What is w00tstock?
For those of you who don’t know what this w00tstock is, check out w00tstock.net. Basically it is a sort or nerd vaudeville or geek variety show. The show was created by actor and author Wil Wheaton, Mythbuster Adam Savage, and musical comedy duo Paul and Storm. Their first three shows last year (version 1.x) were so well received that they expanded the show this year with 12 performances across the country (version 2.x).
w00tstock Tour 2010 – episode 1: (Los Angeles v2.6)
The one where Weird Al jumped on stage with an accordion
Everyone singing Shaving Cream
This tour was a fantastic experience. It is difficult to fully explain how amazing this was without writing a novel. I will attempt to do it justice on my blog.
This was the first tour of this size that I’ve worked on. Five shows in nine days can be an easy thing, that is, if you aren’t flying across the country. To report on the trip, I will post about each city individually.
It is important to be said that Wil was extremely missed on this tour. If the show had not been fully booked when Wil had to pull out, we probably would have considered cancelling. And here’s why: Wil Wheaton is truly the spirit of w00tstock. The shows, the sense of community, the casual format, all of these things are really from the heart of Wil. Despite our great “stand-in Wils” the show was truly lacking something. Now don’t worry all of you who saw the show- I know you had a great time and enjoyed yourselves. But just wait until the Wheaton factor is back.
Now that I have cleared that up, let me tell you about the show.
Los Angeles (Largo at the Coronet Theater)
Thinking back to the start of the tour seems like years ago- or a month or so at least. The trip was so packed with events and experiences that my sense of time completely changed. Storm refers to it as its own separate time, out of the regular timeline. Road Time. I understand now, a week seemed like a month.
This show was in honor of Dr. Demento’s 40th anniversary. He introduced all of our musical acts in his signature suit and top hat. It was an honor to meet the man who has been such in an influence in musical comedy genre. That’s what we do here at w00tstock. Dr. D’s show launched Al Yankovic’s career and brought silly and hilarious songs to many.
Dammit Liz and "Weird" Al Yankovic
I MET WEIRD AL! There I said it. Meeting Al Yankovic was a geeky childhood dream come true. He’s such a nice guy, professional and easy going. He arrived in time for the show and sat on the side of the stage, on the floor, watching the entire show. Not every celebrity cameo will do this. It was also great to see how elated the other performers were when he complimented their bit or act.
The plan for Al was simple. At the end of Dr. Demento’s set, everyone came out to sing “Shaving Cream.” Dr. D needed some sort of accompaniment, and after asking everyone on stage if they could play, it seemed t
hat there was no hope. Then the one and only Weird Al Yankovic jumped out on stage in heroic fashion with his trusty accordion to save the day! He was greeted with a cry of surprise and joy from the crowd. We can say: “And the crowd went wild.”
Al had taken a picture of the gang backstage and held it, tweeting it 30 seconds before he went out on st
age. I laughed as the twitter feed responded with “what the?” then “OMG
Weird Al is on stage!” It was a delightful performance as Dr. Demento led everyone in a rendition of “Shaving Cream.” As with w00tstock tradition, it was one of a few “finales” for the show that night.
In addition to Al and Dr. Demento, I met Garfunkel and Oates, Jed Whedon, Mo Tancheroen, and Eric Swartz.
A confession: I had been lobbying for Garfunkel and Oates for a long time. So I was ecstatic when I heard they were in the show.
As a fan of their work, it was great to finally meet Mo and Jed- another couple of sweet, down to earth people. It was surprising to see how nervous Mo was. She was even surprised. Not to worry, their performance went off without a hitch. I almost had to kick out some folks who snuck backstage, until Mo vouched for them. This Fran Kranz guy… I dunno.
On a side note: Fran is supposed to be a part of another project I’ve worked on, JourneyQuest. www.journey-quest.com
I always enjoy w00tstock because I get to work with my friends. The first hour or so of the w00tstock reunion involves lots of hugs, catching up, and relaying new and old stories. It’s like the first day of school, without the school part.
I was fully entertained watching Hard n’ Phirm for the first time. It was one of those great performances. They had the chemistry of performing together many, many, times, but the enthusiasm and energy that comes with playing together after an extended break. So much fun.
Backstage at Largo has limited space. Adam says it’s his favorite space because it is such close quarters. I can see why, it creates this close knit group, producing unique and interesting conversations amongst performers and crew.
Phirman as Wolverine v. Beer
My one “fire” turned out to be something to laugh at later. Despite the fact it was a bit intense, it was crazy funny (after the fact) when Phirman missed his cue and I had to run through backstage, outside, upstairs into the practice room, swing open the door and cry “YOU’RE ON!” That was the only mishap during a show on this tour.
After LA, we took off for New York. I always wish we could bring everyone with us. Hopefully one day we will make this w00tstock a three day festival of sorts and we can all hang out in one place.
Stay tuned for episode 2…New York