Thursday, July 10, 2008

A last goodbye to the Adventurers Club - High-Res pictures and Video



That's it, in two days, on Sept 28, the Adventurers Club at Pleasure Island will close forever, with others Pleasure Island's night clubs, as we know.

Personally, i still think that it's very sad...The Adventurers Club was a wonder of Imagineering theming and it will be hard for everyone to make me believe that it was not possible to find a way to incorporate it in the future buildings/theming of Pleasure Island...

Anyway, today at D&M here is a farewell to this wonderful club with high-res pictures and a video.

Also, for my european readers who have never been inside the Adventurers Club, here is a description - coming from Wikipedia. You will see a video below of the "pupettronic" Colonel Critchlow Suchbench, but you can see many videos of the show on Youtube HERE



The Adventurers Club opened with the rest of Pleasure Island on May 1, 1989. Disney's Imagineers created a fictional legend about the island's previous owner, Merriweather Adam Pleasure, and a backstory describing each of the buildings' former uses.
It is styled after a private club for world travelers and explorers and is set in 1937. The walls of the club are covered with artifacts and photographs from various explorations. The Adventurers Club features animatronics, puppets, and a cast of adventurers who perform in shows and improvise comedy while mingling with the club's patrons. Shows and conversation are often laced with innuendo, and the patrons might be welcomed as guests, given fictitious names and "recognized" as fellow adventurers, or simply referred to as "drunks".

Resident Adventurers

Hathaway Browne - Aviator, and the club's resident innuendo-making ladies' man.
Otis T. Wren - Club Treasurer and ichthyologist.
Fletcher Hodges - Absent-minded Club Curator.
Pamelia Perkins - Club President.
Samantha Sterling - Explorer and cabaret singer.
Emil Bleehall - Contender for the Balderdash Cup. Hails from Sandusky, Ohio. The character used to be portrayed as a plaid sport coat-wearing country bumpkin, but is now depicted as a "Junior Adventurer" in a costume that is a pastiche of a Boy Scout uniform.
Graves - Club Butler.
The Maid - There are many maids who work in the Adventurers Club and participate in its activities. The only character that changes identity for which actor is playing her.
Madame Zarkov - A mysterious gypsy who makes rare appearances at the Club. This character usually replaces that of Samantha Sterling for an evening.
The adventurers can be portrayed by different actors on different nights, and most actors play more than one part. For example, it is not uncommon to see one night's Pamelia performing as the maid on the next night.

Other Characters

Colonel Critchlow Suchbench - Club Gleemeister. The colonel is a cable-controlled puppet worked from behind the scenes. He is usually "on duty" (sitting dormant), but he wakes up to lead the new inductees in the club song, and occasionally to converse with guests in the Main Salon.



Babylonia - A giant stone face on the wall in the Main Salon, the goddess of women and all things fertile, who sometimes speaks.
The Yakoose - A mounted animal head that occasionally moves and speaks, either to guests or to Babylonia.
Arnie and Claude - A pair of talking masks in the Mask Room.
Beezle - A genie whose head appears in the Treasure Room.
Fingers Zambezi - A haunted organ that provides the music for the Library shows.
Sutter Bestwick - A character always mentioned and "supposed" to appear for certain shows but never manages to show up.
Chilton Thompson - A character always mentioned and "supposed" to appear for certain shows but never manages to show up.



Rooms

The Zebra Mezzanine - The top floor of the club. The club entrance leads into the mezzanine, which forms a circular balcony around the Main Salon. The walls feature many artifacts, and a framed parchment of the Club Creed. Primarily Graves' domain, the adventurers spend limited time here except for certain rituals (e.g. an exorcism or the Rhythm Ritual).
The Main Salon - The central room of the club. The Main Salon houses the nightclub's bar, and also has a small stage from which the adventurers often speak or lead shows such as the New Member Induction Ceremony. The centerpiece of the Main Salon is a larger-than-life statue that some say is titled "Zeus Goes Fishing", but alternatively referred to as "God with Rod". It is a replica of the famous Artemision Bronze. The walls of this room are filled with even more artifacts than on the Mezzanine, and many have placards giving their history and importance to the fictional former owner of the island, Merriweather Pleasure.



The Mask Room - A small room off the Main Salon that features several shows throughout the night. The walls are covered with masks from around the world, many of which move and laugh. Two large Bacchanalian-inspired masks at the front of the room, Arnie and Claude, also talk and move their eyes.
The Treasure Room - Another small room off the Main Salon, the Treasure Room contains additional artifacts gathered by the club, and also hosts several shows throughout the night which feature the genii-head-in-a-lantern special effect.
The Library - This room is the largest in the club and hosts the larger (and mostly scripted) shows, many of which are musical in nature. This room also includes a second bar, and is the home of Fingers Zambezi.



Shows

The Adventurers Club offers many shows throughout the night. Several adventurers host small shows in the Mask Room and Treasure Room. The schedule is not fixed, but there are plaques next to each room to show the schedule for that particular evening. The shows mostly follow a script and order of songs and jokes although often guests will be invited to participate and the performers might make running jokes about some guests behavior, dress or place of origin. Shows offered in other rooms include:
Welcome Party - Samantha Sterling and Fletcher Hodges throw a welcome party to get the open house off to a good start.
Radio Broadcast - Otis and Pamelia lead a version of their weekly old-style radio broadcast, "Tales of the Adventurers Club," in which half of the cast is missing and must be replaced by audience members (can't do a half cast show). The broadcast is a serial radio show, akin to those of "The Shadow" or "Little Orphan Annie".
The Balderdash Cup Competition - The Library show that reveals the winner of the coveted Balderdash Cup. The Adventurer of the Year does, that's who.
The RadioThon- The club uses its radio broadcasting ability to attempt to raise $2000 and save the club from losing its lease, finding some trouble along the way. A kind of variety show.
The New Member Induction Ceremony - This ceremony takes place in the Main Salon. Each night you arrive at the Adventurers Club happens to be the night of their membership drive. The ceremony is performed 3 times throughout the night, hosted by different characters each time.
The Club Salute - This is where new adventurers learn the true meaning of the club's greeting, "Kungaloosh!", and the secret salute to accompany it.
The Club Creed - A recitation of the Official Creed.
The Club Song - The Colonel is awakened to teach the crowd the club's anthem, though he usually misunderstands which song is expected of him at first.
Samantha's Cabaret - A Library show featuring Samantha Sterling performing musical numbers.
The Maid's Sing-Along - Another Library show led by the Maid, in which the Maid performs a selection of songs and banters with the audience.
The Rhythm Ritual - A show centered in the Main Salon that leads into the Hoopla. The Ritual usually features all the adventurers looking down from the balconies of the mezzanine as they take turns performing humorous solos on percussive instruments. The ritual usually builds to a crescendo as they come downstairs into the Main Salon, all playing their instruments together. Then the Colonel responds to the sound by coming off duty and shouting out rhythmic but often nonsensical phrases for the patrons to repeat, finalizing in the announcement of the Hoopla.
The Hoopla - The Adventurers Club evening finale. At the end of the Rhythm Ritual, the Library doors open and the guests are seated. The Hoopla is hosted by Samantha Sterling, and always begins with a sing-along of "The Happy Wanderer". There are usually two or three other numbers performed by other adventurers, then the show is always concluded with Samantha leading everyone in "When the Saints Go Marching In", with each remaining adventurer creating a verse. The actors either invent a new verse on the spur of the moment or reuse one they've previously found to be effective.

Photos: copyright Disney

Youtube video: thanks to markbundles2

Adventurers Club description text from Wikipedia

2 comments:

Brad said...

Wow that's some amazing content on the site. A lot of people are sad to see it go.

-Brad
WDWForGrownups

Stephen Grubb said...

Thanks for the detailed description of a wonderful place that will soon be no more. You did a wonderful job giving non-visitors the feel for this special place. Kungaloosh!