I interviewed director Ben Dickow* when they had this show at the Bootleg Theater earlier in the year, and now they’ve tweaked and improved the Spectacular Superhero Variety Hour for its debut at Meltdown. Prepare yourself for hilarious performances depicting Joker and his colossal boner, Supergirl getting hazed at college and other classic stories from yesteryear that maybe haven’t aged so well. Plus musical performances and old comic book ads brought to life before your very eyes and ears.
No superhero knowledge necessary, it’s just a great time. If you don’t laugh, you’re probably dead.
*Of course, this interview entitles me to eternal bragging rights for any and all future successes enjoyed and/or obtained by Captured Aural Phantasy Theater and its members collectively and individually.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Ben Dickow, director of the Captured Aural Phantasy Theater, about their new show the Spectacular Superhero Variety Hour performing for 2 Fridays at the Bootleg Theater, April 15 and April 22. The show uses vintage comic books to create a vaudeville-style show performed like old radio plays. They have used all kinds of comic books in the past, such as horror, romance, and war comics. This is their first time taking on superheroes.
Here is the audio of our interview:
More about the Secret Origin of Captured Aural Phantasy Theater, written by Ben Dickow:
The origin story of Captured Aural Phantasy Theater begins decades ago, when my friend Ben Ziola started performing his comic book stories for his family when he was a kid. He quickly roped in his friend Wes Bailey and the two would perform stories at parties for friends. They both moved to Chicago in the late 70′s and collected my friend Billy Bullion and then me over the years. I began producing the show in 1999 with all of us on stage in the finest dive bars around Chicago. The show moved with me to LA and has evolved a lot since the early days, going strong with a fabulous company of performers ever since. However, both Ben Z. and Billy, who remain in Chicago, have come out to be in a few “special” shows in LA.
Ben’s favorite Southern California comic book stores for finding those rare comics from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s: