Of all the efforts among large local arts institutions to reach out to a younger, hipper audience, none are as intrinsically wacky as the Columbus Museum of Art’s Game Show.
An interactive and refreshingly irreverent send-up of TV game show spectacle featuring polyester-clad hostess Susie Starliner, the semi-regular event is fueled by community collaboration, improv comedy and a mandate to get the public thinking creatively. Willing contestants get on stage with an assortment of characters and props and take to tasks as random as fashioning a new crown for the Queen of Saturn or creating a superhero costume complete with origins story, all to win prizes donated by local businesses.
This Friday brings the sixth installment of the series since it started in March 2011, but organizer Jeff Sims, the museum’s multimedia producer and Center for Creativity educator, is billing it as “Game Show X: The End.”
He confirmed by phone that “Game Show” will be no more, adding, “A lot of people thought the last show was the final one because at the end, everyone got murdered by a giant sock monkey. But no, we came back.”
“It’s the last time we’re doing this format,” Sims elaborated. “We’re going to announce the next thing that’s going to take its place and kind of absorb it. You’ll see the death of Game Show and its rebirth. So there’s a post-apocalyptic theme to the whole thing.”
“I wanted to give the partners more free rein to do their own things, rather than box them into that format,” Sims said. “A lot of the characters and definitely the atmosphere are going to continue.”
Certain key players are sticking around, such as local musician and composer Mark “Trademark” Gunderson and improv groups Fake Bacon and Asbestos Crew, and the key goal of the event will remain unchanged.
As Sims put it, “It’s something for adults and it’s fun. By offering something fun, we can get people to do something creatively, even if it’s just for a few minutes.”