On April 24th, NPR’s “Ask Me Another” podcast featuring Kristen and Robert Lopez will be available for download. The show is a blend of brainteaser, local pub trivia nights, comedy, and music.
The show was taped in front of a standing-room-only live studio audience, at the Bell House in Brooklyn, NY. The Lopez’s live close by, and have a large following that started long before “Let It Go”, including, but not limited to, writing music for the Broadway smash-hits, “Avenue Q” and “Book of Mormon”. In addition to “Frozen”, Disney fans are familiar with their music, as Robert wrote songs for both “Phineas and Ferb” and “Bear in the Big Blue House” and they both wrote for “Winnie the Pooh” and “Finding Nemo: the Musical” in WDW’s Animal Kingdom. Robert Lopez in an EGOT winner, one of only twelve people to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony.
As the show began, Kristen and Robert were seated in the second row to stage left, where the contestants and guests are ushered on and off. The show format includes a brief comedy stand-up segment performed by the host, Ophira Eisenberg, followed by two quiz/riddle games, played by contestants that have been previously selected.
For the third game, the Lopez’s are introduced. There is an informal “interview”, in which Robert and Kristen truly shine. Kristen is full of life; funny, outspoken, blunt, she has the entire audience laughing at her anecdotes. Robert is more reserved, but very comfortable on stage, watching Kristen with admiration as she leads the interview. It’s my opinion that this interview is a must-hear. Kristen and Robert share some wonderful stories, including one about Oprah, and how they envision John Lasseter driving on the freeway in California. The Lopez’s then switch to the side where the “quiz master” normally stands. For this quiz game, the Lopez’s sing the riddles to the contestants, to the tune of “Let It Go”. When the game ends in a tie, the host informs us that the tie-breaker is just a “regular” question, and the audience groans. Kristen chirps out “I can musicalize this!” and, on the spot, sings the tie-breaking question to the tune of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”. The audience goes wild! Kristen and Robert then sing “Love is an Open Door” before the break, and they’re both amazing singers.
During the break, the Lopez’s come back to their seats, where they are greeted by fans, clutching their “Frozen” DVD’s in their hands. I kick myself, these things never occur to me. I approach them and ask to take a picture, then steal a few moments with Robert to ask about his family’s Disney vacationing habits. He tells me that Lopez family has been spending much more time on the West Coast, so there have been lots of Disneyland trips, but they haven’t made it to WDW in quite some time. He’s a big fan of Radiator Springs!
The show starts back up, and there is one more group of contestants before the Lopez’s play a trivia game, about musical mash-ups, against each other. They’re playfully competitive…well, Robert is – Kristen is there to WIN! The show closes with the winners from each round squaring off in a round robin, to determine the overall winner.
I would have enjoyed watching “Ask Me Another”, regardless of the special guests, but the Lopez’s appearance probably ruined it for me. They’re incredibly gregarious and enchanting, and from my seat on the concrete floor, I was terribly sad for the show to end. It is definitely worth a listen!