Perhaps the most fabulous aspect of the New & Improved reading is how it redefines our mission and idea every single Monday. This week was no exception, as poet Porsha Olayiwola got us going with a part-writing, part-improv workshop that drew even the quietest artists into Porsha’s rowdy-sexy-safe-space and pulled surprising work out of everyone. The open mic was intimate, sweet, and full of first-timers, including a dream-story-improv-magic act that we could only imagine happening as part of New & Improved.
After all that excitement, we were super-lucky to follow up with the two rockin’ features in the house. We started up with dancer Karin Webb, who, along with guitarist Brendan Burns, improvised a delicate and sinuous piece that incorporated some of the features of the stage, sound system, and bar in a straight-up busting-out through the fourth wall! Porsha took the stage next with a set that ranged from heartrendingly sincere to distressingly believable persona work– all sandwiched between her super-sassy patter and personal narrative. The finale of the night was a second act from Karin, a sensuous burlesque act that snuck up behind the audience and roped everyone in (pun intended)… It’s just possible that you had to be there.
Next week: oh, no big deal. We’re just back with Regie Gibson and Fey Rey & Freedom Sound— that’s a National Poetry Slam Champion and a brandy-new Jamaica Plain three-piece musical project, in case you didn’t know. Come early for Regie’s workshop and stay late to close the bar at Radio for your best possible summer Monday night!