So Tripod has gained a member – well, to some extent. Scod, Gatesy and Yon have swelled their ranks with the admission of the lovely Elana Stone into the inner sanctum of geekery. This female interloper has proved to be a breath of fresh air for Tripod, who have been performing parodies, satires and pun-heavy ditties as a trio for just shy of 15 years. Tripod Vs The Dragon is a different kettle of fish, though. Sure, anyone can be funny for three minutes at a time, but an hour and a half long musical? That takes some serious comedic chops.
The show follows four friends on a D&D adventure to fill in the missing part of a map. Unfortunately the map is incomplete because a fetching and rather vicious dragon, played by Miss Stone, keeps eating would-be topographers. The show is filled with a raft of songs in the classic Tripod style, as well as the achingly beautiful Ivory Tower, written with the aid of one Megan Washington and performed by Ms Stone.
The staging relies heavily on the use of projectors and a large white sheet and beyond that, much like the game itself, you must use your imagination. Most importantly, Tripod Vs the Dragon is very funny. Although it does not particularly make us want to take up Dungeons and Dragons per se, it does quite a good job of explaining why others do.
The special features on the DVD are a gold mine for Tripod fans, or in fact anyone interested in the performing arts. In addition to some extra songs and the show’s trailer there’s also a skit from 1999 showing a positively youthful Tripod playing Dungeons and Dragons – so it would appear this particular idea has been brewing for some time. For theatre nerds there is a 72 minute documentary on the making of the show that interviews the performers as well as everyone involved in the development and production. For anyone curious about how a show actually comes about it is a surprisingly good synthesis of the creative process and also helps dispel any misconceptions about performing arts being easy money.
Tripod Vs The Dragon sees the lads fly their geek flag proudly and with the addition of Elana Stone they have created a whole new format with which to peddle nerd power to the comedy hungry masses.
Beyond Home Entertainment, PG $29.95