I think I’ve got somewhat of an unhealthy obsession with this whole extreme race phenomenon that’s hitting around here. Not to actually race in any of them, mind you, that sounds a lot like work. Or not to pay the surprisingly high fee for spectator tickets and go to hang out. Nuts to that. But the fact that this area has somehow become the state’s, if not the east coast’s, ground zero for extreme sports races is just incredible to me. We get it started off with a bang this weekend when Tough Mudder comes to town at the Inn at Pocono Manor tomorrow and Sunday. There are almost 10,000 people signed up to race on Saturday, and about 6,300 signed up for Sunday. They’re expecting about 3,000 people hang out of the event, for $40 a ticket if you’re getting them at the door. $40! I get seriously cheesed off that I have to pay $17 for an SRO ticket to a Phillies game these days. So $40 to watch people punish themselves sounds a little exorbitant, but what do I know. It does sound like a good time, with beer tents and bands and the like. And up until tonight, you can still buy spectator tickets online for $20. That’s not as bad. I’m a little worried about the logistics of the whole thing since all of the racers and spectators have to park at Pocono Raceway then be bussed over to Pocono Manor, more than 11 miles away. The cops say they’ve been contacted by the Tough Mudder folks and are aware of the possible pratfalls, so that’s good. But it sounds like a really fun day, you don’t want it ruined by people being all pissy about how far away they have to park.
Official FOPR Joe O’Malley probably isn’t cool enough to be one of the bands Tough Mudder employs to play the post posty, at least not until he starts learning some Godsmack covers. But he is up on the post-post party at Pocono Manor’s lounge starting at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday. I thought this sounded like a potentially crazy gig, so I figured I’d ask Joe about what he’s expecting. “I’m imagining that the bar will be filled with half-naked muddy women requesting Friends in Low Places and Brown Eyed Girl.” Well if that doesn’t get you excited about a gig, what will? And wait, what happened to Free Bird? Isn’t anyone drunkenly requesting Free Bird anymore? am I that out of touch??? Almost makes me want to go out Saturday night and torture him with it for three hours.
Allow me to mention this for the 57th time — Paul Dano is going to be at the Pocono Community Theater in East Stroudsburg tonight to screen his new movie Being Flynn with Robert DeNiro. DeNiro isn’t coming to the screening, mind you, he’s just in the movie. Dano is coming because he has strong family ties in the East Stroudsburg area (his dad lives in Wooddale, his cousins are the Meskos of Mesko Glass), and wants to help the theater on its capital campaign. He’s the star of Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood, and his role in TWBB is one of my all-time, never-talked-about actor Oscar snubs. It’s pretty amazing he didn’t get nominated for a supporting nomination for it. My other underrated no-nomination snubs — Bill Murray twice for Rushmore and Groundhog Day, Gene Hackman for Royal Tenenbaums and Tom Hanks for League of Their Own. I’ll go to my grave saying that if Tom Hanks made LOTO in 2000, he not only would have been nominated for best supporting actor, he would have won pretty easily. Anyway, back to tonight. There is a wine and cheese reception starting at 6:30 p.m., then the movie starts at 7:30. After the movie, Dano will be doing a Q&A with fans. And yes, as promised before, I’m moderating the Q&A. Feel free to send me in a question you’d hear him answer, just as long as it’s not something like, “What’s it like working with Robert DeNiro?” If that’s your question, here’s what I would say with 99.9999 percent certainty would be Dano’s answer: “Oh, Bobby’s great. He’s a tremendous actor and a tremendous person. I learned so much from him on set, of how to prepare for a role and how to be a professional.” Something like that. So there you go. I know most people don’t know that much about the movie, so check out the trailer, it’s pretty good.
I’m the guy. I’m the guy who saw Adventures of Ford Fairlane in the theater in 1990, and who still thinks it’s funny. I still laugh a good bit if I watch it. I actually own it on VHS. So yeah, that’s me, the Guy Who Still Thinks Andrew Dice Clay is funny. Normally, for people like me, this doesn’t pay off. Then there are weekends like this where it does since he’ll be at Mount Airy Casino Resort tomorrow night. It’s sold out already, so unless you have your ticket, no dice. But if you don’t have a ticket by now, you’re probably part of the 95 percent of the population that are still repulsed by him. Me? I’m a fan of Dice. There, I said it. I just wish he wouldn’t continue to brag about selling out Madison Square Garden 20 years ago and act like it happened last week or something.
Two fashion shows this weekend. The first one is at the Shoppes on Main at 580 Main St. in Stroudsburg. The show is from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the store, and goes to benefit the United Way of Monroe County. Tickets are $25 and include some food and wine. The second is the Teen Dream Expo at Desaki in Swiftwater, which is what it sounds. Fashion for teens, from local stores like Becca’s Closet and Dawn of New York. If you’ve met me, you know I’m the last person on the planet who should be talking about fashion, so just do the link-checking thing.
The Sherman Theater is doing one last party for the college kids, a DJ-dance thing. The theater has really been catering to a lot of things the ESU crowd is up for this last year, which is great to see. When college kids believe they’re being included, they tend to get an affinity for that area, and then stick around after school instead of just moving back home or to New York City.
Speaking of ESU kids going into the workforce, one of the most successful ESU grads is going to be on TV tonight on Undercover Boss. Dan DiZio, a 1995 ESU grad, is the co-founder of Philly Pretzel Factory and is the featured “boss” tonight on the show.