Sunday, May 13, 2012

This American Live

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This past Thursday, Missy and I headed out to the DISCOVERY MILLS MALL in Lawrenceville, Georgia to watch a live broadcast of the popular NPR radio show THIS AMERICAN LIFE. The show happened live on stage in NYC and was broadcast to certain movie theaters all over the United States, Canada, and Australia. The closest theater that was hosting the event in our area was the AMC Theater at the Discover Mills Mall, an hour away from where we live, on the periphery of Atlanta.

We thought we might have to get dinner at the food court, but ended up at this Greek restaurant inside the mall called ATHENS KOUZZINA. We got spanikopita, cheese-stuffed ravioli, and angel hair pasta...but the best thing was this appetizer that was a CHEESE FLAMBE, served with pita bread. The waitress poured some rum over the cheese and then SET IT ON FIRE, yelling "OPA!" as the flames shot up from the dish. We asked her if any of the servers ever got burned and she regaled us with stories of over-eager servers using waaaay too much alcohol for fuel (usually, the waiters who would try to show off), setting off impressive fireballs that would singe off eyebrows and catch hairdos on fire...

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After dinner, we barely had enough time to check out the SANRIO STORE, to get our HELLO KITTY fix. We rushed to the theater so that we could get our picks for seats. They warmed the packed audience up with a vintage SUPERMAN cartoon reel, straight out of the 40's. Superman had to save Lois Lane, after she crawled inside of this flying bank-robbing robot...

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The live VISUAL version of This American Life was a lot of fun. There was animation, several story tellers, comedians, a short film, and evan a modern interpretive dance troupe. It was pretty much a variety show. One of the highlights of the night (among many) was the band OK GO. The band created an app that show goers could download onto their smart phones, that would allow them to "interact" with the band's live performance. Essentially, the app turned your phone into a THREE-NOTE KEYBOARD, allowing the audience to play along with the band, via a scrolling prompter on the screen, kinda like the ROCKBAND video game. The colored bars corresponded to the color of the buttons you downloaded on the app - Missy ended up with yellow buttons, so she followed the cues that came up on the yellow bar. The app made BELL sounds and the band performed a couple of songs using HAND BELLS as accompaniment...

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Other favorite highlights of the night included comedienne TIG NOTARO's crazy story about singer TAYLOR DAYNE and author/humorist DAVID SEDARIS, who came out with CLOWN MAKE-UP on, for the benefit of the live studio audiences. Overall, it was one of the best nights at a movie theater in a long time and we can't wait to see if they will do another special live broadcast next year...

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