Cinematic Titanic LIVE! -
Ann Arbor, MI 7/5/2012
On 7/5/2012 the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor once again played host to Cinematic Titanic. CT was a featured attraction of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival. This year's show would include a double feature of Rattlers and the world premiere of their latest riff of The Doll Squad.
Here are a few pictures leading up to and during the event. As usual I included a few of my own side trips and points of personal interest that quite possibly only amuse myself, but what the heck. Here we go.
As some of you may know 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the luxury liner Titanic. The largest collection of relics retrieved from the ship were on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI at the same time as the visit of Cinematic Titanic to Ann Arbor. It seemed to me that somehow the planets were aligning so I decided to visit the museum exhibition right before attending the live shows. (By the way, the exhibits were amazing and heart wrenching.)
To help get visitors in the proper spirit as each of us entered we were handed a boarding pass of an actual passenger on the Titanic. I saw I was a 60 year old man in 2nd class named Thomas Brown. At the end of the exhibit you could go through a list to see if you were a survivor. To no one's surprise, I was not.
The Henry Ford Museum is one of my favorite places anywhere in the US. It has a massive collection of all things Americana so I decided to search out a few of the other items on display that are associated with famous tragic events in history. Here is the actual limousine that John F. Kennedy was riding in when he was assassinated in Dallas, TX in 1963. This is the actual chair that Abraham Lincoln was sitting in at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC when he was assassinated in 1865. And this is one of the actual Weinermobiles created by the Oscar Mayer Company to help publicize their hot dogs. Any way, on to Ann Arbor. Here is the Ann Arbor Summer Fest brochure with the enclosed ad for the CT shows that was mailed out earlier in the year. My first stop in Ann Arbor was at Zingerman's Deli for lunch. A line around the block is not unusual, but the great sandwiches are worth the wait. Corned beef and pastrami on two types of rye bread (hot mustard on the side), kosher dill pickle and green tea. The weather had been overcast with a few stretches of heavy rain, but the biggest factor all day was the heat. It had cleared up by later in the afternoon, but it was still 96 degrees that evening. The air conditioned theater was much appreciated. Michigan Theater marquee. Just outside the ticket office was a full sized poster for this evening's event. Pretty cool. The first show for the evening was Rattlers, which was to have it's official release on DVD on July 17th.
This was the third time I had seen Rattlers performed live and I have to admit that they had really honed the riffs. This presentation was much more consistently funny than the first time I saw it.
Attendees were able to get copies of the DVD ahead of the rest of the world (which of course I did). The late show was the world premiere of The Doll Squad. Very funny riff. This movie was the creation of Ted V. Mikels, the same guy that brought us Girl In Gold Boots.
Just like at the Royal Oak shows earlier in the year there were posters on sale for each of the movies shown that night. Cool graphics.
Back at the Titanic exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum visitors were given the opportunity to have their picture taken a la Leo DiCaprio catching wind at the bow of the ship. I of course once again proved I have no shame and jumped right up and struck the pose, much to the amusement of the other people in line. I mean, come on, you can't take yourself too seriously. Hell, I might even use this for my Christmas card this year. As I walked up to get my autographs at the meet and greet between shows each of the Cinematic Titanic folks apparently remembered me from previous shows (which always thrills me to no end).
I brought scans of some old pictures for Trace and Joel. Trace was with his 1990's group The Sleepers and five early publicity pictures of Joel (from 1981-83). (I brought the originals to the Royal Oak show and they seemed interested in them so I made nice copies for them. You can see them near the bottom of the Royal Oak write up HERE.)
Joel even asked if I had brought anything else to amaze him, to which I showed him a copy of this poster that I had recently found. It was from his stand up act back in 1983. He remembered it immediately.
Gruber was kind enough to spend some time both between and after the shows just hanging around with our group (and the rest of the crowd too of course). We had a fun talk about hometown monster movie hosts (in the Detroit area we had Sir Graves Ghastly), the catalog of Ted V. Mikels films (The Corpse Grinders was a favorite) and what are the Higgins boys up to these days?
(l to r) Dave "Gruber" Allen, Dan Noutko-Kennedy, Eric Emery, Dan's wife Kaylene, Dan's niece and Eric's girlfriend Kamber and Dan's brother Kirk Kennedy.
Myself, Gruber and Dan.
A couple things I wanted to mention here. First off, the folks at the Michigan Theater seemed unsure if the shows would sell out since there were a number of tickets still available right before the doors opened. There was a great rush right then and, to me at least, the theater seemed pretty much filled for both movies.
Also, I wanted to thank a young man named Matthew Simon who came by to say hi between the shows. He told me that it was my web site that first introduced him to MST3K and he wanted to thank me for helping him become a fan. Matthew, it was truly my pleasure and thank you very much for your kind words.
Here I am with the CT gang, although I apparently tried to replace Mary Jo hoping that no one would notice. She was stealthy enough to sneak up behind me and knee cap me only seconds after this picture was taken. She is not only funny, but also very protective of her position on the team. Next time I'll know not to cross her. It was also kind of cool to see this arrive via email the next day.
No, thank YOU Cinematic Titanic. Please come back any time.