Official GI Joe Collector’s Club winds down at the end of the year.

GI Joe Collectors won’t have to go without a convention, though. There’s still ToyLanta, which began life as “JoeLanta” and is still very GI Joe-oriented, plus the Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo is picking up steam after its recently-concluded fifth show, and the Dallas-Fort Worth GI Joe club puts on an annual show that people rave about. Fans of the small-scale GI Joes have CoilCon coming up to look forward to. There’s a new show in Harrisburg, PA next month that fans are really excited about, and new regional shows are popping up all over. Even with Hasbro leaving GI Joe on the backburner the hobby seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.

Anyway, that is the long-delayed tale of our big trip to Chattanooga for the final Official GI Joe Convention. Please check PopCult for more fresh content every day, and visit our internet radio station, The AIR, which brings you the coolest music and talk on the face of the planet…at least we think so.

Save The Bakery Again

Here in PopCult I’ve been writing about the plight of The Bakery since last year, before it had even organized into the all-ages venue that bears that name. Last week The Bakery was shut down by the Fire Marshall for the City of Charleston, and I decided to wait until the dust settled before I weighed in on what happened.

Coincidentally, Bill Lynch offers up a really good summary in Thursday’s Gazette-Mail. It’s a great way to get up to speed, quick.

Despite much of what has been spouted out on social media, nobody involved in shutting down The Bakery did anything wrong. The folks who operate The Bakery, The Charleston Music and Arts Collective, asked the city to inspect their facility to make sure it was up to code, and the Fire Marshall was very helpful and clear in telling them what improvements needed to be made. The timing was less than ideal, happening as The Bakery was poised to host their biggest show ever, with Florida metal band, Trivium, already set up in the hall, but the board of The Bakery knew full well that this could be the result of the inspection.

They asked for the inspection because they want their venue to be safe.

The city offered the use of the Municipal Auditorium, but the band’s management decided that moving the show just a couple of hours before it was scheduled to begin, without the time to tear down their equipment they’d already set up at The Bakery and move the whole production downtown, was not possible.

There was no grand conspiracy to shut down The Bakery because they were hosting a metal band. The timing couldn’t have sucked more, but it was neccessary in order for The Bakery to operate by the rules. The city was not singling out The Bakery. The inspectors were doing their job.

The only misstep in the process was the public statement issued by the Fire Marshall’s office, which was apparently written by someone with little first-hand knowledge of what exactly had happened.

There were actually calls from the board members of The Charleston Music and Arts Collective themselves, asking the Fire Marshall to please inspect the building so that they could be up to code in time for their biggest show. The inspectors were reportedly very respectful and supportive, and are doing what they can to help The Bakery sort out their issues. The only sin of the Fire Marshall’s department was a little miscommunication after the fact.

The cancellation of the Trivium show was a huge financial blow to the promoters, and I hope they can survive this and continue to bring quality shows to town. The hope is that The Bakery can be approved to host a show in time for the GWAR concert scheduled for the middle of next month. If not, at least they’ll have enough advance notice to find an alternate venue.

The board of The Charleston Music and Arts Collective has been commendably transparent in all this, shooting down the crazy conspiracy theories and being open and honest about what happened. They accept responsiblity for not having the building ready, admit that they’ve been running shows in a grey area for most of the last year, and were very frank and honest about their finances and how they had to prioritize paying their rent over finishing the remodeling needed to get The Bakery ready to host shows again.

The Charleston Music and Arts Collective is a start-up non-profit, and as such they face major challenges in funding and recruiting volunteers. At the moment the board feels that if they could raise around twelve-thousand dollars, they could purchase the materials needed to finish the remodeling and bring the venue up to the Fire Marshall’s standards. You can donate to them HERE, or make a monthly donation via Patreon HERE. Donations are tax-deductible.

If you are willing and able to volunteer your time, please contact The Charleston Music and Arts Collective at cmacbakery@gmail.com, or visit their Facebook page for more details. Corporate sponsors can find more information HERE.

The success of The Bakery will be a major boost to Charleston’s music scene. It’s been well over a decade since we’ve had a stable, long-running, all-ages venue in this town. Given Charleston’s live music scene and its bizarre late-night quirks, not having an all-ages venue has played a huge part in the shrinking audiences that live musicians in this town face today.

Generations of kids have grown up in a town where they never pick up the habit of going to hear live music. They don’t get to go out to their own clubs and discover their own bands, and they don’t grow up to be adults who love live music and continue to support it. Our audiences have declined to the point where most of our supporters of live music are service industry workers who don’t get off work until after ten or eleven o’clock at night, and that fact has most shows in local bars starting after eleven PM.

People who have to work the next day simply can’t go out that late. This has been the norm for a long, long time, and it’s at a point where the bars that try to start shows earlier than that quickly discover that they’re paying bands to play to empty venues. You can’t blame the bars for adusting the band’s start times to when they actually have paying customers, and you can’t blame people for staying home until they know the music will start. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle.

People also age out of staying out late to hear live music, and without an all-ages venue to supply younger fans, there’s nobody new coming in to take their place. That’s why we have world-class bands in this town playing to a dozen people some nights.

Charlestonians have demonstrated that they will turn out to support live music at earlier times. Just last month US Floyd nearly sold out The Clay Center with an 8 PM show. Every week (weather permitting) thousands of people come to hear the free music at Live on the Levee, and that starts at 6:30 PM (it’s also usually filled with kids and teens, which is a good sign that there’s demand for an all-ages venue).

The key to making this happen on a regular basis is to have an all-ages venue (or several) where teens can go hear music that belongs to them, and fall in love with the idea of listening to real musicians play live music in a cozy setting. It’s too easy for kids to sit at home and play videogames or watch Netflix. They need a reason to go out.

The Bakery has the potential to be that reason. When they bring the venue up to code it’d be great for them to have regular weekend matinees, where local bands can come in and play for a younger audience, then take a break and set up somewhere else in town for a late-night show. The bands can expand their fanbase and get in some extra playing time. Kids can have a safe place to go, fall in love with music, and pick up a habit that can stick with them for a lifetime.

This won’t happen if The Bakery can’t bring in some money and get some additional volunteers to make the improvements that they need to make to get up to code.

If you can spare a few bucks or a few hours, please reach out and pitch in.

The Aquabats Need Our Help!

The Aquabats Super Show, which originally aired on The HUB from 2012 to 2014, was the greatest show in television history. I said as much HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE, right in this blog, so you know it’s true.

I even jumped the gun and wrote about how cool it would be when their show debuted in 2008, which it didn’t, but that just made me look more like I was ahead of the time when it finally showed up four years later. I guess you could say I’m a really eager fan.

Now this epic adventure series has a chance to continue.

The Aquabats have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to produce a new album and at least one new episode of The Aquabats Super Show. Their goal for that is to raise 1.1 million dollars, and stretch goals of multiples of that can reach as high as producing four albums and a whole season of 12 new episodes.

Why are you not already drowning these guys with money?

The rewards are plentiful, if primarily digital. There are downloads galore, and you could have all of the Aquabats follow you on Twitter or Instagram, or record an outgoing voicemail message, or a private video. You have to kick in more than a hundred bucks to get to the physical objects, like posters, DVD/Blu Ray sets and Paul Frank items, which sort of sucks for those of us who prefer real things to downloads, but it does insure that as much money as possible will go to produce new Aquabats music and Super Shows. The real prize will be more great Aquabats adventures.

At higher levels donors can be extras, actors or executive producers. As we write this, less than one day, the campaign is more than 10 percent funded.

Check out this video, featuring Jack Black and a cast of thousands, some of whom are even recgonizable…

Now, take the time to pledge some money to make the world safe for Aqua-Cadets everywhere and help bring back The Aquabats Super Show!

The Dreaded Deadline Doom Infects The AIR

Your PopCulteer is tied up working on a magazine article, and was unable to crank out any new radio this week, so Radio Free Charleston and The Swing Shift are reruns this Tuesday, and we’re going to hold the new Psychedelic Shack until next week so that it doesn’t get lost in the sauce, so to speak. You can still listen to great stuff all day long on The AIR, at the website, or on this nifty little embedded player…

The magazine I’m writing the article for is Non Sport Update. That’s the June/July issue at the right. This one should be on the stands for another week or so, and it includes my article on Stranger Things, plus an interview with Saint Albans Native, Joe Chrest, who plays Mike’s dad on the show.

A couple of weeks after this magazine hit the stands, Topps announced that they will be releasing Stranger Things trading cards, which would have been really wonderful to know about back when I was writing the piece about the show for the nation’s leading non-sport trading card magazine.

Because this summer has been so hectic, I have forgotten to plug this issue until now. In about a week, the next issue of Non Sport Update, which includes my article on Star Trek Captain’s Log trading cards should be out. The piece I’m working on now won’t be out until October.

That’s how magazines work, you know.

Anyway, that’s why there’s no new radio shows today, and probably tomorrow. Luckily, the stuff in our vault is so fantastic that it all bears repeated listenings.

Check the full schedule below…

Monday Morning Art: Cascade


This week we wrap up our month-long series of semi-abstract digital paintings with Cascade, yet another exquisitely excessive digitally-assaulted photograph that bears little resemblance to its source photo.  I don’t usually like to play favorites with my work, but of this latest batch, this one’s my favorite.  Cascade started life as a photo of the bookshelves in McKay’s, as seen in the photo essay in last Friday’s PopCulteer. Many whacks at it via the computer later, it’s sort of a volcanic waterfall…or lavafall, as it were .  As always, click the image to see a larger version.

Monday on our sister internet radio station, The AIR, the Monday Marathon presents 24 hours of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat.  You can listen to a full day of legendary underground London DJ, Sydney Fileeen spinning the best music of the New Wave era, beginning at 7 AM and running through Tuesday morning. Tune in at the website, or listen on this handy embedded player…

I said I wasn’t going to make a video of this year’s Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo in Louisville, Kentucky, which wrapped up yesterday.

I sort of lied.

I didn’t want to get anyone’s expectations up. It took me over a month to find the time to finish my videos for Marx Toy Convention and our side-trip to the Marx Toy Musuem, so I didn’t want to commit to getting any video completed anytime soon. Heck, I haven’t even finished writing about my trip to the last official GI Joe Convention in Chattanooga last month, and I didn’t shoot any video there at all.

Basically, with Radio Free Charleston still on hiatus, I’ve lost a bit of my confidence in my ability to shoot, edit and post video at the insane pace to which I became accustomed. I’m enjoying going to things as a civilian without recording everything I see for eventual use here in PopCult.

Having said that, yesterday I turned Mel loose with the video camera and told her to just shoot stuff that looked cool. I took still photos, except for the video of remote control classic Batmobile, which I will tell you more about in this blog later. I didn’t do any stand-ups or intros. I just cut everything to one of YouTube’s handily-provided pieces of stock music, and made a little video record of how much fun we had. Sometime in the next week I’ll post a photo essay with words and links and stuff, but for now, here’s this music video to give you a taste of the Fifth Annual Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo.

The RFC Flashback: Episode 145

From late September, 2011, we bring you this special episode of Radio Free Charleston which was a major departure from our normal format. This show is a documentary following the 2011 revival of the Dan Kehde/Mark Scarpelli musical, Jack The Ripper. Produced by The Contemporary Youth Arts Company, this daring and complex piece of musical theater was pulled together in less than six weeks. Included in the show are interviews with Dan and Mark, intercut with “fly-on-the-wall” footage from the rehearsals leading up to opening night.

We also dug into our archives and included footage of the original production from 2008, starring Ryan Hardiman. This is rare video that had never been seen by the general public before.

In this episode of RFC you will see the newer incarnation of the show come together from on-book readings at local churches to the building of the set to the final blocking and staging during tech week. It’s a look inside the creation of a unique original work in the Charleston, WV theater scene. Some of this show was recorded as late as one day before it was originally posted online. We managed to get this show finished and online in time to promote the opening of the show later in the week.

I spent several weeks attending rehearsals with my camera, shooting loads of Cinéma vérité footage of the cast and crew preparing for their big night.  Almost seven years later, it’s cool to have a record of the hard work that went into this production.