Monday, February 27, 2017

Meanwhile, At KZRT Radio ...

















Crepe: "... and we're back, folks. This is KZRT, your only desert station here in Stiletto Flats and the surrounding area, bringing you all the latest news and weather on the Crepe and Charlemaine Show. We're right in the middle of the topic of the morning, the snafu with The Oscars from last night, the controversial Indian giver move pulled off by the Academy on the good folks at La La Land. What a twist. We've never seen that one before ... and we want to hear from YOU, our listeners on what you think and how you feel. Let's go to another caller. Who do we have up next, Char?"

Charlemaine: "We have Zigfried from right here in Stiletto Flats, Crepe. You're on with Crepe and Char, Zig. What are your thoughts on the Academy Awards debacle?"

Zigfried: "Well ... I have news for you: I was responsible for the whole ruckus. Me."

Crepe: "Really? You mean ... you orchestrated the mix up with the cards during the Best Picture reveal last night? Tell us about that ..."

Zigfried: "Ever seen that scenario before? You haven't. That's because PricewaterhouseCoopers, now known as PwC, has never let that happen before. It took someone ingenious to pull that off. And that someone was me. I infiltrated The Oscars, I made the envelope switch to Warren Beatty and he read the wrong winner. I let PwC have there double check in place in order to showcase the confusion and embarrassment of the situation."

Charlemaine: "We're going to need proof you did it. Why would you do that? How did you do it?"

Zigfried: "You know that tour bus they let in the Dolby Theater? I was on that bus. I ditched the group and worked my way backstage. Honestly: Have you ever seen a tour group worked into the Academy Awards like that before? No. Because security is tight. The place is like Fort Knox. It just doesn't happen.  But I've been planning it for quite some time. You saw the result ..."

Crepe: "More proof ... we need even more proof."

Zigfried: "Fine. Ever hear of a time when Trump does NOT respond to some tweet or other when provoked? Jimmy Kimmel tried ... and failed. That just doesn't go down ..."

Charlemaine: "So what's your game? What are you trying to prove?"

Zigfried: "That the system is vulnerable and it CAN be broken ..."

Crepe: "Sorry. But that's just not enough to get us to believe you were the instigator ..."

Zigfried: "Okay. Here's one more thing, then. Big awards show, watched by millions all over the world. Was there one word from any of the winners grandstanding about politics? About starving children? Women's rights? Anything? No, there wasn't. Because I got to them, too ... every single one of them."

Charlemaine: "Crap, Crepe. He's right. Scary."

Crepe: "Big deal."

Zigfried: "It IS a big deal. I've shown I can worm my way into the most secure of events. So, here's my demand: Get The Unbelievables to meet with me in 72 hours. Or all hell is going to break loose. You'll see real damage done, not just a simple switcheroo at an awards ceremony ..."



(... to be continued ...)


Friday, February 24, 2017

We get letters (from all over)

Sometimes, it's easy to forget that The Unbelievables are an organization that operates internationally, on behalf of good citizens everywhere. We truly belong to the world! As such, we get letters requesting our assistance from all over the globe.
Our amazing custom-built computer with UnbelievaTranslate software helps things immensely by taking these letters, written in the sender's native language, and translating them into perfect English!
Recently, we've received a spate of letters, all remarkably similar, about crimes happening in a number of different countries. Apparently Henri Petit, or someone who resembles him, is on a bike-stealing spree. We can't share the answers to these letters, as this is an active and ongoing investigation, but we do want to show you how flawlessly the translation software operates...

ARMENIA



Հարգելի Unbelievables, Իմ հեծանիվ գողացել վերջերս: Վկան ասել է, որ փոքր երեխան ծխելիս վերցրեց այն: Դա միանգամայն հնարավոր է, որ դա եղել է տեղական երեխան, բայց դուք պատահել է իմանալ, եթե Անրի Petit ներկայումս ակտիվ է Չինաստանում

(Dear Unbelievables,
My bike was stolen recently. The witness said that he took a small child smoking it. It is quite possible that it was a local kid, but you happen to know if Henri Petit currently active in Armenia.)

MALTA


Għażiż Unbelievables, roti tiegħi kienet misruqa reċentement. Xhud qal tifel żgħir tipjip ta 'sigaretti ħa. Huwa kompletament possibbli li kien tifel lokali, iżda jiġri li tkun taf jekk Henri Petit bħalissa attiva fil-Ċina?

(Dear Unbelievable,
My bicycle was recently stolen. A witness said a small boy smoking cigarettes taken. It is entirely possible that it was a local boy, but happen to know if Henri Petit currently active in Malta?)

FINLAND

Hyvä Unbelievables, Minun polkupyörä oli varastettu viime aikoina. Todistaja sanoi pieni lapsi tupakointi savuke otti sen. On täysin mahdollista, että se oli paikallinen lapsi, mutta satut tietää, jos Henri Petit on parhaillaan aktiivinen Kiinassa?

(Good Unbelievables, My bicycle was stolen recently. A witness said a small child smoking a cigarette took it. It is quite possible that it was a local kid, but you happen to know if Henri Petit is currently active in Finland?)

CHINA

親愛的難相信,
我的自行車最近被偷了。一名證人說一個小孩子抽煙。這完全有可能是一個當地的孩子,但你恰好知道亨利·皮蒂目前在中國活躍嗎?


(Dear hard to believe,
My bike was recently stolen. A witness says a child smoking. It is entirely possible to be a local child, but do you just know that Henry Pitt is currently active in China?)

UZBEKISTAN
Hurmatli Unbelievables,
Mening velosiped yaqinda o'g'irlangan edi. A guvoh sigaret, bir kichik bolaning oldi dedi. Bu mahalliy bola edi iloji umuman, lekin siz Anri Petit Xitoyda ayni paytda faol bo'lsa bilish nima?

(Dear Unbelievables
My bike was stolen recently. A witness cigarette, took a small child. It was a local boy can not, but you know if Henry Petit is also active in Uzbekistan?)

CANADA

Lorem ipsum,
dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam fringilla, diam ut vulputate molestie, ipsum dolor vestibulum sem, vel hendrerit lectus odio a augue. Nullam eget nisi lacus. Nullam metus felis, consequat vitae mattis sit amet, lacinia sed velit. Nunc a rutrum leo, vitae luctus orci. Sed bibendum sit amet leo sit amet pretium.

(Dear Unbelievables,
My bicycle was stolen recently. A witness said a small child smoking a cigarette took it. It's entirely possible it was a local child, but do you happen to know if Henri Petit is currently active in Canada, eh?)

Cigarette, pipe, whatever.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

We Get (Non-Sensical) Letters




Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ... the old mailbag. Always a source of entertainment ...



Unbelieva-Dudes: 

My favorite restaurant, McDonald's, is in trouble! (You guys are good dealing with trouble, right? I've heard it's what you do!) Sales have been declining for years! To stave the drop, the corporate heads have taken drastic actions! They're promoting breakfast anytime! They've reduced beverage prices! They currently hock multiple Big Mac sizes! They've even worked a twist on the timely Shamrock Shake, giving folks the choice of the tried and true product or a morphed chocolate/mint hybrid!
I do what I can - I'm a McGriddle fiend just about every day of the week and I "McNugget" Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (more when I'm able).

What can you guys do? Hurry!

Chelsea McDagget, self-proclaimed (and unofficial) McAficionado


Well, Chelsea, the McDonald's Corporation employs a team of big boys who know what they're doing, a bevy of professionals to work its marketing methodologies, cracker jack R&D teams to experiment with various selling strategies and plenty of promotional gimmicks at its disposal to use and reuse as they see fit.

So really: What can we do? Unless the McDonald's Corporation wants to throw some green our way to tap into our unique skill set, we're not inclined to lift a finger. And even if the burger giant did approach us, we'd have to think long and hard about doing anything for them.

Why? Because we're a big believer in The American Way. A tried and true entity that started from the ground up should work their own sort of magic regarding promotion and public awareness without outside meddling. Besides, McDonald's has been doing its thing as a franchise for the last 50+ years. They know what works and what doesn't.

The Unbelievables - fabulous as we are - isn't an organization who likes to get involved in things not in our, shall we say, "expertisial purview." To wit, burger slinging and McCaffinating the general public isn't our thing.

Slinging bad guys out a window by their keesters and wooing the ladies ("Hello, Ladies!") is our bent.

We're content to let McDonald's nuggets fall where they may. (Besides ... that Ronald dude is downright creepy.)

But ... thanks for thinking of us.



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

We Get (Easter) Letters

Yes folks, it's time for another delve into the Unbelieva-mailbag for a quick peruse. The first one is from Terry Towelling from Ireland, WV (little known fact: Ireland, WV is the American home of the sport of Irish Road-Bowling - ed.)who asks:

Dear Unbelievables,

Faith and begorrah, to be sure, I know we have chocolate eggs at Easter, but do they have to be in the flamin' shops so gosh darn early in the year? It seems as soon as Christmas is over they put the eggs in the shops. Why is this and can you fellers do anything to stop it? Oh, bejeesus and begorrah, Darby O'Gill and de Little People, sorr, to be sure. (stop with the Irish stuff - Ed.)

Well, let us answer those questions one at a time.

1. They don't have to be in the shops that early, but the shops would like us to believe that it is necessary, so that they can make more money selling us stuff that's frivolous and unhealthy. I could go into a long diatribe about the fact that we all eat so much unhealthy crap these days because of the post-WW2 end of rationing, but I won't. Fun fact though - one thing that wasn't rationed during WW2 in Britain was fish and chips. 

2. Sadly, Terry, we are not at liberty to stop the perfectly legal, and it is perfectly legal to sell candy at any time of year. Once it becomes restricted, we'll talk. 



Your letter does remind me of a pet peeve of mine, though, and that has to do with the size of chocolate products in general. Back in the day, Easter Eggs were mahoosive.  Remember back in the day when the eggs that are now known as Cadbury's Creme Eggs 




were known as Rowntree Mackintosh's Cream Eggs? 



Remember back when people used to challenge each other to put a whole one in their mouth and eat it? How many trips to the local casualty department could have been avoided if they hadn't tried it?


Not even close.


 But nowadays, now that they cost a helluva lot more, they are no longer a challenge because they're so small.

I believe we should begin a campaign against the shrinking of our choccie bars. Every few months, another couple of grams is shaved off the weight of a candy bar and the price either stays the same or increases. Is it just me? C'mon, world. Join me in this noble quest. 


"Let's Make Our Marathons Great Again!"





Friday, February 17, 2017

A Few Minor Challenges Of Production


Look:

I'm not opposed to all this theatrical mumbo jumbo monkey business. It's just I'm out of my element when it comes to this stuff. In other words I rely on the guys for direction - I trust their sensibilities on all things production-wise ...

... which (sometimes) might not be the wisest of reliances, if you know what I mean. Because, here and there, there are elements of what Clark comes up with and/or what Jeff ultimately realizes on stage that are ... well ... let's just say "suspect" and leave it at that.

Take for example Jeff's favorite from a while back Ello, Ello, Ello, What's All This Then?

And, honestly, it wasn't the story or the staging or any physical aspect of the Ello production itself that was a concern. But the actors with their multitudes of quirks and kinks ... they were another story entirely.


(Clockwise from left) Pez Peters, disillusioned vampire hunter; Carla Sylmar, worry wart; Billy "Four Eyes" Batson; Henrietta Toss, instigator; Barry McFief, chef-wannabee; Denise Walker and Denise Standish, rumor mongers; Shultz McGuilicutty, image problems; Frap Chico, Shultzie's "enabler" and Pat (or, sometimes, "Patricia") Rammstein, resident drama king/queen

Somehow, this collection of misfits turned out to be the best actors for Ello's core featured players. Little did we know there would be a bevy of "side theatrics" during rehearsals, however.

The short list:

- Pez Peters carried a hand-made wooden sword wherever he went. He reasoned it was better to have it handy and not need it than need it and not have it, especially in light of any undead lurking behind stage curtains. The damned thing was attached to his hip and he wouldn't put it down to save his life. He'd fly into hysterics if someone tried to take it away from him. Somehow, he convinced Jeff it would work to the production's advantage if the first through fourth dimensions showed up during the run of the play. In an effort to avoid any production delays Jeff let Pez have his way. (Let's just say the love scene with Pez and Carla was ... interesting.)

- Carla was forever worried about her lines - miscuing them, stumbling over them, out and out forgetting them, acting them out with inappropriate vigor ... and then breaking down in a sobbing mess. We had a staff psychologist on hand exclusively for her. That was an unexpected (read: unnecessary) cost of production. You should have seen the first couple dozen rehearsals of Pez and Carla's kissing scene with Pez' ever-present sword.

- Speaking of acting foibles, Billy was near sighted. He was forever with script in hand, quoting his lines woodenly and verbatim. We discovered his inability to memorize his lines was due to the fact he wore tighty whities two sizes too small for his frame. "They make me feel secure" he confessed. The problem was they cut off his "circulation" which, in turn, was a direct contributor to his memorization skills. (Blood cutoff to the brain, y'unnerstan' ...)

- Henrietta. Damn, did that girl have anger issues. Personally, I think it was her ponytails. She wore them much too tightly. Severely. But they gave her focus she claimed, especially when it came to her stamping and carrying on during the Yellow Brick Road segments of the show. Still, she drove fragile Carla to tears during their scenes together.

- Barry was the mirror image of Pez and his wooden sword in that he was forever playing with his dagger, insisting on it being called his "special little meat cleaver." Though he was studious and attentive, the dude drove everyone nuts off stage with his tales of failed attempts at entering the prestigious Cordon Bleu schools. "Scorched water is one of my biggest obstacles" he would explain.

- Denise Walker and Denise Standish never left each other's sides. Ever. Never, never ever. They had a weird symbiosis in their need to support each other. When one was on stage performing her part, the other shadowed her from behind or just off stage, in clear sight of the audience. It's the only way both girls could work. And Jeff played into that quirk hook, line and sinker. When questioned about it he would yell "Hey ... who's directing this play?!? That's right it's ME!" Go figure ...

- As well, there were similarities to the girls' antics with Shultz and Frap. They were the "Horatios" in the show, interchanging rolls despite their obvious height differences. One thing was certain: It kept the scenes interesting and the audience engaged.

- Pat/Patricia insisted on the part of the Yellow Brick Road in Ello. The thing was, there was never an actual part to be played for the Yellow Brick Road. But Jeff accommodated her and - much to wonder and concern of both Clark and I - she made the part hers. That "A triumph" accolade from the Stiletto Flats Bugle was in no small part due to Pat/Patricia's innovative efforts and self-stylized costume designs. You had to have been at one of the curtain calls to truly appreciate her abilities.

Oh, there are tons more stories and back stage drama than what's been touched on above. I've given you a small sampling of what had to be dealt with. But, somehow, Jeff made it all work to the production's advantage. He's a wizard that way ...

And it's why Clark and I are pretty much leaving the inner workings of The Unbelievables: The Musical in the capable hands of Mr. Hickmott. Neither of us could work with such a collection of freakazoids actors as noted above and turn their schizoid mannerisms talents into a well-oiled dramatization as Ello ended up being.

The Unbelievables: The Musical will be no different.

Stay tuned. We'll inform you of its premiere when the finished product is ready to roll out.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

It's Just A Stage We're Going Through

Yes, it is true. We do have a totally authorized and flattering show being created around us right this very second, although we are not actually in it. Auditions are in progress as we speak. Here's my personal hot pick...


L to R: Veteran British character actors Nick Wilton as Clark, Jeffrey Holland as me and Michael Praed as Michael. We have a long way to go, obviously - Michael needs more convincing to go pantsless, for a start - but this is a classic moment we all recall fondly in which Clark was testing the prototype of the TaserStick and got an almighty shock. Oh how we laughed.
 Of course, even though we are not going to be in the show - we want top-flight professionals on this job - it doesn't mean we are averse to treading the boards ourselves. We are all three quite keen amateur dramatic chaps, dontcha know.

Ah, the theatre! The grease of the crowd and the smell of the roaring paint! Pictured below are some souvenirs from some of the Stiletto Flats Operatic and Dramatic Society's triumphs over the years. A sort of scrapbook, if you will.


Here's Michael reprising John Lithgow's role in a mashup of Mary Poppins, Genevieve and Footloose.

This was a mashup of Treasure Island and A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court. Clark is centre stage as Squire Trelawney, Michael is in back in the yellow dress, and I directed. The Stiletto Flats Bugle arts column wrote, "...an unusual idea, taking two disparate stories and throwing them together to see what happens. Mr. Hickmott has happened upon something that comes out more like Tess Of The D'Urbervilles if Tess was replaced by a mermaid. You may not understand this, but you'll not forget it." I think that's what they call 'damning with faint praise.'


Michael and friends in The Pajama Game.

An innovative stage adaptation of Dragonball-Z, using costumes left over from the previous production of Ben-10, which in itself used costumes left over from Cat On A Hot Tin Roof Meets The Muppets.

The classic My Fair Lady.

Clark in last year's Jersey Boys spin-off, Barbershop Boys.

Another adaptation/mashup, this time it's Jane Fonda's Workout DVD Meets Waiting For Godot.

My personal favourite from a few years back, Ello,Ello,Ello,What's All This Then? - The Real Adventures of Horatio Lord Nelson and Edward Scissorhands Across The 5th Dimension On The Yellow Brick Road. 
"A triumph." - Stiletto Flats Bugle


Monday, February 13, 2017

Another Unbelievables Adaptation!

We've told you previously about attempts to portray us and our fantastic exploits in mainstream entertainment, either in TV shows or in movies. Often, these portrayals are unflattering and unauthorized. But today, we're proud to announce a new show that is totally flattering and authorized...

or just


What the official title will be hasn't been settled yet (although I'm a fan of successful musicals following the "Noun, Exclamation point" format, ie: "Cats!" and "Hamilton!" and "Hamilcats!"). Regardless, it's going to be a spectacular stage show with music and dancing and lights and explosions pyrotechnics!

It's in the works right now and the guys will give you some more insight about what goes into creating a Broadway spectacular later this week. Right now, I can tell you that auditions are taking place. Nothing has been set yet, but here is a preliminary behind-the-scenes look.
No, we're not actually in it, but we did a brief performance to give prospective cast members a taste of what we're looking for.

These guys were impressive, although difficult to tell apart.

We're not averse to exploring non-traditional gender casting options.

Not bad. We can probably be a little more subtle in our costuming of good guys and bad guys though.

A little abstract for us, but thanks!

I think we have our Jade East in both monster and non-monster roles!

More to come later this week!