If the name Meltdown Comics and Collectibles sounds familiar it might be for the simple reason that you’re a huge fucking geek; if their website is accurate, it is the largest comic book store on the west coast. For the rest of you, however, it might also be due to The Nerdist Showroom — as in Chris Hardwick‘s Nerdist Industries — that it houses in the back, which regularly hosts a variety of live performances and entertainment events including writers workshops, live podcast recordings, discussion panels, and a stand-up night featuring numerous top shelf comedians that has become such a hugely successful phenomenon that it’s actually been adapted into it’s own weekly Comedy Central program, The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. In other words, we’re still all huge fucking geeks. This Friday, October 17th 2014, the Nerdist Showroom will demonstrate it’s versatility as a performance space yet again, with a one-night group art show dedicated to Three’s Company (1977 -84), the sitcom that made a star out of the late John Ritter and reflected the era in which it aired as much as anything ever has.
For this themed exhibit, Eat More Art Out Productions has assembled a lineup consisting of dozens of incredibly skilled visual artists working in varying disciplines to deliver a broad range of works interpreting and paying homage to a situation comedy that managed to pull off 8 seasons riding primarily on a concept as basic as eavesdropping and general misunderstandings. The program also consistently toyed with such delicate social issues as gender equality, homophobia, and promiscuity, and although it often may have done so from very archaic and primitive perspectives, it also presented a scenario where pretending to be homosexual was a positive and where womanizing always blew up in one’s face. John Ritter played a lead character on a show where, in a way, he was presented as more wholesome and respectable as a gay man than he ever was while operating under his more sexually deviant female-obsessed everyday persona. Whether intentionally or otherwise — and I’m sure that’s debatable — Three’s Company undoubtedly played a role in the public’s perception of all of these issues, on one level or another, helping to push such conversations forward. And while Come & Knock On Our Door promotes itself as “a tribute to John Ritter,” based on the images that have been revealed to us so far, it really does seem to be much more of a tribute to the TV show that put him on the map — the actor doesn’t even appear in a good percentage of the contributions (how can you “Knott” shine a spotlight on Mr Furley?). We’ve only seen a sample selection so far, but I truly am hoping that someone manages to squeeze in a reference to Vaughan Cunningham from Slingblade (1996), a gay character delivered brilliantly by Ritter from a completely different perspective, taking the actor’s career full circle a dozen years after the demise of Three’s Company.
As a pop culture art show, this one is worth it just for the nostalgia, but the fact that both the artists and the curators really seem to be wholeheartedly embracing this theme from all angles, makes it all that much more intriguing to see what else they manage to pull off for this opening. Not only do we recommend hitting up this show if you’re in Los Angeles, we also suggest following @eatmoreartout on Instagram and Facebook to see what extremes they are going to with the preparations. Based on the images that we’ve been seeing, the showroom appears to be getting redecorated to emulate the classic Three’s Company apartment set and there are plenty of references to “costume judges” being onsite at the event for those who care to dress up like characters from the show. Also featured will be 3 original photographs originally taken for an August 4, 1979 TV Guide cover story on actress Joyce DeWitt, who played “Janet,” framed and on display, as well as packs of genuine Three’s Company trading cards. And if that’s not enough, this opening also boasts an open bar, a food truck, photo-ops and more! If that’s not enough, I’ve got nothing for you. Hell… I’d go for the taco truck alone.
Check out preview images for the exhibit below the following event details…
Eat More Are Out Productions Presents
Come & Knock On Our Door: A Tribute To John Ritter
Saturday, October 17th
OPEN BAR, MUSIC, a FOOD-TRUCK, TREATS, and PHOTO-OPS!
Select artists will be in attendance
Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1455932761347195/
[click images to enlarge]