116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
While attending Northern State University in South Dakota, Yvonne Freese had her share of late nights. One of the ways the animated actor kept herself alert during long evenings was catching “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”
“I stumbled upon it while I was working on papers and procrastinating,” Freese said while calling from Detroit. “I really liked it a lot. I connected with it. There's nothing like it.”
The quirky, offbeat series created by Joel Hodgson is indeed unusual. In 1986, Hodgson created and played a janitor held hostage by a pair of mad scientists who forced him to watch B movies.
The unconventional series aired initially independently in Minneapolis before being picked up by Comedy Central. MST3000 has also run on the Sci-Fi channel and Netflix. MST3000 continues to air courtesy of Gizmoplex, thanks to fans’ support via Kickstarter.
What: Mystery Science Theater 3000 LIVE: Time Bubble Tour
Where: Paramount Theatre, 123 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids
When: 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021
Tickets: $35 to $225, creventslive.com/events/2021/mystery-science-theatre
“It's awesome that those who love the show are so passionate that they financially support it,” Freese said. “I'm so glad because it's the coolest show. It's so much fun to watch.”
Freese, 30, never expected to be part of the production or tour but she's thrilled to play the roles of snake-like robot GPC and mad scientist Mega-Synthia.
“It's been awesome,” she said. “I was hired during the summer of 2019 and our tour ended March 9, 2020, which was just before the lock down, so I had the experience of being part of the live show.”
After taking a year-and-a-half hiatus, Freese and company are back on the road for the Time Bubble Tour, which stops at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids on Sunday night, Nov. 28, 2021.
Hodgson is supervising the tour, and Freese is reuniting with the 2019 “Great Cheesy Movies Circus Tour” cast, which also includes Emily Marsh, Conor McGiffin and Nate Begle. Those three portray movie-riffing robots, skewering 1985’s “Making Contact.”
Expect an array of wisecracks and silly sketches, under the direction of Tim Ryder, a Second City alum.
“I’m thrilled to announce that the MST3K live show is back on the road for audiences to enjoy together again, especially after a year that's been tough on all of us,” Hodgson said in a news release. “I've learned to never underestimate the power of hanging with friends and watching a cheesy movie while bots yell stuff at the screen.”
Freese, who loves B movies — her favorite is “Hobgoblins” — most enjoys interacting with the audience.
“It's always a blast,” she said. “The people that come out are up for anything and what's so cool is that it’s such a diverse audience. What I've discovered is that the people that come out are of all ages. Parents pass down their love of ‘Mystery Science Theater’ to their kids. So we see different generations at the shows.”
Cedar Rapids ties
Freese will see family after she performs at the Paramount.
“I have relatives in Cedar Rapids so I'll hang out with my cousins, briefly and safely after the show,” she said. “We’ll be masked and distant. There’s still a pandemic going on. We're all on a bus so if one of us gets sick, it's just something we can't let happen, since that would be devastating.
“So I'll see my cousins after the show, and it'll be cool to know when I'm performing in Cedar Rapids, they're out there in the audience having fun. How can you not have fun with a show like this?”