Friday, September 24, 2010

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Mic @ Cafe Hey

 Spoken-word performances convey an immediate, intense vitality and connection between those onstage and in the audience. At Cafe Hey, a significant percentage of those present assume both roles on Open Mic night.

Last night, teen-aged Iris endearingly explored philosophical questions about empathy, stupidity and discovering the Darwin Awards, all with a frank transparency that is all hers.

  "Dr. Dre" humorously, and with a good dose of irony, portrayed what it might have been like if Hamlet had a contemporary girlfriend and gender issues to go with it.

Larry sang and played guitar. His rendition of Bowie's Ziggy Stardust excelled last night. He was followed by the aptly named Gracieli, who did two songs (one about vampires) in another language, either Italian or Portuguese. She has a strong, powerful and subtle style and voice. I didn't understand a word she said, but the feelings came across through tone, inflection, etc. Sometimes the spoken word doesn't have to be understood to be experienced at a sensual level.

The duo of Rene and Sladjan, playing guitar and bongo, had an authentic bohemian sound going back to the early 60's. Stacie sang what she calls her "cute song" at ease. Yes, the song is cute, but not in a sappy, saccharine way. Staci is even cuter. Sean followed, the two of them come across as practiced, seasoned performers.

Mistress of Ceremonies, partner in Doorstop Productions, which hosts Open Mic, and versatile poetess Nyssa Hanger performed at the break and at closing, when she did a sprightly and heartfelt rendition of a Michael Jackson song.

Richie read a beautiful love-poem he'd written as a present to his girlfriend, on how love happens, and sends roots, branches and flowers between us. Sean Ryan sang a few pop songs, a difficult thing to do a cappella, but he did it well. Eric read one poem written about a girlfriend and the course love sometimes takes.

Such a diverse set of psychic energies expressed in a plurality of ways.

It was the Fall Equinox, one of two days when light and dark equal out on the balance beam, and so they did at Cafe Hey last night.

Thanks to all, and specially Nyssa Hanger and Cafe Hey for another memorable evening.

--- Luis

Cafe Hey, 1540 N.Franklin St Tampa. Open Mic is Thursday evening from 7 PM -9PM. Free.

Ps. This Saturday, Sept 25th, Cafe Hey/Door Stop Productions are having an event called "Fill The Jugs", with more poetry, song, comedy, silent auction, body paint and much more, all to raise money for the Susan G Komen foundation. Please donate some $ to this worthy cause while there. 

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