Ian MacDonald reviews Intermedia Cabaret

EMU student Ian MacDonald reviews the Intermedia Cabaret from earlier this semester:

Intermedia Cabaret –  3/15/12

It was a night of tornados and bare-footedness. In short, a night of surprises. I anticipated a boring, post rush hour commute, a drink or two (since the venue was a bar), and a series of somber, slow-paced intermedia performances that would, likely as not, leave me feeling somewhat depressed for the long drive home. 

Literally none of that happened. Caught in a sudden downpour on I-94, I almost T-boned two cars at 60mph that must have spun out some few seconds earlier, the drivers apparently still too shocked to realize they had come to a rest lengthwise across the highway, and were merely facing the ditch, not in it. The venue was indeed a bar, the operative word there being “was”. And the performances turned out to be full of humor, energy and biting social commentary, the effect of which proved to be enlivening as opposed to melancholic. 

A variety of performers, guests, and guest-performers were in attendance. If they had anything in common it was that they all came prepared. The performances felt rehearsed and confident. If they had anything else in common it was the aforementioned (and still inexplicable) amount of bare-footedness present. Throughout the night, I periodically checked to make sure my own socks and shoes hadn’t mysteriously vanished. 

I particularly enjoyed Brenna York and Elizabeth Mikesch’s musical/poetry/skit/comedy entitled (I’m about 65% sure) “Twat Like Breaking Dongs”. The two of them, sitting back to back, trying to work together to stand up without using their hands was novel gag, as was a particularly fitting bit of repartee on so stormy a night:

“Did you get wet on the way here?”

(…)

“You know…from the rain?”        

Johnah Mixon-Webster and Miranda Metelski’s performance was another highlight. Johnah started off by announcing “We’re improvising. Deal with it”. The ensuing performance including Miranda singing “Rockabye Baby” while Johnah called for “more flesh, more bone, more plasma, more supplication” and later asked “what if language is the compass?”. One of the concluding lines “we are eyes watching eyes watching eyes” seemed to speak to the general goings-on in the bottom of the martini-less martini bar that night.

It was a pleasure to watch some of my more soft-spoken classmates let loose onstage. The drive over, quite possibly, almost killed me, but I’d brave similar weather again for the next one.

Jessica Chrisekos reviews Intermedia Cabaret

Jessica Chrisekos reviews the recent Intermedia Cabaret:

Bathhouse Event: Intermedia Cabaret

On March 15th, 2012, Ypsilanti and surrounding areas were plagued by heavy hail storms and dangerous tornadoes. Despite the upsetting weather, my night took a delightful turn at an old martini bar in downtown Ypsilanti.

Writers of all ages and backgrounds joined together to perform their work in an old martini bar. The scene was dark and clustered, something you might expect of a poetry venue. Some of the writers and artists at this event were Rob Halpern, Evan Mann, Nick Compton, and Wolanda Willis. There were many other writers featured, and all performed their pieces with passion.

One of my favorite pieces that night was called “Nonsound, a Musical,” by Rob Halpern. The line that perhaps affected me most was, “Silence, a music we never hear.” Rob Halpern always has a way with words…creating a fluid-like rhythm pleasing to the ear. His sounds and ideas were manifested in his beautiful piece. Also featured was Evan Mann. Evan Mann took a different approach to poetry. His piece, entitled, “I am,” allowed for the use of his body to depict his emotions and reactions. Evan Mann also described how the body is useful in telling stories and saying things that are lost in language. Another writer was Wolanda Willis, who gave a stunning, passionate performance of her work. Her work was dedicated to her mentors, and it’s safe to say that they would be very proud of her work!

While the storm that night may have left some things unsettled, the Bathhouse event helped bring peace and inspiration to me and many other writers and listeners.