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Revenge of the Riff 

High mockery

Mystery Science Theater 3000, or MST3K to fans, was the most elegant solution to a stupid problem: How do you sit through a terrible, terrible film? You make fun of it, of course, along with your cruel and clever friends. It helps if you have the aid of some robot puppets and an evil doctor (and later, the evil doctor's mother) experimenting on you while you watch, but it's not entirely necessary. Sadly, MST3K died a few years back, and late-night TV-watching became even more dull and pointless. But in its stead, steaming forward with the might and wit of a young Joe Don Baker, comes Cinematic Titanic — and look who's at the helm! It's Joel Hodgson, the man who created MST3K and starred as Joel, along with Trace Beaulieu (Dr. Clayton Forrester!), J. Elvis Weinstein (Dr. Ehrhardt and the voice of Tom Servo!), Frank Conniff (TV's Frank!) and Mary Jo Pehl (Dr. Pearl Forrester!). What are they doing? Why, they're mocking movies — live! — with their familiar silhouettes cast on the big screen through the magic of chroma-key. What movie will the titans be terrorizing? Does it matter? The worse the film, the better the riffs. Just cross your fingers and hope for the worst. And bring a friend — it's always more fun with a friend. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Family Arena (2002 Arena Parkway, St. Charles; 636-896-4200 or, and tickets are $29 to $39.
Sat., Nov. 1, 2008

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