Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Crisis Press Release

The Neo-Futurists close their 2009-2010 prime-time season with real games, real cash prizes and real pressure from the boss in "Crisis (A Musical Game Show)," opening Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. Regular performances continue through June 5, 2010: Thurs/Fri/Sat at 8:00 p.m. Champion Rounds are Friday, June 11 and Saturday, June 12. All tickets are $15. All performances take place at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. For tickets or information, visit or call 773-275-5255.

Do you have what it takes to lord over your employees or are you doomed to a life in the mailroom? Find out in the Neo-Futurists' new interactive live musical game show. "Crisis" is modeled after classic game shows of the 70's, 80's and 90's, challenging players in areas of corporate ethics, percentages, creative potential, economics, and of course, pop culture. Players climb the corporate ladder and the top executive takes home up to a third of the door sales in cash! (With a sell-out house, that means over 500 bucks to a single winner!) Also, 3% of all ticket sales are donated to charities of the winners' choice.

Arrive at the theatre by 7:30 p.m. to take an old school Scantron test. The top eight scorers are the players for the night, forming two teams (corporations). Employees of the winning corporation duke it out in a free-for-all dare game to see who lands the highly coveted position of top executive. New questions and dares each night and new themes each weekend. It's never the same show twice! "Crisis" also features guest appearances by other Neo-Futurist ensemble members as well as real commercials that have been purchased and created for local businesses. Champion rounds in June put the top executives from the previous shows together for an ultimate game of superiority.

Creator John Pierson, states, "We're facing crises everywhere - our world's financial system, the environment, and job security are just a few. Crisis takes these disasters and spins them on their heels- using the pressure for good instead of evil." The three hosts are John Pierson, Daniel Kerr-Hobert, and Clifton Frei. Other contributors are: John Szymanski (Musical Director), Curtis Williams (Musician), Megan Mercier (Writing Staff), Steve Heisler (Writing Staff), Bilal Dardai (Question Designer), and Evan Hanover (Question Designer).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Crisis must have a Caravan of Vannas

Many aspects of CRISIS (A Musical Game Show) change from night to night. In this spirit the following women have agreed to portray the much needed and glorified position of our rotating Vanna. What is a game show without a well dressed, adorable woman, turning over cards and pointing at things? "It's not a game show at all" That was our conclusion. So the following beautiful women have agreed to bring to our performance their interpretation of a Vanna-style game show hostess. (We all have a little Vanna in us wanting to get out. Don't even deny that you are excessively jealous right now.)

(Click on photo to see names and photos more clearly.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Test Contestants Needed

Whoever said "Money can't buy happiness." never one a game show.

Crisis is looking for Test Contestants Wednesdays in April at 8pm. Email now to reserve your FREE spot: (Participating does not disqualify you from being a contestant during the actual run.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

golden age of advertising

as Steve Heisler and i write commercials for Crisis!, we've forced ourselves to avoid parody almost entirely--which is pretty difficult when all advertising has ever consistently succeeded at since its inception (which i will not even pretend to know a date for) is set itself up for parody.

i don't watch much TV these days. i would estimate that spend anywhere from 1 to 4 hours a day on the computer. no lie. so i'm not going to get all high and mighty about how i don't watch TV because i've found plenty of ways on the interwebz to otherwise fry my fragile 80s baby brain.

because of the internet and its prevalence in my life since about 1997, my vast knowledge of television commercials is stunted beyond the mid to late 90s. i've seen enough to know that they freak me out, but i also can't think of a single thing i've wanted so desperately since then that was promoted through traditional commercials. this isn't to say that i'm not completely taken by advertising. moving to Chicago from Alabama changed my relationship with advertising ENTIRELY. i get it all from printed media--magazines, billboards, ads in the trains and buses. i've become more of a visual consumer minus the sound. i'll read the words a million times, and i don't want them underscored or overwhelmed with animation. i'm attracted to the same things most of America is taken in by these days. a few bold colors and start images (i.e. all print advertising for the iPod), randomness (i.e. the Burger King), humorous stylized imagery (i.e. Altoids, Halls Cough Drops).

i've realized, though, in working on these commercials how much i invested myself in commercials as a kid. they definitely worked on me, no doubt. i can vividly remember begging for cereals and toys and i would be willing to bet that some Pizza! Pizza! is still lodged somewhere in my large intestine thanks to the skillful art of advertising (not to mention the terribly convenient proximity of a Little Caesars to my childhood home). i got Crystal Pepsi, Fruit Roll-Ups, Gushers, Pop Tarts, Kix, even a P.J. Sparkles which, i would have admitted to you days after having received it to much begging and pleading that lead up to one year's Christmas, what the dumbest doll imaginable. i should have know. i hated dolls. what can i say? the commercial was convincing.

i should mention right now that whilst looking for an old PJ Sparkles commercial to post here, i ran across her distant cousin, Little Miss Singing Mermaid, which my sister got for some occasion or another. the commercial showed girls dipping Little Miss Singing Mermaid in and out of water. her two-bit trick was that she sang, like a poor man's version of Ariel from The LIttle Mermaid. the flawed vocals, i can only imagine, were meant to deter from any potential lawsuit more than insult the ears. the problem with Little Miss Slut Fish, it seems, was that she wasn't quite cut out for repeated evening dips in the bathtub. no. in fact, if memory serves me correctly (and i am unable to confirm this with my sister at such an hour), after several aforementioned dips, the poor doll warbled like something from the great beyond. in my matured years i would liken it to an apparition, like the spirit of a wood carved ship's bow mermaid who rotted away into the ocean only to find that she couldn't actually swim and is now doomed to eternal singing with a chest full of brine.

my point is that advertising like this is infectious and entirely successful. there is no real need to parody, because the joke is on me. forever. and you. forever. and therefore all of us. together. forever.

please enjoy the far gone wonder of my chain store bought youth:


Monday, March 1, 2010

Crisis Sponsorship

Hey, if you have a company or know of someone who has a company and would love to have that company represented in our game show. Please pass this letter along. Plus it's tax deductible!

Dear potential supporter in this time of CRISIS-

The Neo-Futurists, Chicago's most engaging theater company, are creating an interactive live musical game show set to take the city by storm in late April through early June. CRISIS (The Musical Game Show) will allow audience members to compete against each other in game shows modeled after those of the '70s, '80s, and '90s, vying for a real chunk of change.

Seriously, we are giving away one-third of the door at each show to one lucky person. And did we mention there's a pre-show Scantron questionnaire? It's going to be a really fun time, a musical with three game show hosts about climbing the corporate ladder.

One of the most important aspects of the show is the inclusion of LIVE ACTED COMMERCIALS FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES, which will be performed throughout the night. That's where you come in. We're in need of TAX-DEDUCTIBLE sponsorships to help get our show off the ground.

All you sponsors, though, will be recognized with a commercial of your own. The more you're able to donate, the more you'll be recognized—aka, more commercial spots. We're going to make them a hell of a lot of fun, performed to a captive audience of average Joe's vying for our cash, and we promise they each have a bajillion dollars of disposable income.

The spots will be modeled after those commercials we loved in our past. We'll also video tape a rehearsal of the commercial so you can put it on your website, and we'll hang your logo and information in our audience holding area for the duration of the show's six week run—which means the 500 or so people each weekend who come to our hit show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind will see it too!

We think you'd be great for the show, and the show'd be great for you.

Here's how we're breaking down the levels of support. So inexpensive!

One spot to run 6 times (one per week) = $200
Another $200 = another spot, another 6 times. So much exposure.

Or, if you'd like, you can do one spot 4 times for $150

If you don't have a business that you think can profit from this you can also Sponsor a Public Service Announcement of your choice!

Thanks, and remember the magic words… tax deductible!

Contact to reserve your spot today, or call John Pierson at 773-991-5580. Hope to talk to you soon!


The Neos