Oct. 13--A close-to-capacity crowd turned out at the DECC Auditorium on Saturday night for "The Price is Right Live Stage Show." This was an audience of die-hard enthusiasts for the long-running television game show, many of them wearing show-themed T-shirts, and they showed up to have a whole lotta fun.
Before the show, audience members registered to compete, get their big yellow price-tag name stickers, and have their photos taken to be displayed on a screen during the show, digitally inserted in front of one of The Price is Right's signature games such as Plinko. Contestants got to "Come on Down" in groups of four or three, spreading the opportunity for wealth by having a new set for each game competing for prizes usually worth hundreds rather than thousands of dollars.
The crowd certainly seemed to embrace Jerry Springer in the role of the host (although I flashed on a parallel universe where Bob Barker is interviewing teen lovers and cousins who marry). Freed from the need for commercial breaks, Springer took time to chat up each of the contestants and made amends for a bad Elvis joke with a reasonably charming impression of the King.
Ryan Micke started off the night by coming closest with his guess on the price of a Quadricopter, and when he nailed the price of the automated potato peeler on the first round of Cliffhangers the crowd roared its approval. But the little yodeling mountain climber fell to his doom, the hole-in-one putt caromed off the cup, and the Punch-a-Bunch contestant happily announced to the crowd, "I've got a perfect buzz on," before settling for only $300.
Then they brought out the Big Wheel and Erik Tardy gave it a spin, bringing the crowd to its feet by landing on the big red $1.00 space, before coming up one space short of duplicating his success with his bonus spin. The other high point was when Lindsey Kiefer, playing Any Number, was down to the fateful number that would win her either a trip to Las Vegas, a Roomba, or a piggy bank's worth of cash, and her choice of 9 won her the trip.
It might not be true out in Hollywood, but at the DECC it was the audience more than the contestants that were the show. The people sitting around me not only shouted out advice to the contestants but also cheered the appearance of their favorite games, all the while discussing prices, rules and the history of the games with a fervor and intensity usually associated with Talmudic scholars.
The Big Showcase started with a popcorn machine and yellow popcorn, and ended with a trip to Hollywood to see the show and (altogether now) a brand new car. Stephanie Peterson got to play 10 Chances for a shot to win it all, but the odds were not in here favor and the final price of the evening turned out to be wrong. Otherwise those die-hard fans might have torn down the DECC celebrating.
Lawrance Bernabo did not register to "Come on Down" (not after that whole being dragged onstage for that Cirque du Soleil fiasco).
(c)2013 the Duluth News Tribune (Duluth, Minn.)
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