The creators and talent behind a popular Internet show will be in Missoula next week for a live stage show adaptation of their cult-following podcast.
The show will feature the writers and actors of the web-based show “Welcome to Night Vale.” Each episode of the twice-monthly show is styled to sound like local news radio for the titular town, a fictional, isolated burg in the middle the desert where the strange and paranormal occur with humdrum frequency, the sheriff’s secret police patrol the sky in helicopters, and no one, absolutely no one, is allowed to go into the new municipal dog park.
The live show will be held at the Wilma Theatre on Tuesday, April 28. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. The cost of the show is $25, and tickets are available online at thewilma.com.
Jeffrey Cranor, who co-created and co-writes the show with Joseph Fink, said what started in 2012 as a project among friends has found a large enough following that it has become his full-time job writing about the place where ominous hooded figures roam the streets and shadowy world and reptilian governments take a particular interest in municipal affairs.
About a year after the show began, it hit No. 1 on iTunes’ podcast download charts.
“I’m glad we enjoyed it as much as we did because it has become an all-consuming affair,” Cranor said.
He said the live show is organized as a evening-length production, as opposed to the shorter episodes of the podcast, and is all new material. People familiar with the show will recognize the general structure, as well as the voice of Cecil, who voices the show.
“For people who have never listened to the show, it’s an introduction to the world. If people bought a ticket and came in off the street it would still make sense,” Cranor said.
Mary Epworth will join the “Welcome to Night Vale” team on stage, playing an opening musical piece as well as serving as the musician during the show’s “weather” segment, where a different musical artist is played during each episode.
The show does not include advertising, apart from talking about its own shows and merchandise. Cranor said the show’s revenue comes from the sale of these items, as well as donations from readers and the live shows. Cranor and Fink will also be publishing a full-length novel set in the Night Vale world in the fall.
While they occasionally get requests to put out episodes more frequently, or to have them go longer than the normal 20 to 25 minutes, Cranor said they put a lot of work into each show, from writing to production.
“We basically write about a book a year for the show, about 70,000 words,” he said. “We know what we can do quality wise, and we pay a lot of attention to the quality of the show.”