Monday, January 19, 2009

The Safest Place in Detroit

Saturday evening, I was lucky enough to catch the Joel McHale show in downtown Detroit at the Fillmore theater with the lovely ladies Maureen and Heather. Can anyone tell me what the deal is with the apples in the big basket at the Fillmore? There was this big huge basket of what looked like real red delicious apples with the sign above the basket "Take One...or Two". I was incredibly tempted, even though I don't much care for red delicious apples (too tart for standard consumption) and because I was more than a little bit hungry and intrigued by the prospect of free produce. Produce works best as a noun. The only thing bigger than the laughs this evening was my valor in driving to Detroit from Ann Arbor and back in yet another of the snowstorms taking place this winter. I'm just about done with that.

Joel had a fantastic opener named Shane Mauss (pronounced moss), who will be back in Michigan at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase at the end of March - definitely check him out if you have the chance. Joel is quite funny and trained in improvisation and is well known for hosting The Soup on the E! Television network, but I thought Shane was a better true stand-up. He just had a little bit of a better way with a joke and holding the audience outside of pure manic energy. Joel M. is definitely a rockstar, but I would say his act should be characterized as a show.

While none of that matters, I did discover one very important thing on Saturday night. That thing is that the main floor of the Fillmore theater (particularly the first 20 rows) is the most secure, safe, and security-enforced piece of land in Detroit, if not the planet. This experience was bizarre. There is one checkpoint where you have to show your ticket to a burly man just to get into the general area of the main floor. Then as you pass the bar on the main floor, you have to show your ticket to another burly gentleman to enter the seating area. Almost there - no you're not. There are then about 5 or 6 little stairs as the seating area tiers toward the main stage, and at each and every one of these stairs, someone different would look at your ticket, hand the ticket to another worker, and say "Jim will take you from here." By the time we had finally arrived at the seats, our ticket and ourselves had passed through no less than 6 security checkpoints and hand-offs. It was seriously weird. If Barack Obama ever comes to Detroit again, I have no doubt that he would find complete comfort and security on the main stage of the Fillmore theater. If you're looking for political asylum, I recommend considering the Fillmore. Finally, if you've insulted Paul Blart: Mall Cop and the masses are clamoring for your head, seek comfort and protection within the inner sanctum of this magnificent and secure structure.

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