Thursday, June 20, 2013

C2E2: The Not So Epic Waiting in Line for Peter Davison's Panel

I know, I know, it's been awhile since C2E2 and even my last entry about the convention. It has come and gone. It's old news. Ah well, hopefully I can provide a perspective that no one else has had or put out into the world.

Besides, I've been in something of a bad head space for the last couple weeks.

I guess this whole C2E2 review thing has become something of a serial. Today's entry will focus on waiting in a lne.

I didn't get to do too much after the Futuristic Fright panel with John Scalzi and Alex Hughes before having to go save spots in the line for the Peter Davison panel. Even at that time I thought that maybe I had gotten a little paranoid about not making into a panel, but it was Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor, after all. Not an opportunity to miss.

My worries had merit. I had gotten near the front of the line. Finding the front made for a trial of wits, in itself. Outside of the panel rooms, in the hallway, I found a small group of people who thought they made the front of the line. Like me, though, they worried that we had the wrong idea. All of us had already dealt with enough line messes in the last day or so. We knew we couldn't make any assumptions about where lines started and ended.

Good thing we kept our eyes and ears open. Asking questions of C2E2 assistants and staff helped. We ended up getting herded into one of the panel rooms and told to form a line on one side of the room. The other side of the room already had a formidable line formed for some other panel. I counted myself lucky that I had gotten into the first layer of line.

I plopped myself onto the ground and pulled out my mobile devices. The panel wouldn't start for another hour or so. I hadn't the patience to just sit around with my own thoughts or try to make friends.

Rumor spread or I overheard that the people in the panel before us wouldn't have to leave. Anyone who wanted to stay, could stay and keep their chair. That didn't and still doesn't strike me as entirely fair. People like me who sacrificed time to be in line could get screwed if everyone already in the room wanted to stay. Heck, couldn't someone in their group have stayed outside to save space in the line, like I did for wife and friends?

Didn't turn out half bad, though. Wife and friends arrived as the line had started getting long and excited. I breath a sigh of relief that no one got rowdy or worked up about me saving a spot in line for wife and friends. Elementary school lunch line politics could have come into play easy with just a little spark. Someone could have easily yelled "No cutting" or started some fisticuffs.

After both fortune and internalized drama, we all got into the panel room. Our little group didn't get the best seats. We sat off to the right side with middling distance but closer to the back. Having gotten close to the front of the line proved disappointing after getting suboptimum seats. Still, happy to have gotten in considering people who attended the panel beforehand didn't have to leave if they didn't want.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

DMs and GMs, Keep Your Eye on Quest Kick App

Hey RPGers, a DM techie of mine is making an app for running campaigns. It looks great. He showed it to me the other night and told me some of the concepts he's putting into it. Mind you, the Website doesn't necessarily have functionality yet. If reality matches his vision, though, it looks pretty kick ass.

The Website:
His Twitter:
Facebook Page:

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Brief Review of The Timey Wimey Fantastic Brilliant Extravaganza (Geronimo!)

I've just gotten home from seeing The Timey Wimey Fantastic Brilliant Extravaganza (Geronimo!) by McKenzie Gerber and Justin Gerber (they have bios on the page). The Right Brain Project produced the show. It has musical elements.

I had no idea what to expect. The Chicago Nerd Social Club had a post for it on their event calendar, which showed up on my RSS feed. Most things Doctor Who related tend to have an element of fun, so I said to Michi, "Let's go!" She said sure, so we did.

The play gets produced in a very small, 30-seat theater on the fourth floor of a loft space at 4001 N Ravenswood. You can practically hop, skip and jump from the Irving Park Brown Line stop.

We made reservations to take advantage of the $15 per person ticket (NOTE: first five patrons that come in costume get in for free). On a Sunday afternoon show at 3 PM, reservations may not prove necessary to guarantee you a seat. Then again, who knows? With enough buzz, a seat might be harder to get. The show has run four weeks so far and only has a couple more.

We had fun at the hour-long show. Michi called it cute and charming, which I think is apt.

Such a small theater group obviously doesn't have a huge budget, but the special effects were probably on par with Classic Who. They portrayed the Doctor much like a Classic Doctor, too, with much more arrogance and know-it-allism than we have become familiar with through the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. Both Michi and I wondered if the actor had channeled Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor a little.

It didn't present anything groundbreaking. However, some of the plot twists and tricks could prove worthy of the show. Using the word canon in relation to the play doesn't do justice to anything (does it ever in the fifty year history of Doctor Who?).

Someone with the barest familiarity with Doctor Who will do fine watching the play and have fun. On the other hand, the loyalist fan with a sense of humor will enjoy the in jokes. Anyone who takes themselves too seriously really has no business going.

The program probably says it best: "THE TIMEY WIMEY FANTASTIC BRILLIANT EXTRAVANGANZA (GERONIMO!) is a parody and does not seek to profit from the creators and producers of DOCTOR WHO." It's a parody, not a satire, not a tragedy, not an epic, not a drama. They execute the parody well.

I would be remiss not mention that the performers did a good job performing, from acting to singing. The stage crew also did a great job of making themselves visible without disrupting the drama and taking you out of the show.

At times I thought the actor playing the Doctor and the actress playing the most capable bystander would have done good in an actual episode on BBC or PBS. The production had its fill of romping and ridiculous stakes, much like the fun parts in the show. These two, though, manifested the occasional welling of palpable emotion that comes through during the best parts of the show.

I have a hard time rating the show as an absolutely can't miss. Life will continue as is, either which way. I'll always encourage people to support local business and arts, but I feel like bringing that up in a review is a little patronizing.

The play makes for a fun time and worth the price of the ticket (especially if you e-mail ahead and make your reservation for lower cost). If you're looking for a dose of The Doctor and/or some comedy, it stands up pretty good against the actual show and other comedy you'll find around Chicago. If you go, you'll have a fun time.