So, last Saturday was one of the most surreal days of my life. Not because I spent it all in Portland, Oregon. Not because I watched Jason Bulmahn eat a doughnut that was topped with bacon. Not because I spent an hour in an arcade filled with all the best videogaming the '80s had to offer. And not because I had a hard time finding Lovecraft books that I didn't already have at Powell's World of Books.
I'd seen photos of the set and costumes already, but I still wasn't sure what to expect. Three cars full of Paizo employees and significant others made the day-trip down to Portland, but while everyone else spent the day eating Voodoo Doughnuts and playing videogames and shopping for books and stuff, I couldn't stop wondering what that night's performance was going to be like.
In a word, it was INCREDIBLE!
From the stage dressing to the costumes to the props (real metal weapons!) to the special effects (they included the giant hermit crab!) to the acting (including songs!) to the directing, it was all jaw-droppingly amazing to see what director Tom Beckett created. Looking at the program, I see that there were almost 50 roles in the play—and at times, it felt like half of them were all on stage at once! One thing in particular that I was incredibly impressed by was how Tom's adaptation of the adventure kept a lot of the more mature elements in place—suitably downplayed in some areas, but I never really felt like anything was missing. In fact, some of Tom's additions to the story (giving Belor Hemlock a son who wants to become a hero, or adding a few Skinsaw cultists to the dungeons of Thistletop) were really cool, and I wish I'd thought of them to put into the adventure myself!
All in all, it was a fantastic time. We took a few photos after the play was over, and the smoke in the air from the special effects or maybe remnants of rain on the camera lens made the pictures a little spotty, alas, but you can see in the first one how many folks were waiting in line to see the play before it began (Note the table with gaming supplies for sale, including several Pathfinder products, that local game store Guardian Games set up in the hall!). And in the pictures of the cast posing with several of us from Paizo, see how many characters from the adventure you can recognize!