Nerd Alert has been issued for Emerald City Comicon, Rock Candy Burlesque, Scientology, "Interstellar" ...

By Christian Carvajal on March 24, 2015

Pouring one out for Xenu in his electronic mountain trap, 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.


Sadly, Karen Allen (Marion Ravenwood), Morena Baccarin (V, Homeland) and Jenna Coleman (the lovely and charming Clara Oswald) had to bow out of appearances at this weekend's Emerald City Comicon. The event recovered, however, by adding Jewel Staite and Gina Torres of Firefly. Also in attendance: Hayley Atwell (aka Agent Carter), Kurt Busiek (Astro City and Marvels), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Grant Imahara of Mythbusters, Lucy Knisley (Displacement and Relish), STAN LEE, Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi), Bruce Timm (DC's animated series), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) and dozens of other folks you'll recognize or should. The second level of the Washington State Convention Center will be devoted to gaming tournaments, including a dozen demos. Genre authors Kevin J. Anderson, Greg Bear and Michael A. Stackpole offer informed advice to new writers. A kids' area includes a costume parade, a workshop devoted to clay animation, and a visit from Emperor Palpatine's feared 501st Legion. For superhero, sci-fi and fantasy geeks all over western Washington, this weekend-long festival is annual home base.

EMERALD CITY COMICON, Friday through Sunday, Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, Seattle, $10-$295, 888.372.3976

The shamelessly sentimental comedy I'm directing for Olympia Little Theatre, Charles Morey's Laughing Stock, is about a summer of rep plays at a star-crossed theater in a refurbished barn in New England. The year is 1993, as "The Playhouse" struggles through rehearsals and performances of Dracula and Hamlet, with Murphy's Law in full effect and love and chemical fog in the air. Here is my promise to you, the consumer: if you laugh harder at any other play this year, I will personally buy you a Coke.

LAUGHING STOCK, 7:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 1:55 p.m. Sunday, through April 19, Olympia Little Theatre, 1925 Miller Ave. NE, Olympia, $8-$14, 800.838.3006

An unsettling drama from Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men, Nurse Betty) reunites a pair of estranged brothers two decades after devastating childhood events In a Dark, Dark House. It's not a musical. It sure ain't a comedy. It is, however, perfect for the dark, dark Midnight Sun Performance Space, and for avant-garde Theater Artists Olympia. Christopher Rocco directs. There will be trigger scenes.

IN A DARK, DARK HOUSE, 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday, through April 11, 2:30 p.m. April 12, Midnight Sun Performance Space, 113 Columbia St. NW, Olympia, $15, 360.259.2743


The self-described "legendary sexpots" of Olympia's Rock Candy Burlesque celebrate their third anniversary with host Tyler Lockwood, special guests Bananas Foster and Mae Zing, and cake, if you know what I mean. (I mean cake. I like cake. Count me in.)

ROCK CANDY BURLESQUE: A TIME FOR CAKE-PAST, FUTURE AND PRESENTS!, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capitol Way N., Olympia, $10-$13, 360.705.0760


HBO and documentarian Alex Gibney take on the Church of Scientology in Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, based on Lawrence Wright's jaw-dropper of a book and debuting tonight at 8. Our lawyers inform us Scientologists are a fine organization of people who haven't been duped by a schlocky extended space opera con of a pseudo-religion. Also, our fondness for that noble body should in no way be attributed to its propensity for devastating lawsuits.


Christopher Nolan's mind-expanding masterpiece Interstellar, which gives 2001: A Space Odyssey a run for its monolith as best hard-SF epic of all time, arrives on Blu-Ray and DVD. April Fools! Oh, Interstellar does hit video today, but its screenplay is light-years from being as clever as it thinks (and, frankly, declares) it is. That third act in the LSD library is rather a mess. I did like the cameo and robot.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may you attain the full glory of the state of Clear.