Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Modern Millie and Magnificent MEGO

The PopCulteer
June 17, 2011

Thoroughly Enjoyable Show

The Charleston Light Opera Guild’s contribution to FestivALL is their production of the Broadway musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Based on the 1967 movie, this play is a fun little romp through the Roaring ’20s, complete with flappers, white slavers, and New York high society.

The play begins as Millie Dillmount (Elizabeth Falstreau) arrives in the big city, ready to make it big. Along the way, she devises a plan to marry her boss, meets a gaggle of showgirls, and moves into the Hotel Priscilla. The hotel is run by Mrs. Meers (Linda Barbara Reynolds), who is actually a criminal on the lam, posing as a Chinese woman. I won’t spoil the details of the plot beyond this. This is a fun show with memorable tunes and some wonderful performances.

Elizabeth Falstreau is perfect as the wide-eyed ingenue, Millie. Chris Williams does a great job as her guy pal, Jimmy Smith. Linda Barbara Reynolds steals the show as Mrs. Meers with her memorable song, “They Don’t Know.” Shefica A. Heyliger is great as Muzzy Van Hossmere, who comes off here as sort of a combination of Queen Latifah, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Josephine Baker.

The show also sports a large and talented ensemble who fill out so many roles they make the cast seem three times bigger than it is.

Don’t just take my word for it. Check out the thoroughly modern YouTube clip below.

Follow the jump for our big MEGO MEET photo essay!

Looking Back at Mego Meet

The International Mego Collectors Convention took place at the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum in Wheeling last weekend. Youe PopCulteer made the trek Northward, and here’s part of what we saw:

Master customizer, Doc MEGO was on hand. He builds most of the action figures you see on ROBOT CHICKEN.

This is just a fraction of Doc's custom spare parts.

Some of the entires in the Obscure Supervillain Customizing Contest

Incredible work by Radical Axis

We passed on a chance to pick up The Three Stooges as designed by John Kricfalusi, but it was cool to finally see them in person

E.T. wants to go home to DETROIT ROCK CITY!

The good folks at Cast A Way Toys had tons of cool stuff, and I wound up dropping some money with them.

Some of the Cast A Way goodies

More of Cast A Way's goodies

Even More from Cast A Way

My haul from Cast A Way. MEGO-sized Adventure Team guys. Can't miss with that.

After I blew my budget for the day, Dave Woodrum showed up with HIS rather nifty Adventure Team guys.

I never did find the guy who made this cool Adventure Team carrying case. Anybody want to leave a comment and let me know?

DC Comics cartoonist, Art Balthazar (Tiny Titans, Young Justice), is also a master MEGO customizer, who showed off some of his figures that landed in DC's big 75th Anniversary coffee table book.

Dealers at the show were not limited to MEGO figures. This guy had a ton of cool comic-based statues.

That's a two-foot-high Robot B9 from Lost In Space. I demonstrated amazing self-restraint, and do not own him now.

The guys from Plaid Stallions and MEGOMuseum. They are way cooler than I will ever be.

Cool Marvel custom figures

Everywhere you turned, there was another dealer with a table of cool stuff.

A display case full of amazing work!

On this dealer table, a rare "Giant Naked Dude" figure.

More toy mayhem

A table filled with original MEGO figures. These are the toys that inspired this whole hobby and convention.

The three-story "Wayne Enterprises" playset, a rare toy of great value that someone has set their drink on.

One last parting shot: one damn fine stack of toys!

PopCult/Radio Free Charleston FestivALL Schedule

FestivALL is upon us and the Radio Free Charleston cameras will be out on the town, hitting up as many of the free events as we can skitter to. Here’s a listing of the events where you can probably find the RFC crew, just in case you want to pelt us with rocks and garbage:

Friday night, we will be recording The Boatmen and 600 Lbs Of Sin at Live On The Levee.

Saturday morning will find us at the FestivALL Art Parade on Capitol Street at 10:00 AM. We will spend the rest of the day scampering betwixt the Smoke On The Water Chili Cookoff at Haddad Riverfront Park and the Music Works Songwriter Invitational at Capitol Roasters. We will be there to partake of the music, not of the chili. We’re still trying to wrap our brains around the concept of holding a chili cookoff in ninety degree weather, since that’s about seventy degrees warmer than the ideal chili eating temperature.

Sunday finds us at the Clay Center at 2:00 PM, where we will be recording highlights of Kingfish Five, The Contemporary Youth Arts Company, the No Pants Players, and WATT4. At 5:30, we’ll be heading over to Habitat ReStore for the StreetWorks Art Auction, where the original art for this year’s brick designs will be available for sale to the highest bidders, with half the money going to benefit East End Main Street. You can see my brick design below. Please bring barrels of money to fling at it.

We will wrap up Sunday at Kanawha Players Theater for the FestivALL installment of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art Show.

That’s it this week.

In next week’s PopCult, look for many episodes of Radio Free Charleston, plus tons of other FestivALL coverage.

1 Comment

  1. TomC

    Awesome stuff. I need to go to a Mego con. It appears they are head and shoulders above the Joe cons at this point.

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