Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, October 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 40° Partly Cloudy
A&E

Review: ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ delivers to fandom at FICA

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 10, 2020

Hampton Yount, Jonah Ray and Baron Vaughn star in the reboot of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” on Netflix. A stage production of “MST3K” was presented at First Interstate Center for the Arts on Feb. 6. (Darren Michaels)
Hampton Yount, Jonah Ray and Baron Vaughn star in the reboot of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” on Netflix. A stage production of “MST3K” was presented at First Interstate Center for the Arts on Feb. 6. (Darren Michaels)
By Evan Tewel and Matthew Woolley For The Spokesman-Review

The stage production of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” made its way to First Interstate Center for the Arts for a rescheduled date Thursday night after being canceled on Jan. 16 due to weather conditions.

“Mystery Science Theater 3000,” which had a successful 199-show, 11-season run on SyFy Network (along with other networks) from 1988 to 1999, was most recently revived by Netflix for two seasons and has a longtime cult following.

“MST3K,” where a cast of characters (Joel Robinson and robot friends Cambot, Gypsy, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot) comment on/heckle a B-movie, is known for its low production value, and the live event delivered to fans in a theater whose back seats were curtained off.

Here are 10 observations from last Thursday:

The B-movie starred legendary B-movie actor Jean Claude Van Damme – the title isn’t important because aren’t all of his films interchangeable? – and included references to Bruce Lee.

In fact, Lee and his grave were a bit overplayed, and the actor who portrayed the martial-arts legend might as well have been Samuel L Jackson.

The audience at FICA was very engaged, and there was a lot of laughter from the get-go.

The jokes were hilarious … and also racist, a product of its time.

A lot of eye makeup was in use.

In the immortal word of Moose from the “Revenge of the Nerds” movies, “Nerds!” aptly described the turnout on Thursday night.

There were cutaway skits, just like the TV show.

The characters to the side of the stage were dimly lit.

The old and dated references, mostly from the 1980s, were still funny in 2020 – especially if you’re a “MST3K” fan.

While the TV series is known for heckling, the crowd didn’t appreciate other attendees enjoying themselves and heckling. Oops!

Overall, “MST3K” nailed the nostalgia – it was exactly like the original fun, as if fans had wandered back into PBS reruns from 1994, except that it’s 40-year-olds as high school students. Also, it was nice to see the LGBTQ community represented here, as “MST3K” has always been a place for everyone.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter

Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.



New health insurance plans available Nov. 1 through Washington Healthplanfinder

 (Photo courtesy WAHBE)
Sponsored

Fall means the onset of the cold and flu season.