Sunday, January 4, 2009

Reading Bondage: Only the Microphone was Ashamed - December 3, 2008

There were two things that stood out about the rec room show on December 3. The first is that it was freaking freezing the back room of the bar, and the second, more importantly, is that the show was one of the funniest, entertaining and interesting shows I’ve seen anywhere.

For a lot of people, speaking in front of an audience is unthinkable, let alone reading your own creative work in front of said audience, let alone reading your own creative work in front of said audience while your work is on fire, or while your corset is being tied. But that’s just the sort of thing curator and rec roomer Nicolette Bond would come up with. And so it was with her show Reading Bondage: Only the Microphone was Ashamed.

All of the poets read two poems and so had two different constraints placed on them. I’ll try to remember them all. The show started off with Nicolette reading her poem as Erin tightened the strings of her corset. This just set the tone for the stunts that ensued: Jason read a poem in a Jamaican accent and also closed the show by stuffing a napkin in his mouth and spanking his ass while trying to read a poem. Michael read backwards, and he also read while perusing some 70s porn, and Jac read her first poem into the ceiling. Of course, her second task was a lot harder, as we closed in on her like a zombie audience during her reading.

As a special treat, we got to hear Mike shout a rabble-rousing rant—

—into Nicolette’s ass.

Let’s see, what else… Carl had to first sing a poem, which was kind of lovely and hilarious, and for his second round he read a poem to me while I sat on his lap like a child listening to a bedtime story. A really embarrassed 31 year-old child. Mary was a maniac, a maniac on the floor when she read her poem while dancing. She also allowed Nic to tie the mic onto her body, so that she read into her abdomen.

Dave got all Ethan Hawke on us as he stood on the table and shouted his poem. Later he was far more Kirsten Dunst when he brought it, reading from the bottom of a human pyramid. Erin had to read while her poem burned, and then she played telephone with Trina and Barbara. I still have no idea what that poem really said. Barbara pulled a repeat and sang her poem to us.

If you’ve never been to rec room and want to know what we’re like or why we’re different, this is a good example. No, we don’t read into people’s asses every show, or really at any show other than the last one, and yes, despite the wackiness of this show we really do love the written word and the feel of performance. We’re not afraid to do something crazy, just to see if it’ll work. And sometimes, like on December 3rd, it really does.