Sunday, November 3, 6 p.m.
Adler Theatre, 136 East Third Street, Davenport IA
Appearing locally in his final touring production, writer/comedian Joel Hodgon brings his trademark sardonic wit and red jumpsuit to Davenport's Adler Theatre in the November 3 presentation Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour, offering an unforgettable night of enormous laughs, audience interaction, beloved characters, and astoundingly bad films.
Originally airing for 11 seasons from 1988 to 1999, Mystery Science Theater 3000 immediately won over fans and became one of the most beloved cult TV shows of all time, making a human mind experiment more entertaining than anyone could have predicted. Its premise found Joel Robinson (played by show creator Hodgson) shot into space and forced to watch terrible movies while mad scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester and his crony, TV's Frank, monitored his mind. Joel consequently built a cast of lovable robot sidekicks to help keep his sanity – Crow, Tom Servo, Gypsy, and Cambot – and it was only through their wisecracks, quips, and friendships that they made it through a barrage of increasingly terrible cinema, giving the audience, in turn, a veritable treasure trove of gut-busting hilarity.
Later hosted by Mike Nelson, and with its classic sketch segments highlighted by original songs, clever inventions, movie spoofs and more, MST3K skewered its way into the hearts of fans around the globe who recognized what making fun of cheesy movies looks like when elevated to high-art levels. In 2015, fans of the series united behind a record-breaking Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to revive the show for a brand new, 14-episode season that premiered on Netflix in 2017, with the “next generation” cast led by host Jonah Ray.
For Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour, Hodgon returns to his iconic role as Joel Robinson alongside Crow, Tom Servo, and Gypsy, delivering all of the MST3K riffs, signature one-liners, and rapid-fire hilarity that have built the show's loyal following over more than 30 years. The evening's feature presentation is 1886's No Retreat, No Surrender, in which a self-conscious teen becomes a martial-arts master under the tutelage of Bruce Lee's ghost. The film also boasts a young Jean-Claude Van Damme in one of his earliest film roles, as well as, according to MST3KLive.com, “a Bruce Lee lookalike who looks nothing like Bruce Lee.” Also on the night's bill is Circus of Horrors, described as “a garish 1960s British thriller showcasing colorful circus acts, plastic surgery, and animal attacks by stagehands in fur suits.”
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour lands in Davenport on November 3, admission to the 6 p.m. event is $33-68, and tickets are available by calling (800)745-3000 or visiting AdlerTheatre.com.