BARRY COURTER: Lisa, you know how Garrison Keillor used to take listeners to a mythical place that they remembered growing up in or wished they had grown up in? "Welcome to Night Vale" is a multimedia sensation that is nothing like that.

LISA DENTON: Ha. I love it when you fake me out like that. It's like when you're a passenger in a car and the driver turns to face the rear window like he's going to back up and then drives forward. Gets me every time.

BARRY: Or the "Do you know where the old Red Food Store was on Brainerd Road? Don't go that way. It's the other way."

LISA: Love that one, too. So, yes, as you were saying, "Welcome to Night Vale" is coming to the Walker Theatre on Thursday. It's a modern podcast being done live on stage like an old-timey radio show. Very cool.

BARRY: It's a twice-monthly podcast with an emcee, actors and a storyline about a small desert town where pretty much every conspiracy theory we've ever heard actually happens. Complete with local weather and news reports, announcements from the sheriff's office, as if they can be believed, and all kinds of weird shenanigans.

LISA: Love that word, shenanigans.

BARRY: Me too. It just sounds fun.

LISA: And fracas is a good one. I have heard that there's actual courtroom testimony where a lawyer asked a witness, "You were not shot in the fracas?" and the witness answered, "No, I was shot midway between the fracas and the navel."

BARRY: That had to hurt.

LISA: Obviously.

Anyway, I'm sure there are people familiar with the "Welcome to Night Vale" podcast, but the live show, called "A Spy in the Desert," is a standalone story with an entirely new script that will never be heard on the podcast.

And speaking of podcasts, we should plug yours. What's it called, "Barry & Friends"? I ask because it's "friends" plural, and I haven't been asked to be on yet. I didn't know your bench was that deep.

BARRY: Dang, that would have been a good name, but the plural is probably misleading, as you say. It's actually called "People With Barry Courter," (, which I now realize is also plural and therefore misleading. But "Random Person Talking to Barry" wouldn't fit in the space allotted.

Also, you know too many stories about me. And not the good kind.

LISA: Yep, that makes sense. Would it help if I promise not to mention your fracas?

Get event information every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.