night_vale

Surreal Slaps of Reality: Night Vale at the State

The stage at the State Theatre had a simple set-up — four microphones set up across the stage, a portion partitioned off by an arrangement table for music, a simple curtain as backdrop and speakers strategically placed to reverberate in the eardrums of the audience. Simple, neat and sensible for the live show “Ghost Stories” of the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Welcome to Night Vale is a bi-monthly podcast — usually airing the 1st and 15th of every month — which follows the happenings of the fictional desert town of Night Vale through a community radio show hosted by a man named Cecil Gershwin Palmer (voiced by Cecil Baldwin). Started in 2012 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, the podcast is extremely charming and has a dark, deadpan sort of humor. It constantly plays with the subjects of the surreal, as Night Vale is filled with the unreal and the very, very weird, from the Sheriff’s (not so) secret police to a recently discovered civilization underground, accessible via the town’s bowling alley.

“Well It is Ithaca. You Never Know!”: Paula Poundstone at the State Theatre

By ALI JENKINS

Paula Poundstone, standup comedian and star of National Public Radio’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, recently travelled to Ithaca to perform at the State Theatre. She strode onto stage right after 8 p.m. with a florescent pink suit and an enormous presence. For the next two hours, she engaged the audience with her informal comedy routine. Known for never performing the same routine twice, she mixed old jokes together with improvisational banter with the audience for an evening full of laughs. Poundstone began the night by poking fun at Ithaca itself, sarcastically explaining how thrilled she was by her timing: “What is it, the Apple Festival or something?