Von Trier’s fox is wrong; it is not chaos that reigns, but irony. And in this case, irony from 2006!

R. Kelly’s Trapped In The Closet is a collection of songs and music video released in fits and starts from 2005 to 2007, all of which flow together in continuity to tell a story of a one-night stand that goes way way wrong. Each song follows the same medley and features Kelly’s trademark style of stream of consciousness crooning, while the videos literalize the story.

Earlier this year, R. Kelly announced that the series was coming back, more videos were on their way, and that the story would continue. I’m not sure where that plan is at, but the first 22 videos are about to enjoy a revival as The Action Pack (one of the programming arms of the Alamo Drafthouse) has put together a sub-titled sing-a-long program that combines all of the original videos with an R. Kelly pre-show to create a very unique cinematic experience.

The show has done well at events like NYCC and Bonnaroo, and now it will be distributed as a 2k DCP that theaters across the nation can show. Cities like Austin, Atlanta, Houston, LA and many more will play host to Kelly’s hip-hopera as Kelly fans flock together to sing-a-long about adultery and love.

The full press release is below, but this of course joins the Alamo’s distribution of Miami Connection going on as we speak. In both cases we’re seeing audiences (all of which probably have their own pet rants about what “hipster” means and how it doesn’t apply to them) coming together to laugh and play along with artist of dubious sanity earnestly plying their art. My buddies have been sharing the ironic joy of Trapped In The Closet with people via YouTube for years, all while The Room has shined as the crown jewel of ironic appreciation and Rocky Horror Picture Show ingrains itself yet again in a new generation- one that takes their loving mockery very seriously. All of this to say, perhaps Trapped In The Closet would be better dubbed a “hipster-hopera.”

I’d argue that Miami Connection offers ample genuine skill and action along with its misguided freakshow to be of worth beyond pure irony, but ultimately these are all manifestations of the very interesting role irony now plays in our culture. It’s something on my mind having just read this very interesting, disarming NY Times editorial from Christy Wampole on the subject of irony, and with Rick Alverson’s hipster-screed The Comedy currently showing in some theaters (see it, if you’ve got the stomach).

Cultural implications notwithstanding, there’s fun to be had and closets to escape.

Check and see if this hip-hopera epic is coming anywhere near you.


The interactive hit show from Bonnaroo and New York Comic Con
could be coming to a movie theater near you

Austin, TX— Tuesday, November 20, 2012— The Action Pack has teamed up with IFC, Fuzzy Bunny Films, and RCA Records to put together a rare chance to experience R. Kelly’s infamous hip-hopera, TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET, like never before – on the big screen in movie theaters across the country in a festive Sing-Along atmosphere. Coming to select U.S. cinemas this November, the event features a dance party warm up with some of R. Kelly’s best non-Trapped music videos, followed by a 2k DCP presentation of the first 22 chapters of TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET with custom subtitles so that the entire audience can sing-along and exclaim aloud in terror when R. Kelly’s character “Sylvester” flips back the cover and discovers a rubber… rubber… rubber…

“I had a chance to host this event at Bonnaroo and at the New York Comic Con this year,” said Henri Mazza, founder of The Action Pack, “and the experience of watching 600 R. Kelly fans come together as one force to react to the crazy plot twists, sing along to the best lyrics, and wave spatulas in the air along with Rosy the Nosy Neighbor gave me hope that one day the music of R. Kelly will be powerful enough to bring the entire world together in peace. Also, it was just an insane amount of fun.”

Currently there are screenings booked in theaters in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Seattle, Tucson, and Winchester, VA. A complete list of theaters and screening events follows, but theaters in other markets who want to bring the TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET SING-ALONG to their venue can still book the event directly through The Action Pack. Brand-new chapters of R.Kelly’s bold hip-hopera, Trapped in the Closet, premieres Friday, November 23 at 9:00pm ET/PT only on IFC.

For additional details check out the Action Pack’s Trapped in the Closet page on their website: http://www.actionpackent.com

Atlanta – Plaza Theater : Nov 30
Austin – Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz : Nov 22
Austin – Alamo Drafthouse Lake Creek : Dec 1
Houston – Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park : Nov 29
Kansas City – Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet Cinema : Nov 20
Los Angeles – Graumann’s Chinese Theater : Nov 30 & Dec 1
San Antonio – Alamo Drafthouse Park North : Nov 28
San Antonio – Alamo Drafthouse Stone Oak : Nov 20
Seattle – SIFF Cinema : Nov 30 & Dec 1
Tucson – The Loft Cinema : Nov 30
Winchester – Alamo Drafthouse : Nov 29