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77 Facts that Sound Like Lies but Are Actually True!

So, today is April 1st, a.k.a. April Fool’s Day, a.k.a. The Day the Internet Explodes with Purposely-Fabricated Lies.  I feel like today is the perfect opportunity, then, to instead bombard you with facts that are 100% positively true, but they sound so ridiculous that some people might not believe ‘em anyways.  But I DO promise, all of this stuff below factually checks out and is the honest-to-goodness truth!  Culled from the ever-popular BuzzFeed, here are some tidbits that might just blow your mind:

1. If you put your finger in your ear and scratch, it sounds just like Pac-Man.

 

2. The YKK on your zipper stands for “Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikigaisha.”

3. Maine is the closest U.S. state to Africa.

4. Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barbara Walters were born in the same year, 1929.

5. The name Jessica was created by Shakespeare in the play Merchant of Venice.

6. Cashews grow like this:

7. And pineapples grow like this:

hiyori13 / Via Flickr: hiyori13

8. Cleopatra lived closer to the invention of the iPhone than she did to the building of the Great Pyramid.

9. Russia has a larger surface area than Pluto.

10. Saudi Arabia imports camels from Australia.

11. Hippo milk is pink.

12. The toy Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.

13. Woody from Toy Story has a full name too — it’s Woody Pride.

14. And while we’re at it, Mr. Clean’s full name is Veritably Clean.

15. Oh, and Cookie Monster’s real name is Sid.

16. Carrots were originally purple.

17. The heart of a blue whale is so big, a human can swim through the arteries.

18. Vending machines are twice as likely to kill you than a shark is.

19. Home Alone was released closer to the moon landing than it was to today.

20th Century Fox

20. Oxford University is older than the Aztec Empire.

21. Not once in the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme does it mention that he’s an egg.

22. France was still executing people with a guillotine when the first Star Warsfilm came out.

23. Armadillos nearly always give birth to identical quadruplets.

24. Betty White is actually older than sliced bread.

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for TV Land

25. The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland.

26. A strawberry isn’t a berry but a banana is.

27. So are avocados and watermelon.

28. New York City is further south than Rome, Italy.

29. North Korea and Finland are separated by one country.

Via rsf.org

30. Mammoths went extinct 1,000 years after the Egyptians finished building the Great Pyramid.

31. There are more fake flamingos in the world than real flamingos.

32. Nintendo was founded as a trading card company back in 1889.

33. The man who voiced Fry on Futurama, Billy West, also voiced Doug onDoug.

34. The last time the Chicago Cubs won the baseball World Series, the Ottoman Empire still existed.

35. And lollipops had not yet been invented.

36. And women did not have the right to vote in the United States.

37. If you shrunk the sun down to the size of a white blood cell and shrunk the Milky Way Galaxy down using the same scale, it would be the size of the continental United States.

38. John Tyler, the 10th president of the United States, has a grandson who’s alive today.

39. Will Smith is now older than Uncle Phil was at the beginning of The Fresh Prince.

40. The show the The Wonder Years aired from 1988–1993 and covered the years 1968–1973. Today, in 2014, if one were to make a similar show, it would cover the years 1994–1999.

41. Humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas.

42. Duck Hunt is a two-player game. Player two controls the ducks.

Nintendo

43. The difference in time between when Tyrannosaurus Rex and Stegosaurus lived is greater than the difference in time between Tyrannosaurus Rex and now.

44. One more fact about the Cubs: The last time they won the world series, Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, and New Mexico were not yet states.

45. Speaking of Alaska — it’s simultaneously the most northern, the most western, and the most eastern state in the U.S.

46. Pluto never made a full orbit around the sun from the time it was discovered to when it was declassified as a planet.

47. A thousand seconds is about 16 minutes.

48. A million seconds is about 11 days.

49. A billion seconds is about 32 years.

50. And one trillion seconds is about 32,000 years. A trillion is a lot.

51. But the good news is: Honey never spoils. You can eat 32,000-year-old honey.

52. There are more stars in space than there are grains of sand on every beach on Earth.

53. And there’s enough water in Lake Superior to cover all of North and South America in one foot of water.

54. There are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the U.S.

55. For every human on Earth there are approximately 1.6 million ants. The total weight of all those ants is approximately the same as the total weight of all the humans on Earth.

56. An octopus has three hearts.

57. Mario hits blocks with his hand, not his head.

58. The CEO of Food For The Poor is named Robin Mahfood.

59. One in every 5,000 babies is born with a condition known as “imperforate anus.”. This means the baby is born without an anus and has to have one created manually in the hospital.

60. You can’t hum while holding your nose.

61. It rains diamonds on Saturn and Jupiter.

62. Also, this is what Jupiter would look like if it were as close to us as the Moon is:

63. And this is what sand looks like under a microscope:

Courtesy of Dr. Gary Greenberg / sandgrains.com / Via sandgrains.com

64. If a piece of paper were folded 42 times, it would reach to the moon.
65. The pyramids were as old to the Romans as the Romans are to us.

66. If you dug a hole to the center of the Earth and dropped a book down, it would take 42 minutes to reach the bottom.

67. There is 10 times more bacteria in your body than actual body cells.

68. And 90% of the cells that make us up of aren’t human but mostly fungi and bacteria.

69. Every two minutes, we take more pictures than all of humanity in the 19th century.

70. Peanuts are not nuts. They grow in the ground, so they are legumes.

71. Turtles can breathe out of their butts.

72. The dot over an “i” is called a “tittle.”

73. There are more atoms in a glass of water than glasses of water in all the oceans on Earth.
74. The probability of you drinking a glass of water that contains a molecule of water that also passed through a dinosaur is almost 100%.
75. At the time the current oldest person on Earth was born, there was a completely different set of human beings on the planet.
76. And at the time you were born, you were briefly the youngest person in the entire world.
77. And, finally, “dog food lid” backwards is “dildo of God.”

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5 Songs with Deeper Meaning

With the ever-present and all-encompassing nature of tools like radio stations and online streaming services, listeners have unprecedented access to any and all types of music they could possibly desire.  When planning a wedding, private party, corporate gathering, or any other kind of social event, having a variety of music is key.  But, along with the sound of the songs, there is another important aspect that is often overlooked: the content of the music, specifically what the lyrics of the songs might be saying to the listeners.

Some songs are easy to understand, but lots of music features lyrics that are sung so quickly or take such a back-seat to the overall sound of the song that most folks miss the “real meaning” of the experience entirely.  For every obviously-apparent song like David Allen Coe’s “Take This Job and Shove It” (which I do not recommend playing at corporate functions, for the record), there are a slew of songs whose true meanings aren’t so readily apparent.  In addition to questions about lyrics, many popular songs have back-stories about the how/where/why the songs were written that may not be entirely accurate (but the stories sound good and help to sell copies).  Take, for example, Eric Clapton’s classic ballad “Layla;” while it seems readily apparent that the song was written about a lady in Clapton’s life, it was actually inspired by a classic Persian poem from the 12th Century that Clapton thought would make a good story in song.  I’m sure the mysterious-girl/heartbroken-singer angle sold many more records, though.

In my years of DJ work and music management, I’ve discovered lots of interesting tidbits about many songs that might just surprise you (or at least give you some nuggets of trivia for the next time you’re out at the bar with your friends).  I’ve listed five well-known examples below, and as you’re planning your big event, I recommend that you take the time with songs you might not be familiar with and explore their lyrics and/or back-story in a little greater detail.  By utilizing sites like Lyrics.com and other online resources (as well as consulting directly with your friendly neighborhood DJ), you’ll be able to avoid potential blunders: since approximately 94% of Taylor Swift songs are about break-ups, maybe her songs are not the best picks for your Must-Play list at your wedding, am I right?

Click on the album covers to hear the songs and buy them from Amazon.com

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” IZ

aa-izWe’ll start with a widely-believed “deeper meaning” that actually isn’t accurate.  Hawaiian-born Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole, better known simply as “IZ” to the world outside of the island state, became famous worldwide when his 1993 album, Facing Future, was released and featured the now-iconic medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World.” The acoustic-ukulele song sung and performed by IZ has since been featured in several films, TV shows, commercials, and more; IZ holds the distinction of being the first Hawaiian-born musician to have a platinum album, although the honor sadly came years after his death due to obesity in 1997.  It’s often talked about and believed by many casual listeners that the medley was created by IZ while he was dying as something for his daughter to remember him by; sadly, this appears to be one of those tales that “sounds nice” but isn’t accurate.  The song was released four years before he passed away, and the producer of the album has actually stated that the song was a last-minute addition to the record in order to (hopefully) boost recognition and sales.  The “daughter/tribute” story sounds lots better, though, doesn’t it?  Let’s just pretend that’s the real reason.

“Gangnam Style” Psy

PsyThis one may not necessarily be a “deeper,” but since the lyrics are predominantly sung in Korean, most of the English-speaking world is left to wonder what exactly Psy is singing about in his very catchy song – and the singer’s crazy horse-dancing antics in the song’s video don’t exactly shed a lot of light on the subject.  The explanation is actually a simple one: Gangnam is the name of a very wealthy and trendy district in the city of Seoul, South Korea, so “Gangnam Style” is meant to convey an aura of hip-ness and a lavish lifestyle.  The American equivalent would essentially be a song called “Beverly Hills Style.”  The refrain of the song, “Oppan Gangnam Style,” roughly translates from Korean as simply “I am Gangnam Style,” with Psy self-referentially poking fun at himself by saying that he is being trendy while doing such idiotic things in the song’s video.  As he himself said in a recent interview with CNN, “People who are actually from Gangnam never proclaim that they are – it’s only the posers and wannabes that put on these airs and say that they are ‘Gangnam Style’ – so this song is actually poking fun at those kinds of people who are trying very hard to be something that they’re not.”

“Semi-Charmed Life” Third Eye Blind

aa-3ebIf you spent any of your teen or twentysomething years in the late 1990s or early 2000s, you are undoubtedly familiar with 3EB’s insanely catchy rock-pop anthem, and let’s be honest, you’re probably already repeating the doo-doo-doo, doo-duh-doo-doo chorus in your head (if you weren’t before, you are now – you’re welcome).  But once you get past the upbeat melody and have a chance to slow down those quick-fire lyrics, you’ll start to see that the actual content of the song is not all sunshine and roses.  With versed content like “Chop another line like a coda with a curse,” “I was taking sips of it through my nose,” and the just-in-case-you-were-confused “Doing crystal myth, will lift you up until you break // And then I bumped up, I took the hit that I was given Then I bumped again, then I bumped again I said…,” very little is left to the imagination here.  Lead singer Stephan Jenkins has said that “Semi-Charmed Life” was written as a response to Lou Reed’s classic 1970s song “Walk on the Wild Side,” whose lyrics spoke in detail about drugs, prostitution, and sex, among other taboo topics.  It’s important to note that Jenkins was not necessarily talking about his personal experiences with drug use; regardless of the inspiration, the song is a great example of deeper meanings in lyrics that are just waiting for the “average listener” to glaze over them.

“Hotel California” The Eagles

aa-eaglesOn the surface, this classic ‘70s rock song describes the title establishment as a high-class resort where “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”  The lyrics of the song seem to illustrate either the mental state of travelers who enjoy luxury accommodations on their vacation and will never forget how great the experience was, or a tall tale about a fatigued traveler who becomes trapped in a nightmarishly-extravagant hotel.  According to multiple interviews and retrospectives from the band members, however, the song is an allegory about hedonism, self-destruction, and greed in the music industry of the late 1970s. In an interview with Rolling Stone, lead singer Don Henley called the song “our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles” (none of the members of the band were originally from California) and later reiterated “it’s basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we knew a lot about.”

“California Girls” The Beach Boys

aa-bbAt the risk of hitting you with too much to do with The Golden State, a song as well-known as this one simply has to make the list.  After all, it is not only one of the Boys’ most famous songs, but both The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Rolling Stone has listed “California Girls” on their (separate) lists as One of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  The tune was primarily written by lead singer Brian Wilson during his first LSD trip, but that in itself isn’t the most intriguing part of the song; we’ve all probably heard it played countless times, but I’m not sure that most of us realize what the song is actually saying. The song’s hook, “I wish they all could be California girls,” is most easily interpreted as the band professing how much they love their home-state gals and how much they would like all the girls of the world to be just like their West-Coast versions.  But maybe – just maybe – the true meaning of the song is the exact opposite; what if the Boys are really indicating that they don’t like the ladies in their area, that every other part of the globe has far more awesome girls and the band wishes that all those gals lived closer to them?  The lyrics in the rest of the song certainly are confusing, as some verses sing the praises of females in other geographical regions but other lines profess the band’s love to get back home to “the cutest girls in the world.”  So, which is it?  Well, according to separate interviews with Wilson and Mike Love, it’s a little of both; says Love in a 1992 interview for Goldmine, “We’d been to Hawaii, we’d been to Australia. We’d been all around the [world] and I just thought the neat thing about the United States was that all these girls from all over the world were living here. And that was the premise of the song. Some people confuse it with thinking that we were extolling the virtues of simply California girls but if you listen to the lyrics it’s about girls from all over the [country].”  So, there you go – USA!  USA!

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Top Things to Consider when Picking a Publisher

Hi folks!  I thought I’d share a little bit about some things I’ve learned in my few years of being an author having multiple books and short stories published.  There are a lot of different kinds and types of publishers out there, and not all of them strike a good balance between wanting both their company and their authors to be professionally and financially successful.  Especially with smaller or independent publishers, it can be a daunting task separating the “knights in shining armor” from the plain old shysters.  I’ve had my dealings with both kinds, and I’d like to share with you a few insights and things to look for that I’ve discovered along the way.  Any feedback you may care to share is welcomed via the comments section below!

Top Things to Consider when Picking a Publisher

  1. What do their other books look like?  Take a moment to look around the publisher’s website (WARNING: if a publisher doesn’t have a dedicated website for their company, they are missing out on a key way to sell the books they publish) or search their books on Amazon.  Do the covers of the publishers’ other books look like a cover you would want on your book?  Most companies use only one or a small handful of cover artists, so the odds are good that (if you decided to publish with this company) the cover for your book will have a similar design or theme as the already-for-sale books.  It’s true what they say: “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” but in an increasingly populated marketplace, a shoddy cover is a surefire way to make potential buyers pass you right by without even bothering to discover what your book is about.
  2. How are their other books doing in sales?  This is not always a perfect indicator, but if you hop on Amazon and see that all the books from this publisher are languishing at the 2-million-ranking mark or higher, odds are good that not a lot of promotion for these books (and, in turn, yours when it comes out) is going on.  On the flip side, if you see good sales numbers, the company could definitely be doing some excellent marketing to go along with a solid book.  Of course, an author can many times go out and whip up a sales storm, so make sure to take those numbers with a grain of salt; go out and pick up a copy of a magazine that is specific to the genre you are writing in (for example, if your book is horror, than go grab a Fangoria or Rue Morgue) and see if the company has any ads out there.  Of course, the easiest way to get direct book sales numbers – if you have the gumption – is to simply ask the publisher directly for this information.
  3. Does the publisher have a publicly-noted good/bad reputation?  Visit an online forum or author’s club, or once again hit up Amazon and take a look at the conversation threads attached to any of the publisher’s book’s pages.  The website Preditors & Editors is a great resource to find honest information from other authors as well.  Good publishers will have people singing their praises; bad publishers will have people with many horror stories to tell you.  Both kinds may be slightly embellished, but you can usually take any trends you find out there as a pretty solid indicator of the truth.
  4. What are the terms of the deal they are offering?  This seems simple enough, but in reality there is actually quite a bit to consider here.  In addition to how much money per book you will make (and NEVER take an agreement that asks you for money up-front!), be sure to find out how many free copies of your book you will get sent to you upon release, and what kind of a discount you can have if you order extra copies of your book.  Be sure to note the length of time you will receive royalties and how long the book remains “exclusive” with the publisher.  Most publishers will offer you royalties from book sales for a set amount of time (3, 5, or 10 years, as some standard examples) but will ask to keep the book in their library “for as long as there is public demand for the title” (i.e., forever).  After your royalty period ends, I strongly encourage you to ensure the contract states that the exclusive rights also end, allowing you to sell the book on your own or publish it with another company, even if a version stays with the original publisher – you should always be able to get paid for your book!
  5. Are they professional in their communication with you?  This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the kind of things a publisher may say to you in your e-mail or phone call communication.  Good manners, mutual respect, and excitement about your work are key – also of great importance, that a publisher is well-spoken and knows correct grammar and spelling!  I used to work with a publisher who wrote the most haphazard e-mails you’d ever see: line breaks at the wrong place, misspellings so plentiful I’d sometimes be confused as to what was being said, and not a single capital letter to be found.  If a person who runs a “professional” company can’t even be bothered to present as professional to you, how do you think he/she treats the products (i.e., your book)?  Also of note: be wary of someone who constantly badmouths other authors/publishers/companies.  If he/she speaks so unprofessionally and poorly about people he/she doesn’t work with, how do you know he/she doesn’t say the same about you to others?

Hopefully these pieces of information will be helpful to you as you go on your search for the “right” publisher.  There are many out there, so take your time and don’t necessarily feel the need to jump on the first offer you get simply because it’s there.  You know the value of your work – make sure you get your fair slice of the pie!

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The Phenomenon of Show Choir

Long before there were any “Gleeks,” there existed a special breed of teenager I call the Show Choir Nerd.

glee2The TV show Glee, for those unfamiliar, is a fictional series all about show choir, or at least something that represents the Hollywood-embellished version of show choir.  Glee has been nominated for numerous awards and received high praise from both critics and fans (who prefer to be called the aforementioned “Gleeks”), and is still going strong in its fifth season on the Fox network.  Five years is nice and all, but hey TV executives – try keeping the show choir passion going for 40 years, and then we’ll talk about what it really takes to embody the show choir experience.

Why 40 years?  Even though it may seem like a random number, 40 years ago, at a little catholic high school in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the first show choir competition in the nation (most likely the world) was held.  How do I know this little bit of trivia?  Well, I wasn’t there…but my Dad was.  As a founding member of the Bishop Luers H.S. Minstrels, he was there when the choir’s director, Father Fred Link, had the revelation: why not get choirs together to perform in front of judges and fans?  The feedback the judges give would help the groups get better and enhance the experience for all involved.  So, on a chilly Saturday in February of the 1973-1974 school year, seven swing choirs (as they were known at the time), invited to the competition by Father Link, performed on a tarp-covered gymnasium floor at Bishop Luers, in front of a grandstand full of raucous fans.  The show choir Invitational was officially born.

And, in case you were curious, that night the Marion, IN, 26th Street Singers became the first show choir Grand Champions ever, and they would return to successfully defend that title the following year before the Carmel, IN Ambassadors went on a four-year Grand Champion run from 1977-1980.

ShowChoir3I currently serve as half of the Masters of Ceremonies duo for the Bishop Luers Midwest Show Choir Invitational, alongside the amazing Mr. Larry Bowers, who is marking his incredibly-impressive 38th consecutive year as Invitational MC this year.  The competition takes place this coming weekend, and every year at the Invitational I am reminded first-hand how much hard work, time, and effort goes into every facet of show choir, most prominently from the immensely talented and dedicated students that participate in the choir, band, and technical crews.  As a four-year member of the Bishop Luers Minstrels myself from 1992-1996, I know first-hand the long hours of rehearsal, fund-raising, travel, performance, and anxiety that comes standard with being a show choir member.  I also know it’s an enormously rewarding experience, one that I will truly treasure and remember for the rest of my life.

So to all you show choir members out there that are reading this, whether you’re a singer/dancer, handle an instrument or the equipment, and are a current or alumni member: THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS.  Thank you for your hard work and dedication to keep this amazing culture alive and well, and congratulations on all of your successes, whether they come in the form of trophies or simply the satisfaction of knowing that you stood tall and performed to the best of your abilities.  NO ONE can take any of this away from you, and NO ONE except other show choir members will truly understand the feelings of pride and accomplishment you can carry with you.  No matter how much of a “Gleek” they are.

ShowChoir2So stand tall and be proud, Show Choir Nerds.  Wear the title as openly as so many wear the title of being a “Gleek.”  Like I said above, the difference between a “Gleek” and a Show Choir Nerd is an important one: “Gleeks” watch the amazing-ness that is the show choir experience onscreen.  Show Choir Nerds get to live it.

It’s good to be a Nerd.

 

 

Photo Credits (from top)

The Sedalia News-Journal (sedalianewsjournal.com)

The Fox Network (Fox.com)

The Findlay First Edition (findlayfirstedition.org)

The Homewood Star (thehomewoodstar.com)

 

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Theater Review: “Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical”

Dare to be different, I always say.

I love to actively seek out and experience the unique, the quirky, the off-the-beaten-path type of stuff, especially in the world of fine arts and entertainment.  While radio is attempting to shove what they want to be the “next big thing” down the public’s throat, I scour music sites like eMusic, CDBaby, and (to a lesser extent) iTunes, trying to find artists and bands that I actually want to listen to based on my own personal preferences, not what someone else is telling me to do.  I can use wonderful independent or wider-ranging film services like Vimeo or Netflix Instant to find lesser-known movies and hidden gems that aren’t afforded the luxury of national marketing campaigns.  Amazing authors working with a smaller press or self-publishing their work are just a few clicks away from discovery on sites like Smashwords, Goodreads, and of course Amazon.  Finding that singular, largely-unknown and under-rated slice of goodness really makes me feel like I’m privy to something special, something that I can confidently tell others about and proudly say “’I found this first…I found this on my own.”

That’s my feeling in a nutshell about “Debbie Does Dallas,” the stage-musical version of the kitsch-tastic 1970s pseudo-porn movie of the same name.  The iteration I had the pleasure to witness is currently running on stage here in Indianapolis, at Theater on the Square on Mass Ave.  The fine folks at TOTS are no strangers to pushing the envelopes with their shows, as I having at one time performed in a TOTS production while being on stage in nothing but a dance belt, a well-placed marijuana leaf, and a smile, can directly attest to.  “Debbie” tells a familiar tale: a young, bright-eyed and innocent youth goes on a voyage of self-discovery and personal change while trying to follow a dream.

The only difference between “Debbie” and Shakespeare, really, is that Debbie’s dream is to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, the “’personal change”’ she and her fellow high-school cheerleaders go through is more related to hormones than anything else, and their voyage of self-discovery is just that, in the most literal and physical sense.

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, both the show and the cast are clearly having a great time letting loose in front of the audience.  The content itself is intrinsically cheesy and entertaining – the story is firmly entrenched in the free-wheelin’ 1970s and there’s no getting around it – but it’s the surprisingly nuanced performances by the cast that really bring the show’s irresistible charm to life.  Performing live comedy, especially the goofy, out-of-your-natural-element kind, is incredibly hard to do, and the actors and actresses in “Debbie” all shine in their own ways, playing to their characters’ singular quirks.

In the title role of Debbie, Emily Bohannon exudes the perfect balance of innocence and a growing understanding of sexuality and how the world revolves around it.  She’s cute as a button, unequivocally likable, and effortlessly carries the weight of most of the show’s musical numbers (it seems the show’s creators focused what little musical numbers there were primarily on the lead character, although the second act does feature some fun tunes for the entire cast to perform).  Maria Meschi plays Lisa, Debbie’s “frenemy” co-cheerleader; she does a fantastic job of playing a subtly evil high school girl, and she also gets the chance to show her vocal prowess in a second-act solo.  As Roberta, Linda Heiden absolutely nails the classic ditzy-cheerleader persona from top to bottom, and Andrea Heiden and Betsy Norton round out the cheerleading squad with excellent play off of each other as blissfully-unaware almost-lesbians.

My, what a large…loofah you have.

There are guys in the show, too.  Zachary Joyce portrays Rick, Debbie’s boyfriend and star high school quarterback; Joyce plays the role to spot-on perfection, presenting (physically and mentally) as the typical ‘70s porn-star leading man, replete with awesome moustache and an odd indifference to getting into sexytime situations with both guys and girls.  Ryan Dunn and Rich Tunnell both play double-duty as H.S. football players and a variety of other male-adult characters, with Dunn earning a special mention for playing a host of random but always-entertaining personas.  Rounding out the cast is Carl Cooper, who seems right at home in the finest of retro clothing as he also plays multiple roles of the Dallas Cowboys’ owner, a seemingly-innocent candle-store owner, and a not-so-innocent older man who first turns the girls on to the fact that “Teen Services” can mean a lot more than a simple innuendo.

The true mastery of the cast’s performance lies not in the “main” moments of dialogue and music, but in the small moments of comedy and “subtle” acting in between their words and when the primary attention of the audience is supposed to be directed to a different part of the stage.  Bohannon, Dunn, Joyce, and Linda Heiden particularly excel in this area, and it is this attention to detail and dedication to “acting through the end of the scene” that helps create a totally enjoyable experience for this show.

Choreographed with chintzy aplomb by Erin Cohenour (special mention to the tap-dancing glory of the song “The Dildo Rag”) and directed with a zealous embrace of all things tacky by Andrew Ranck, “Debbie Does Dallas” is a show that should certainly make you laugh and – pardon the innuendo – make you want to come again and again.  If porn mustaches were a rating system, this would be a 5-’stacher for sure.  Yes, it’s an adult-themed show, but with this knowledge beforehand, you can obviously make your own choice to either relax and have fun with it, or simply pass on seeing it if you’re that concerned about what the ladies at the Bridge Club might think.  Personally, I highly recommend the first option, and then tell the card-playing ladies to lighten up and enjoy life a little bit.

Tickets, performance information, and more can be found on the Theater on the Square website.

The End of Ma(y)berry

Hello everyone! I’m out of town at a friend’s wedding this weekend, so I’m going to “phone it in” a little bit in regards to my blog posting this week (ironic, since I’m actually writing this ON my phone!).

So, here is an excerpt from the beginning of the guest review on The GORE Score from NY Times best-selling author Jonathan Maberry. To read the full review, skate on over to http://www.thegorescore.com Enjoy!

Guest Review by Jonathan Maberry

Hello all!

I’m delighted to be a guest reviewer here on the G.O.R.E. Score.  And thanks to Tony Schaab for the weirdness that is MAY-Berry Month here on the site.  There are some disturbed individuals associated with this site—staff and readers; but luckily various forms of treatment are available.
 
Instead of reviewing a single book (as I was invited and, dare I say, expected to do), I decided to provide my MUST HAVE list for best horror reading and viewing. These are the horror works I feel have great enduring merit and laid the groundwork for the best of today’s creepy storytelling.  It’s not a complete list by any stretch, but for me, all of these are 10/10.  There isn’t a weak one in the bunch.

Survivor!

It’s been 22 seasons, and I still can’t get enough of the crazy reality show of “Survivor.” Now, I’m not a total reality show fanatic – I do watch “The Amazing Race” and enjoyed some of the goofier concept shows that aren’t around anymore (I miss you and will always love you, “Blind Date!”). But there is just something about the insanely interesting dynamic that goes on inside the game of “Survivor” that is, for me, irresistible.

For those unfamiliar, “Survivor” is a social-experiment, strategy-based competition game that takes place within the confines of a reality show, shot over the course of 39 days. Player start in two tribes, usually set in an exotic or tropical location, and have to compete against the other tribe in challenges, with the losing group going to Tribal Council and being forced to vote one member out of the game. Eventually, the two tribes merge and the challenges change from one tribe having “immunity” to individuals winning and having that immunity, which protected them from being voted out at the next Tribal Council. Eventually, the game gets down to the final two or three players, who then go before a jury of the most-recently voted-out players, who then cast their vote for who they feel is the most deserving remaining player. That player wins the game, and oh yeah – the $1 million prize that comes with it.

If it sounds like a show that may not exactly be for you, I encourage you to watch a few episodes when the show returns this Fall and see what you think. The social dynamic of the game is very intriguing, and an oddly-enthralling counterpart to the “reality show” vibe given off by the challenges and the monetary prizes. I’ve seen every episode of each of the 22 seasons, and you’d better believe I’ll be right there for the excitement this Fall of season #23!

Author by day, DJ by night, pop culture nerd in between

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