Ten best (and strangest) arts and culture experiences in 2012

Categories: Lists

7. Going full-on Nan Desu Kan.
It took me a few years, but I finally did it: I experienced a full weekend of the Nan Desu Kan anime convention. The immersion was intense -- mostly because I knew nothing about cosplay, anime, manga, voice acting, etc. -- but worth it. Being allowed to enter into another world like this was humbling, and I came away with a respect for the time, money and energy it takes to live the Gothic Lolita lifestyle.

6. Seeing Trapped In The Closet in the theater
I'm an unabashed R. Kelly fan, so when I heard that this event was happening (again), I jumped at the chance to go. If you've not experienced an Action Pack-organized movie showing, it's like Rocky Horror, but better. For this performance, the Sie FilmCenter gave us spatulas, condoms and tiny foam object-shooting guns to utilize during key points in the 24 chapter showing of Kelly's 33 chapter (and counting) epic story.

What's more, the people behind this communal watching figured out that many fans of Trapped are also fans of Kelly's other pop music works of art -- and the show began with a three-song singalong that included "Ignition (Remix)," and on-screen instructions telling adults specifically not to care what other people in the theater might have thought about your dancing. I certainly didn't care, and stepped in the name of love along with everyone else.

5. Kristin Chenoweth does Kristin Chenoweth.
I didn't know this prior to her performance at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in May, but Kristin Chenoweth is a one-woman show unto herself. In fact, I didn't know anything about Chenoweth as a performer, but I did enjoy watching her sing and dance and squeal and be used as a prop by her sassy male back-up dancers. The Chenoweth exhibition also led me to believe that the GLBTQ-accepting Christian isn't human; she's just a really well-crafted robot.

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