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JOSH’S REVIEW: Tinfoil Satellite @ Ottawa Fringe 2013

Travel back to the 90s for some Mystery Science Theatre 3000 inspired fun. Three friends use their tinfoil satellite to steal their neighbour’s television signal and watch whatever is on. With some good riffing and interesting voluntary audience participation that impacts the show, Tinfoil Satellite is a relaxing and enjoyable time watching some so-bad-it’s-good movies.

Should you see it?


ThreeTinfoil Satellite is one of the most unique shows I’ve seen at the Fringe, and also one of the most interactive. Essentially, some friends use a tinfoil satellite to get their neighbour’s television signal, and they end up watching whatever bad movie is playing. Each show features a different movie, and for the one I went to we lucked out and got The Tingler (1959) starring the ever-cheesy Vincent Price. It’s a prime movie to riff on in the style of the beloved cult TV show Mystery Science Theatre 3000, and the crew from Deviate Comedy do not disappoint. There are plenty of snarky one-liners here, and you’ll get more than a few good laughs throughout the show.

What really stands out with this show is the participatory element, and it’s one that I really liked. Where Keeper had mandatory audience participation, Tinfoil Satellite leaves it up to the audience to decide when they join in.You can tweet your own snarks to the performers’ twitter account and stage manager Virginia Woodall will pass them on to the commentators. If your comment is particularly good, and they’re able to, it will be incorporated into the review. It’s a nice way to get the audience involved without it seeming forced.

While the show is pretty funny, it won’t blow anyone away. Also, the occasional intermission scenes where the signal of the satellite apparently cuts out are a bit weak. Basically, a narrative is inserted into the show by having crazy acquaintances come in and talk to the main cast while they try to get the signal back. MST3K did something similar in every episode, but it’s not a strength in Tinfoil Satellite where the sequences come off as nothing more than interruptions that don’t add anything to the riffing. Still, I’d recommend this show. A live riffing can be a lot of fun, even more so when you get to join in.

But that’s just my opinion. If you’ve seen Tinfoil Satellite, let me know what you thought in the comments section below!

Tinfoil Satellite runs on June 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, and 30th at the Royal Oak (BYOV C) on Laurier East near King Edward. For more information, please visit the show’s Ottawa Fringe page or our preview page.



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