You could be the next contestant! Come on down …
Over the music, the host gives a warm welcome in front of a sequin-studded wall.
Lucas DeWoody and Holly Avery are in the hot seat. The category is the 1980s, and time is running out. They’re racking up the points calling out answer after answer: Gremlins, Care Bears, DeLorean.
It’s a free game show experience, live in front of a bar audience that can’t help but get involved.
Teams of two form and choose a category. With one minute on the clock for each round, one teammate gives clues to get the other to say the word on the small screen in front of them. The word also appears on a large screen for the rest of the bar to see. It sounds simple, until you’re in the hot seat.
“It’s like $10,000 pyramid but faster, and with breaks to get a beer,” creator/producer Mike Castle says. He came up with the idea and brought it to The Starlite, 1902 E. 11th St., in November. “I did this at another place a long time ago. It’s just something fun to do. People were doing trivia everywhere, but I’m not good at trivia. This is faster.”
Castle says they intentionally keep the game fast to accommodate everyone who wants to play, and to keep things fresh and fun. The show runs from 9-11:30 p.m. with the day announced on the venue’s Facebook page.
thestarlitebar, in the weeks leading up to the event. Castle says they’re aiming for the second Friday of each month.
“Some people know each other really well, and it’s incredible. They almost read each other’s mind,” Castle says. “Sometimes people know each other, and that doesn’t help. Sometimes people sign up with a total stranger.”
Behind them on the stage, another pair of contestants are taking on the ’90s. “Not *NSYNC, the other one,” one says. “Backstreet Boys,” the other answers. These two don’t miss a beat and rack up the points.
As the night progresses, things become a little weird when a pair of strangers choose the “Kinky” category.
“I love it when people know each other well and they use personal clues with each other like, ‘Remember that time we went out with Gary and he ordered the thing, what was that?’” adds host and local comic Hilton Price. “It’s so neat to see new teams form that just get each other. Sometimes strangers match up, but they just get each other.”
DeWoody and Avery have participated in each of the three game show events so far. Both say they’re game show nerds, trivia buffs and love playing.
DeWoody offers up some advice for anyone thinking about playing, “The more pressure you put on yourself, the more your brain will freeze,” he says. “Just have a drink, relax and have fun.”
There’s a host of categories to choose from: Tulsa, blockbuster hits, drag culture, 1980s, the Marvel Universe, “Harry Potter,” “Star Trek” and more.
But, Price laughs, they’re not always as easy as they sound.
For those holdouts who want to play but are a little apprehensive, Hilton says, “We see enough folks sign up immediately that anyone who has any apprehensions can sit back for a round or two or three and (participate) when they’re ready. They can sign up again as soon as they’re finished. So if ‘Star Wars’ didn’t work as a topic, maybe ‘Harry Potter’ will.”
Castle and Price are helped out by resident Vanna White, Lynn Robertson.
“Come on out, be the next contestant, have a blast and win lackluster prizes,” Price says.