Welcome to Just Another AIO Blog, a site that is dedicated to the popular radio drama Adventures in Odyssey. We provide news, reviews on the latest episodes, articles, features, and we also are home to Adventures in Connellsville, a unique look at the town next to Odyssey through book form, We also provide a U.S.S. Response page that gets updated every other day. This page provides a response to recent comments on The Soda Shop Message Boards. And just recently, we started a unique Adventures in Odyssey podcast: called JAAIOP, or Just Another AIO Podcast. Feel free to post comments or subscribe to this site by email or with Google Friend Connect. Thank you!

Alex Jefferson, creator and operator of Just Another AIO Blog

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Weekly Review: Birthday Bash! 6/16/12

     This week I'm reviewing the episode Birthday Bash! Adventures in Odyssey live shows always excite any AIO fan. People will fly, drive eight hours, or do whatever it takes to get to them. At the 3:30 showing (which is the show I saw) Chris Anthony interviewed a family from India.
     The chance to meet the cast and crew of TV/Radio show can draw thousands. And the tickets to this birthday bash were incredibly cheap too. Only $8. But what's 8 times 2000? If your calculator works, you would get 16000. That's like a huge donation to FOTF/AIO.
     And after the first live show, New Years Eve Live! AIO did one every two years. Then they took a six-year break and then a four-yearbreak. That's five live shows in 14 years. So, obviously, AIO likes the idea of live shows, and actors/actresses like Katie Leigh and Will Ryan are no strangers to live shows. But, having heard most of the live shows, this 25th Anniversary show seemed different and, somehow, more special.
     The show began with Whit, Eugene, and Matthew talking. I must comment that Zach Callison didn't sound like Matthew at first. It took a few lines for him to get in the character. Eugene talks about a program that could run all of the inventions and displays in Whits End. Whit points out that it would mean that if something happened to the program, everything in Whits End might be ruined, but Eugene insists that the program is safe.
     Connie and Penny walk in, discussing Penny's lack of artistic inspiration. Whit suggests a trip in the Imagination Station. I have to admit, because of the line about inspiration, I momentarily thought that Penny would go to the Inspiration Station. Wooton walks in and says he needs to record another episode of Captain Absolutely.
     I was pleased that Captain Absolutely had not been forgotten and was still a Kids Radio program. Penny and Connie journey back to Michelangelo's time and watch as he paints the Sistine chapel. Chuck Bolte's portrayal of Michelangelo was rather amusing. I was glad they gave him a role in the show. When asked about where he gets his inspiration, he answers 'from the source' and explains that he gets inspiration from the Bible.
     The scene soon switches to Captain Absolutely, who is minding his own business when he hears a strange woman ( played by Chris Anthony) scream. She says that someone is destroying the library.
     Captain Absolutely finds out that the culprit only ripped apart Biblical and Christian books, but left the philosophy section untouched. His line about algebra being evil was quite funny. To be honest, though, this scene reminded me of Truth Be Told from The Truth Chronicles, with the whole Christian books being banned/destroyed.
     Anyway, there's a big explosion and an old nemesis named Gargantuan Something-or-Other (Who is played by Townsend Coleman) emerges. He says he's the vandal and he wants to get rid of everything that has truth, goodness, and beauty. Captain Absolutely gets zapped by Gargantuan's blaster, but it seems to have no effect on him.
     At the Sistine chapel Penny and Connie continue to talk with Michelangelo.
     Matthew and Eugene are working in some sort of control room when Matthew sees a red button and asks Eugene about. Eugene tells him not to push it, (well, I guess he says a little more than that) and then Eugene excitement pushes it! It merges all the Whits End programs together, causing Gargantuan to be transported to the Sistine Chapel where Connie and Penny are, and Captain Absolutely to be taken to the Battle of Gettysburg, where Whit, Eugene, and Matthew hear him over the intercom between cannonballs. 
     Back at the Sistine chapel, Gargantuan uses his blaster to splatter graffiti all over the ceiling of the beautiful building. Connie soon gets transported back to Whits End, and Penny follows. They arrive and Eugene informs them that Gargantuan is destroying the Eiffel Tower. The audience is then told to scream in French.
     Gargantuan continues to destroy all that has truth, goodness, and beauty. Meanwhile Captain Absolutely is in Pompeii, witnessing the eruption of Mt. Vesivius. The audience is told to scream in Latin.
     Gargantuan continues his rampage and the gang at Whits End doesn't know what to do. Whits End is now going to be destroyed by Gargantuan! Finally, Connie makes the suggestion that Penny paint something full of truth, goodness, and beauty. Penny is uneasy about the idea, and Whit realizes that Captain Absolutely is the only one who can stop Gargantuan.
     He calls him on the intercom and tells him that the reason he's visiting all the bad times in history, (he's about to be eaten by cannibals) is because he got zapped. So he asks Captain Absolutely to think of true, good, beautiful things. Captain Absolutely immediately returns to Whits End just in time to stop Gargantuan. Gargantuan realizes that Whits End and the painting that Penny painted are the only true, good, and beautiful things in the world.
     But Captain Absolutely persuades him to go with him to the Metropolitan jail. All is well. But there's still one problem. Whits End is still merged. Eugene talks about a ridiculous suggestion that Matthew made for fixing the merging problem. Whit asks what the suggestion was, and Matthew replies that they should give the computer a good, hard kick. Whit says it couldn't hurt, (or could it?) so Eugene kicks it, setting off an atomic explosion. After an amusing wrap-up from Chris, Wooton comes on and says, 'So that was my dream.'
      Also throughout the episode are short, humorous visits from Jason, and, of course, live foley by Dave Arnold and his son, Landon, who many fans will remember as the voice of Scrubb, Rodneys cousin. Overall, tge live show was entertaining, albeit unrealistic, fun, and a true treat for AIO fans. Its not the best Odyssey episode, but it's definitely one of the most unique. Thanks for reading! Birthday Bash Rating: 8/10

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