1 OH, DR. ZAIUS!
From its damn-perfect score by Danny Elfman to songs like "Monorail," sung to the tune of "Ya Got Trouble" from The Music Man ("Well, sir, there's nothing on Earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car monorail!"), The Simpsons is a cartoon-loving, musical-theater-nerd's dream.
Enter Will Larche, founder of the quartet We Put the Spring in Springfield: The Music of the Simpsons. Currently based in New York, the four friends— Larche, Anthony Napoletano, Douglas Goodhart and Shannon Amiry—met while attending Boston Conservatory, where they studied musical theater.
Larche says he came up with the idea for a cabaret-style show of Simpsons music a few years ago.
Though the music to most of the songs hadn't been published, with his musical training, some DVDs and a piano, he could figure them out on his own. "It was great," he laughs. "There was three months of watching The Simpsons."
The result is a 50-minute show that covers 72 songs—from "Monorail" to "Sending Our Love Down the Well" to "Dr. Zaius."
"Shannon and I worked together to make the songs go together in a flow—to make a whole evening out of it," Larche says. "This is the country-western section, this is the politics section."
There's even a surprise from a deleted scene Larche found on a DVD.
"We mostly focus on the songs from probably the first decade," says Larche, whose favorite song is "Testify" from the episode where Bart becomes a faith healer, "because we understand that the audience who's going to come see our show is really interested in the nostalgia aspect of it."
The group's performing as part of the official Simpsons 25-year-anniversary panel at Comic-Con and will also have two performances on Saturday, July 20, at 5:30 and 9 p.m., at the C3 Performing Arts Center, 4579 Mission Gorge Place in Mission Valley. Tickets are $25 and available at brownpapertickets.com/event/412232.
A great Comic-Con side effect is the killer comedy shows that roll through town. Here are three guaranteed laugh riots: The hilarious comedy podcast and TV show, Comedy Bang! Bang! With Scott Aukerman, is doing a live performance at House of Blues (1055 Fifth Ave., Downtown) on Wednesday, July 17. Tickets are $20 to $25 at houseofblues.com. Take in some geek vaudeville at W00tstock 5.0, featuring nerd icons Wil Wheaton, Adam Savage and Paul and Storm, on Thursday, July 18, at Balboa Theater (868 Fourth Ave., Downtown). Buy tickets through ticketmaster.com. Finally, standup comedian Patton Oswalt will do two shows, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, at Spreckels Theater (121 Broadway, Downtown). The shows will be taped for his new live special, so laugh extra loud. spreckels.net
3 YOU KNOW—FOR KIDS!
Since debuting in 1992, Cartoon Network has become much more than a source of children's entertainment, thanks to the often-adult-themed, stoner-friendly programming of its Adult Swim shows. Yet, at the New Children's Museum, Cartoon Network is offering families a more kid-friendly cartoon experience during Comic-Con with The Regular Show Regular Zone. With inspiration taken from the Emmy-winning cartoon Regular Show, the exhibit will feature '80s-style arcade games, games inspired by Regular Show itself, neon lighting and giant inflatable characters Rigby and Mordecai. It happens from Thursday, July 18, to Sunday, July 21, at The New Children's Museum (200 W. Island Ave., Downtown). Admission is free. thinkplaycreate.org