Into the Labyrinth

Last night's Labyrinth screening at Film on the Rocks was close to magical. I settled in at a prompt 7:30 p.m., preparing for amusement and delight when Ukulele Loki's Gadabout Orchestra took the stage. The group of annoying, loudmouthed teenagers a few rows behind me (I must be getting old) made several very audible comments about how stupid Loki's band was, but when Little Miss Firefly (aka "the midget of mischief") came on stage spurting flames from her mouth, they quickly shut up. I said a prayer of thanks to Firefly.

The Orchestra continued to create its vaudeville circus sounds while aerial acrobat Brandy Dew danced across the stage and lifted herself into her hoop, moving and posing while the band played on. Loki introduced a song from Labyrinth -- "As the World Falls Down" -- a soft, sweet melody entrancing the crowd while Firefly returned to the stage, dressed in a lavender ball gown complete with a mask fit for the finest masquerade.

Then the Orchestra took a short break while Loki made balloon animals -- deformed balloon animals, he was careful to disclaim -- for the kids in the front rows. The tuba player went into his solo, "Amazing Grace," and then Firefly came back out to walk (and jump up and down on!) broken glass, after several admonishments from Loki that no one in the crowd ever try this at home. Brandy Dew returned to the stage, this time to twine herself in lengths of white fabric.

To close up their set, the band played another song from Labyrinth, "Magic Dance," and some very convincing goblins came from the wings to cavort on stage. This was followed by one of my favorite songs of all time, "The Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie.

Loki and Orchestra left the stage and Animal Planet's Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald came on to ask two teams of children animal-related questions. I disagreed with one of the questions, "Are all spiders poisonous?" (The answer is "yes," but I think the word "venomous" is more accurate.) After declaring a tie between the two teams, emcee Chuck Roy introduced the cartoon for the night and the lights went down. The obnoxious teenagers behind us promptly lit up a blunt and began loudly discussing whose turn it was to smoke and how many hits each of them had taken. "If they don't shut up when the movie starts," I muttered to my significant other, "I'm grabbing security."

Lucky for them, they managed to retain some vestige of manners and quieted down when a barn owl began flapping across the screen -- the special effects used in the credits look pitiful a couple of decades later -- and David Bowie's voice began singing "Underground." If you've ever seen Labyrinth, you'll know what happened then, and what came after that, all the way until Sarah and her puppet friends have a party in her room and the barn owl soars into the sky, becoming lost in the light of the moon. During Film on the Rocks screenings, however, people enjoy shouting puns and one-liners at the screen, sometimes to the amusement of their fellow watchers. I felt particularly gratified when one of the high-schoolers yelled, "I love you, David Bowie!" at the first appearance of the Goblin King. "His name is Jareth," I muttered under my breath, and some of my more vocal counterparts corrected her out loud. When Sarah bites into the bewitched fruit Hoggle hands her, several people called, "Don't! Don't do it!" "Salmonella!" someone at the other end of the amphitheater warned, and we all collapsed in giggles.

The next installment of Film on the Rocks is Thursday, July 24, when The Breakfast Club and Asteroids take the stage. Tickets are $10 to $12; call 1-866-464-2626 or visit www.redrocksonline.com. -- Amber Taufen

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