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A Spy in the Desert is a weird and wonderful night to remember

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A Spy in the Desert is a weird and wonderful night to remember

“A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale.”

“A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale.”

Hunter Canning

“A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale.”

Hunter Canning

Hunter Canning

“A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale.”

“A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale.” On June 15, 2012, these words captivated audiences of the new science-fiction/fantasy podcast Welcome to Night Vale. The podcast takes the form of a radio broadcast from the town of Night Vale, a strange city somewhere in the American southwest. Six years later, on Jun. 15, 2018, fans of the podcast were overjoyed to hear the announcement of a new live show tour. The news was first announced at the end of episode 130, soon after the previous live show had ended its run. A Spy in the Desert is the eighth touring live show performed by the cast of Welcome to Night Vale, and it visited the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis on Oct. 5.

The cast consisted of three voices from the podcast: Cecil Baldwin as Cecil, the regular narrator of the podcast, Meg Bashwiner as Deb the sentient patch of haze and the proverb lady, and Symphony Sanders as teenage militia leader Tamika Flynn. While the cast was significantly smaller than previous live shows, the three performers brought an entertaining amount of comedy, drama, and sincerity to their roles and the story.

While the cast was significantly smaller than previous live shows, the three performers brought an entertaining amount of comedy, drama, and sincerity to their roles and the story.”

— Rylan Hefner, Interactive Storytelling Team

As always, the live soundtrack was provided by Jon Bernstein, better known by his stage name Disparition. Disparition’s eerie music complemented the story just as well as it does in the bi-monthly podcast. However, much to the dismay of fans in the audience, he did not play the classic theme song.

One of the highlights of the show was the musical guest Mal Blum. Blum’s alternative rock-style music at the beginning of the show provided a great introduction to the evening ahead. Blum had previously toured with Night Vale for the previous live show All Hail, and their music had been featured on the podcast in the music segment, known as the Weather, several times before. As usual, the Weather in the live show came right after a major cliffhanger, prolonging the suspense and providing an entertaining musical interlude. This show’s weather was “Robert Frost,” also written and performed by Mal Blum.

The story of A Spy in the Desert, written by the podcast’s creators and current writers Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, was completely original and kept the audience on their toes for the entire show. The writers have consistently proven that they can write original and unpredictable stories for the podcast, and their creativity and all-around weirdness shines through no less in this live show. The story was gripping, and the audience fell silent at the words “to the family and friends of Tamika Flynn” right after the climax of the show. As always, the writers infused the story with the perfect amount of comedy at just the right moments. The show found new and creative ways to involve the audience, with a hilarious and innovative twist ending. Unfortunately, due to the length of the show being shorter than that of previous live shows, the story felt somewhat rushed towards the end. The podcast has started splitting stories into two or three parts, often devoting three half-hour episodes for one story. This longer format made the hour-long live show story feel shorter than is to be expected. Despite this, the story was still quite fun, new, and entertaining.

Overall, A Spy in the Desert was a fun evening for all who attended, with a creative story, new music, and a fun cast. Like the podcast, the live shows are appropriate for all ages, but the material is somewhat of an acquired taste. The weird and wonderful world of Night Vale has captivated listeners for more than six years, and the live shows are always an entertaining night to remember.

 

Rating:

🌥️🌥️🌥️🌥️🌥️

Five Glow Clouds (ALL HAIL) out of five

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About the Writer
Rylan Hefner, Interactive Storytelling Team

Rylan Hefner is a member of the Interactive Storytelling Team on the RubicOnline. This is his second year on staff. He is eager to explore working with...

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