With its grand reopening in 2005, the Louise C. Murdock Theatre married the technological trappings of a modern cinema to its historic, 80-year-old interior. The theater’s original frescoes and iridescent, art-deco chandelier greet guests as they make their way toward a single 25'x16' screen. Framed by lush red curtains, the digital canvas displays images from a digital projector with high-definition capabilities, accompanied by the boisterous booms of Dolby surround sound. The theater screens a diverse calendar of cinematic fare, including limited-release arthouse films and classic foreign cinema augmented by popcorn and other epicurean goodies from the full concession stand stocked with snacks, alcohol, and more. The Murdock also proudly projects simulcast and prerecorded productions through partnerships with The Metropolitan Opera and the National Theatre, transporting international stage performances to the Murdock without the hassle of getting sandbags through customs.
Mosley Street Melodrama, which brings life to the tradition of dramatic exaggeration, is Wichita’s only audience-participation dinner theater. Arm yourself with enough snark, wit, and emotional breakdowns to cheer facetiously as the villain saves the day; the productions are designed to incorporate audience cheers, boos, and flying fruit while rowdy, wholesome humor makes the entire family guffaw. After doors open at 6 p.m., theater buffs fuel their laughing machines with an all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet provided by Pig In! Pig Out! BBQ. Pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked chicken, sumptuous side dishes, and coffee or iced tea are available, along with vegetarian options if requested in advance. A bar with specialty drinks, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages is also available.
More than 100 professional comics compete for laughs, gigs, and a write-up in the Comic Bible magazine during The World Series of Comedy, a six-night festival that ends in the crowning of one comedy master. Each night, after a series of standup routines and arguments over whoopee-cushion ownership, a winner is chosen (the audience has a hand in choosing the comic champion) to compete in the first show on Saturday night. The top three performers from Saturday's first show move onto the finals, which consist of a second show on Saturday night and a literal battle of wits. Top-rated laugh conjurers can win a portion of the some 50 weeks of employment being offered by various comedy clubs, a CD recording deal with Uproar Entertainment, and a date to the junior prom.
Alongside rising comedic stars, a plethora of critically lauded chortle conjurers, such as Carlos Mencia and Bobcat Goldthwait, have played foreground to The Loony Bin's brick backdrop. Comic musician John Wesley Austin interweaves pithy one-liners with original tunes and country parodies, and Austin's Matt Sadler charms crowds with his refined routine delivered in English and pig Latin. A voice talent for Hanna-Barbera's The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, Greg Morton combines risqué barbs with impersonations of celebrities such as Mick Jagger and Prince. Boasting appearances on copious comedy programs, including An Evening at the Improv and Caroline's Comedy Hour, rugged standup veteran Steve McGrew enlightens audiences with his distinctly male views on relationships. Though not included in this Groupon, attendees can munch on myriad snacks throughout the show, such as a basket of popcorn ($2.25), chili-cheese fries ($5.95), or a confused stadium-size pretzel ($4.95), which loudly criticizes comedians for not running the football enough.
Multiplatinum-selling and multiple-Grammy-winning quartet Third Day’s stirring Southern rock thrills multitudes on its Make Your Move spring tour. One of the most popular Christian bands of the A.D. era, Third Day has moved millions of fans with hits such as “Cry Out to Jesus” and “Love Song,” as well as hundreds of tumbleweeds with its tour bus. With a sound that evokes Lynyrd Skynyrd in its Sunday best, the band tenderly testifies while rocking through a hook-laden marathon live show.