With the movie industry laying the blame for diminishing ticket sales on digital piracy rather than predictable, stale storytelling, it would be understandable if fans of live theater felt a small degree of vindication. Movies were, after all, the impetuous upstart that first challenged the stage's prominence as a socially shared diversion. Placed in such a context, one could suspect the motivations of the satiric tricksters at Joking Envelope for employing the stage as a place to poke fun at the motion picture. Have Bill Corbett and Joseph Scrimshaw, the show's co-conspirators, arrived to applaud or mock the movies? Considering the backgrounds of both men, it's safe to assume CineMadness will be an irreverent—though affectionate—display of how much humor (intentional and otherwise) can be derived from Hollywood's stock characters, formulaic plots, and endless cycles of sequels, reboots, and remakes. Corbett, after all, has carved a career from the comedic dissection of films, beginning with the revered cult-hit Mystery Science Theater 3000 through his more recent contributions with the blockbuster lampooning Rifftrax. Though not as steeped in film as his co-host, Scrimshaw brings his insightful humor; he's well known for mixing esoteric ruminations with pop-culture absurdities, delivering a farcical formula exceptionally well-suited for popping celluloid pretensions. With live music, audience quizzes, and special mystery guests, CineMadness offers a uniquely theatrical way to lambast those cinematic clichés we (mostly) only pretend to hate.
Sat., Nov. 5, 7 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 11, 7 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 12, 7 p.m.; Mon., Nov. 14, 7 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 19, 7 p.m., 2011