Upon finding out that the live version of everyone’s most beloved game show would be visiting this frozen city, thousands of fans flocked to the Internet to spend their hard-earned cash on tickets to this magical event with dreams of playing Plinko and winning “A BRAND NEW CAR!”
The event sold out in a mere 30 minutes, so, needless to say, the Pantages Playhouse Theatre was packed to the gills and hot as a sauna with an electric excitement in the air.
Patrons sat watching clips from old episodes of The Price is Right, making guesses at the cost of freezers and cars from the 70s along with their friends, while anxiously waiting for the show to start.
Eventually the lights went down and out came host Todd Newton sporting a two-piece suit with an open-collar, button-down shirt, a shimmering orange complexion, and stunningly white teeth – which he later attributed to store-bought white strips.
The crowd erupted with his presence and cheered loudly with any mention of prizes or winnings of any kind. In fact, the only time the crowd ever gave any indication of dissatisfaction was when the host made mention of the City of Regina, predicted that the Jets would lose against the Bruins the next day, or when a contestant’s guess at a price was obviously way off target.
All the best elements of The Price is Right were present: the big wheel, Contestants’ Row, Plinko, Cliffhangers, someone guessing one dollar, and prizes galore. There were, however, obvious differences that could not be overlooked.
For one, the prizes were much less attractive than those given away on the television version of The Price is Right, which might seem likely but at $60 per ticket, having the chance to win a remote control helicopter, a tandem bicycle, or a $25 gift card for Smitty’s restaurant just doesn’t have the same wow factor as a trip to France or a motorcycle.
The biggest win of the night was a three-day trip to Las Vegas, which went to a female dental hygienist whom Newton proceeded to hit on mercilessly, including blow job jokes and pretending to give her a backstage pass to meet up with him after the event.
Newton, though a seasoned game-show host, was by far the worst part of the night, as he does not hold a candle to the warmth and friendliness that Bob Barker once brought to the show, or the nice-guy appeal of present-day host Drew Carey. Newton instead brings a cocky, chauvinist attitude and a stage presence peppered with innuendo that was certainly not appropriate for an all-ages event.
Even with these factors, the magic of experiencing the games, prizes, and glamour of The Price is Right was not without its charm, and even those who did not walk away with a prize certainly walked away with a smile on their face.