Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

May 5, 2014 at 11:05am

Nerd Alert! - Spamalot, Legends of Oz, Chef, Penny Dreadful ...

Eva Green stars as Vanessa in "Penny Dreadful." Photo credit: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME

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Taunting you a second time, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

As I write this, The Olympian's Jeremy Pawloski just reported that a 34-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly deploying a crime syndicate of single-digit-aged children to pilfer purses and diaper bags from dispirited diners at Chuck E. Cheese in the Capital Mall. That's right, folks, Chuck E. Cheese, where a kid can be a kid! And a felon! The Artful Dodger could not be reached for comment.


Lacey's Timberline High School presents Monty Python's Spamalot, beating John Munn's Lakewood Playhouse pig dogs to the Grail by over a month. But look on the bright side of life, Brave Sir John: at least your production gets to include all those welcoming nuns in Castle Anthrax. Ni!

MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT, 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday through May 10, Timberline High School, 6120 Mullen Rd. SE, Lacey, $8-$10, 360.412.4860


After The Anticlimactic Spider-Man 2 landed with a warm splat of arachnid leavin's last weekend, by which I mean it was critically unloved, yet made squillions of dollars, my hopes are sub-minimal for the CG toon Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return. It stars Idina Menzel wannabe Lea Michele as the voice of Dorothy Gale, plus a bunch of comic thespians your dad likes (Dan Aykroyd as the Scarecrow, Kelsey Grammer as the Tin Man, and Oliver Platt as, well, me with more hair). Its songs include "No, This Isn't ‘Let It Go,'" "Still Not ‘Let It Go'" and "Why Aren't You Watching Frozen Instead?"

Also in cineplexes this weekend: Chef, the latest dramedy from director/star Jon Favreau (whose Iron Man may be the greatest superhero movie ever made, unless you count Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I don't of course because the list of Indiana Jones' mortal flaws is even longer than this parenthetical; oh, and by the way, Jon Favreau also made Zathura, which is totally underrated and Cowboys & Aliens which isn't). What was I talking about? Oh, right: Chef, which costars Sofia Vergara, Tony Stark, Natalia Romanova, Jerri Blank and (I'm not even kidding here) Oliver Platt. Best of all, Anthony Bourdain tweeted that he's already seen it and loved it, so bon appetit. Maybe spring for the truffle salt on your popcorn this time, ya cheap bastard (#YOLO).


Showtime debuts its horror-romance series Penny Dreadful, respectively written and produced by John Logan and Sam Mendes, two industry pros who were largely responsible for Skyfall. Their new series is named for British pulp mags of the 19th century - so, as you might expect, it stars Josh Hartnett. No, wait, come back! The cast includes Doctor Who companion Billie Piper, Timothy Dalton, gifted naked person Eva Green and a Grand Guignol orchestra pit's worth of literary monsters. Might be fun.

Fun historical fact: Paris' notoriously gore-obsessed Théâtre du Grand-Guignol went out of business in 1962 ("We could never equal [the concentration camp] Buchenwald," one director observed), but it reopened years later as the family-friendly International Visual Theatre, a troupe that performs in sign language for the hearing-impaired. Alors, merci, Wikipedia!

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may you find your Grail - along with just a little bit of peril.

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Theater, Lacey, Screens,
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