A Sign of Summer

It’s summer time. Normally, people can measure it by the onslaught of popcorn movies clustered around Memorial Day. Me, I can measure it by when we rehearse for Mystery Trekkie Theatre.

MTT has become a fixture at Shore Leave as Peter David, Mike Friedman and I rip off the format of Mystery science Theatre and ridicule the lesser episodes from Star Trek. So far we’ve done episodes from all four franchises, avoiding Enterprise because shooting fish in a barrel is way too easy. Last year, we deviated from the norm by skewering the unaired ABC pilot to Alexander the Great starring William Shatner and Adam West (I kid you not).

The routine is that we start discussing which episode to mock when we see each other at Farpoint in February. We then make dupes of the episode and review it, setting a time for a meeting. In the past, we’ve normally done it at a DC conference room, but that wasn’t going to work this year for obvious reasons.

So, this morning I boarded the Bridgeport to Port Jefferson ferry and was picked up on Long Island by Peter. Mike arrived at his palatial mansion a little while later and we more or less got right to work. As usual, we feel into our routine: Peter prepares the opening skit, I take the master set of notes and Mike eats.

Over the course of 2-2 ½ hours, we worked our way through the 45-50 minute episode, constantly playing “can you top this?” and reversing the tape to check timing and to see which joke plays better. We find running gags and some that just make us giggle incessantly. We had some fine deli sandwiches to keep us going and were very satisfied that once again, we had a winner.

I now have to type up our final gags and we’ll do a run through sometime at the con, plus rehearsing the opening with T.A. Chafin, our perpetual Mad Scientist.

This year, we’re getting the final programming slot on Sunday afternoon. Normally, the local theatre troupe puts on a showcase performance, usually a musical parody of some genre production. Apparently, after doing shows for Farpoint and Balticon, they needed a summer off so we got moved to the afternoon – make your travel plans accordingly.

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