Tag Archive | Dr. Who

Friend a Day – Michael Lee


Photo by Peter Verrant

I met Michael the back in the early days of CONvergence.  He was part of a group that brought in Gary Russell as one of our first guests of honor.   Mike has always been passionate about Dr. Who, fandom, and conventions.

When I stepped down as a CONvergence director, Mike was elected to take my place and I couldn’t have been happier because I knew the convention would be in good hands.

He’s stepping away from the board of CONvergence this year but in the last several years, his interests in conventions have grown to the point he is currently helping with a Worldcon bid.

Mike can be a bit quiet until you get to know him but he certainly has his opinions and is willing to share them.

In the years that he has run the convention, I’ve seen him work tirelessly to make things better when he perceives a problem.  He has taken the initiative time and again to fix problems that wouldn’t have been fixed had he not made the choice to act.  He seems willing to commit whatever extra time it takes to make sure something gets done right.

At the convention, he has also served as a calming influence when tempers begin to flare.

I wouldn’t say he is the biggest Dr. Who fan I know but he is a big Dr. Who fan.  For the last several years, he has been the “candyman” who brought new episodes over to our house.  I know that on such evenings, my kids were a lot happier to see him than anyone else.  In that way, he’s passed his love of the show on to a new generation.

I really enjoy talking to Mike when there is something that excites him.  For someone who is so typically laid back, his personality completely changes and he lights up like a big kid.  That reaction betrays the passion that is always just below the surface.

I know that Mike will continue to be involved with CONvergence as long as the convention is around.  That’s a good thing because the con needs people like him.

You can find his blog at michaell.org.

Fringe Festival – Day 3

I opened two shows yesterday and still managed to fill my day with Fringe-y goodness!  Here’s what I saw and what I thought.

Are you There God? It’s a New Musical Revue!

Blue Umbrella specializes in musical revues so if you like a bunch of good singers performing a series of songs from musicals, this show is exactly what you want.  It is not “Sylvia Plath: The Musical.”

I mention that simply because I think the concept of a musical revue confuses people and they go into a show expecting a narrative.  There is no narrative to the show.  To the individual songs, to be sure, but not the show itself.

Instead, it is a series of songs about childhood and growing up.  The singers are all very talented and your enjoyment of the show will most likely be measured by whether or not you enjoy what they are singing.

I certainly did.

A minor frustration was that I was sitting further back and at times the accompanist overpowered the singers.  This was not a constant issue but it was occasionally frustrating.

Lolita: A Three Man Show

The title alone is enough to attract attention.  The fact this is a Four Humors show made it a must see.

Having recently watched Lolita, I probably got more enjoyment out of this show than the rest of the audience.  And the rest of the audience was loving it.  My wife said that it was probably one of the best shows she’d seen from Four Humors and the bar is already set pretty high.

Special praise needs to be heaped upon the Ryan Learn, who played Humbert Humbert.  Brant Miller may rock the heck out of a polka dot bikini but Miller had some of the most impressive slow takes I’ve ever seen.

Best of all, the show is not just a straight adaptation of the film.  Instead, it frequently follows odd tangents that makes it more than a parody.

The only critique I have for the show is that it has effectively ruined Lolita for me.  Thanks a lot guys!

Schrödinger’s Apocalypse

I wrote the show so it would be inappropriate of me to review it.  I did, however, watch it and I want to say that John, my director and our actors (Cody, Mackenzie and Chris) did an admirable job staging what I wrote.

If you see the show and like it, it is their doing as much as it is my writing.  Probably more.

The Diamond Lens

I love a show that starts out as a comedy and turns darkly tragic.  If you can execute it well.

All the pieces are in place for this show.  Phillip andrew bennet low, Tim Uren and Dawn Krosnowski are three of my favorite Fringe performers.  They execute the script with the skill expected of such gifted professionals.

The script is really good but…

It relied, I think, a bit too heavily on narration.  Writer Steve Schroer spends more time telling the story than he does showing us the story.  That may have been a challenge resultant from adapting the source material.

I still recommend this show, though.  My frustrations with the script are probably more personal preference than anything and the acting is some of the best you will see in any fringe show.

Who’s on First? 50 Years of the Doctor in 60 or Less

Being squarely in my geek wheelhouse, there was no joke that went over my head in this show.

Excepting, I’m afraid, the ones I couldn’t hear because the actors were talking too quickly or too quietly.  Which happened quite a lot.

There were a lot of laughs left strewn about the stage in this show but the humor was very uneven.  Some jokes landed well.  Others never landed but turned into running gags anyway.  The rule of three is tossed out the window in favor of the rule of as many times as possible.

The attempt to create a madcap rush through the eleven doctors involved several curious choices.  Tom Baker received roughly two minutes while the last ten minutes of the show were spent reviewing every Matt Smith episode.

But look, this show is exactly what I expected.  The actors are not great but they are clearly enjoying what they are doing.  The script is super geeky.  Rough edges are what the Fringe is all about.

Geeks Without God is Extra Geeky this Week

Geeks Without GodOur friend Matt Savelkoul joined us for this week’s podcast and after some talk about how he came to atheism, we got down and dirty with Dr. Who.  We talked about all the ways the show is presented as existing in a secular universe.  The whole conversation gets pretty geeky.  That, of course, is the whole concept behind the podcast so I think we were pretty successful.  Even if you aren’t a Who fan, it is a great conversation about secularism in popular media.  And Dr. Who.  We do talk about Dr. Who.  Quite a bit.