The Oakland Stage Review and Asshole Magnets

The Mac (my daughter) went with a friend to see Hillary Clinton at YSU. She described Hillary as, “A babe.” Like Michael Moore I have also thought that about Hillary. Like Michael I also tend to be disappointed in the Clintons as being, Republican lite. Mac waited about two hours to get into Beegly Center and another hour inside. She got an up front spot but had late comers pushing her out of the way. One woman claimed she just needed to get by to get a picture for her child but then of course stayed in front of Mac. Hey ignorant people go to a Palin rally. I’m afraid when Mac attends things she has inherited a tendency that her pop has. That is my tendency to be surrounded by assholes. I refer to it as being an “asshole magnet.” More on that later.

I went the Oakland Center of the Arts Thursday night for their monthly “Stage” event. The event is an open stage that really shows what a lot of talent our area has. This is my review.

The stage has a great solidarity between audience members and performers. The audience comes for some entertainment to relax after a day of stemming the tsunami of incompetants that are known as our employers. Since this is Saturday and the Stage was Thursday and I didn’t take notes I’m not sure how well this review will go. I have an idea. Let me get in my way back machine. I’ll set the dial for Thursday Oct.16 2008 8 pm. And…

And our first act is: a small preview of next weekend’s opening of Night of the Living Dead, based on George Romero’s cult film classic adapted by Morton Grisly. I note some of the zombies are wearing sport jackets as if eating brains was a formal dinner event. I am thinking how zombies are rather grouchy looking and walk rather lazily and seem empty headed. In other words these guys are management material. Ever notice how the humans in Romero’s movies always run out of gas in Zombie Land? In 1968 when Romero made, “Night of the Living Dead” gas was only 23 cents a gallon so there was no legitimate reason to run out of gas. With gas now over $3 a gallon I can understand driving around on gas fumes.

Zombies are brainless walking corpses who do nothing for others and stagger around the planet getting in the way of the working man who does the real work. Given that and the fact zombies are in an endless search for brains it there for goes without saying they are Republicans. We all now know that a “compassionate conservative” is just a smiling zombie cannibal. Zombies always seem to be around rural cemeteries and farms in the movies. Funny thing is I tend to think of zombie’s as being from “Bored Man” Ohio or “Howl Land” OH.

Being 100% Irish I suspect all zombies are English. Those guys love kidneys, liver and all that organ meat crap. Truth is I’d try brains before I’d ever eat sweet potatoes, beets or olives. I have heard brains are brain food. The brain even raw is tender, juicy, and chocked full of all the neurotransmitters a bloodthirsty zombie could want. Frontal lobes cooked in a crock pot set on low with a can of cream of corpse soup, some femur bones and a couple of phalanges cooked for eight hours is particularly tender, making for an excellent roast, or so I’m told. Is your mouth watering yet? Girl zombies it makes for an excellent meal when hubby zombie says his boss zombie is coming for dinner. A meal like that and hubby will get promoted to cemetery manager in no time. Sad to say zombies are not anarchists or I’d be one already. They have bosses just like us regular folks so Hell is indeed universal.

To protect yourself from zombies keep your hair short and wear tight clothes and keep the Edsels gas tank on full. The zombies we daily have to fear are football fans, greedy consumers and capitalist that want all of the worlds natural resources. They usually meet at Wal-Mart and Sams Club so burn down any in your area.

I liked the scene I saw from Night of the Living Dead and was thinking it would make a cool musical. I of course would love to come to the Oakland to see the play but my ass is always to broke to go anywhere. At my age my back goes out more than I do. As a labor activist I was glad to hear the zombies in the play are union workers from local 666, International Brotherhood of the Undead. What do zombies do when they’re not ripping open people’s heads? I suspect watching FOX NEWS or listening to Rush. Zombie ditto heads now I know his audience.

In the middle of the zombie production a guy sits down behind me and kicks my seat back causing my spine to paralyze me. Damn I hope those zombies don’t come out in the audience as I won’t be able to run. Shit on top of that I just remembered my Pinto is almost out of gas. This SOB (does not stand for sweet ole boy) who kicked my seat is mumbling something. I hear, “Shit my ex mother-in-law is scarier than these so called, zombies.”

I now feel everything is normal because I know my asshole magnet is working. Why should today’s outing be different than any other time I leave the house? Change is bad except when concerning diapers. This burden is my Dark Ages. Which reminds me of a joke. Why were the Dark Ages dark? They had to many Knights. My tormenter has arrived let the evenings entertainment begin.

Next performer is Shay who is playing a bass guitar and singing. Her first song is the “Hierarchy of Unintentional Homicide” a love song. She does another funny original song and a Police cover of “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic.” I agree she is magical in a 1920’s button mouthed Kewpie doll voice kind of way. I mean that in the best way, as she’s cute, funny and talented. I hear my asshole magnet, I’ll call him, “Joe the Dumber” say, “I got a magic trick I’d like to show you.” I turn around and give him a stare and he looks behind him as if someone else said that.

Next is Rebecca who I met last month when she was reading some funny/touching short stories. Tonight she is doing stand-up comedy. She says it’s the first time she has done this and I never would have believed her. Comedy is hard to do and I admire her for the great job she has done. I hardly recognized her as her hair is standing up in a 1920’s Kewpie Doll sort of way that really works on her. I hadn’t realized I said that out loud until I heard Joe the Dumber say, “1920’s I got a roaring 20’s good time for her I hope she’s not untouchable.” I again give him a stare. I’m generally a peace nick but I am tempted to stray from the path and give Joe a little Damnation Alley.

Next performers Emma and Natalia who are dancers from the nutcracker. They do an interpretative dance to music from Alfred Hitchcock’s film, Psycho. Using that as a dance music choice shows you why the Oakland is the Avant-garde place to be. Which reminds me when I was younger I wanted to be a budding visionary of the Avant-garde sadly no one was hiring. I hear Joe the Dumber behind me clearing his throat and I turn to stare at him before he makes another rude comment. I liked the performance but what do I know about ballet? The one time I took my wife to see ballet at Powers Auditorium my asshole magnet was working strong. Who did our assigned seats have us sit behind but two WWF wrestlers. It was big John Stud and Andre the Giant. Two guys both way over seven feet tall. Worse than that is they were in wrestling tights and smelled like they just came from a Death Cage tag team match.

Kerri the poet is up next. I saw her last month like I did Rebecca and I also didn’t recognize her. She is all dolled up to the max looking hot in a 1920’s flapper girl kind of way. She’s the bee’s knees. Shit, I must be having a past life experience about the 1920’s. Kerri is not only sexy so are her poems. The last female poet I fell in love with was punk poet Patti Smith. I met Patti in my Punk Rock days on a trip to NYC in the 1920’s (I mean 1977) at CBGB’s. In the club were Joey Ramone and Handsome Dick Manitoba (former wrestler) and singer for The Dictators. Outside the club I spoke to Patti telling her I was from Youngstown. She was hailing a cab and asked me where my car was parked. I said in front of Max’s Kansas City (another punk club). She got in her cab and asked my friend and I if we wanted a ride back to my car. I said, “No but thanks.” I kicked my own ass as my friend and I walked the 9,000 blocks back to my car. But I digress. Kerri is reading another sexy poem that makes me wonder if she’d give me a ride to my car, which is half a block away. Of course at my age I could pretend I don’t know where I parked. She’s reading another sexy poem and I’m thinking I have to take my jacket off as it’s getting hot in here. Third floor and all I suppose.

I snap back to reality and remember I’m happily married. My wife refuses to attend events with me though because of my asshole magnetic power. The last time we went to a Drive-In movie we arrived late to find there was only one parking spot left. It ended up being behind a Monster Truck. My wife gave me a stare to melt steel. How was I supposed to know it was Monster Truck Convention Night?

Speaking of assholes I hear Joe the Dumber mumbling something. While listening to Kerri he is muttering, “Baby beat me, hurt me, and make me write bad checks.” This time I refuse to turn around and look at Joe the Dumber. I do make a mental note to never sit in that seat when I come to the Oakland. Dam that’s right I’m at the Oakland why the Hell for a minute there did I think I was at the Foster Art Theater? Did I say I liked Kerri’s poetry? Well, duh does Brittany Spears drive drunk with her kids in the car without them in seatbelts? Ya you betcha I liked Kerri as Alaska’s Barbie Bot Bible Spice would say! Kerri gives poets a good name. There is so much bad poetry out there (usually the published and academic turd kind) that saying, “I’m a poet” was as dangerous as telling a Pilgrim minister you were a witch. Kerri helps make the world safer for other poets. The Pilgrims came saw and conquered. In Kerri’s poems she is saying, “I came, I came, I came.” And the audience is applauding saying, “I like them, I like them.”

Brooke the MC I note looks like a younger Sarah Palin only with brains, talent, humor, warmness, charm, etc. etc. I peg her as a girl attractive enough to be some 1920’s gangsters moll. Brooke is making a joke about having large breasts. I hear Joe the Dumber say, “That’s a major padded bra from Elmo’s.” I turn around and Joe looks at me and sheepishly says, “I’m just saying I’d have to see dem in da raw to know fer sure.” I turn my back on him and hear, “It never fails girls with breast that large usually get allergic reactions to nipple clamps.” Shit I think why me lord.

Robert Dennick Joki was next and what a great singer he is. He reminds me of Italian opera singer Enrico Caruso who died in 1921. I have a faint recollection of hearing Enrico at The Chicago Opera House in 1920. I remember some asshole singing off key behind me so I must have had my asshole magnet on. I turned around and said, “Hey numbskull knock it off.” I said that about the same time I recognized the guy as Alfons Capone. Funny I don’t remember leaving that place alive. But I digress. I wish I could sing like RDJ. If I could I would never talk again. I would just turn every aspect of my life into a musical. I suspect if I went to that extreme I would live about two days before someone would kill me to a standing ovation.

Also performing were Ric Panning and Matt Liller with a comedy sketch about the current financial crisis. Anything that has me laughing about how stupid capitalism is instead of the capitalist system laughing at my broke ass is a major hoot. This skit involved one participant down on his knees serving the powers that be and that is a perfect analogy of what’s happening to the working-class today. Great work comrades! At one point when one of the guys was on his knees I heard Joe the Dumber say what I think was “Baguette” I thought to myself I like Baguettes how nice of Brooke and the folks at the Oakland to set out food. I got to get me one of those!

Rocco did a singing/poetry piece that was interesting. One of the zombies Chazz Sutton sang a few songs with some being originals. I don’t know if the microphone was at the right angle as I couldn’t catch all of the words but enjoyed them anyway. Neither performer reminded me of anything from the 1920’s though.

I can’t forget to mention Stage regular Don. Don proved his undying love for the Oakland in an original love song about the Oakland that was great! Don has told me he likes my poetry so I think Don’s a big-hearted guy. Don sings like the late great Nat king Cole or is it the late great Old King Cole? Anyway Don is a merry old soul who makes me smile and that comrades ain’t easy.

Tim Malone read two poems from writers who wrote about Pearl Harbor as they experienced it. I was thinking about 9/11 when he was reading. I admired how Tim saw the spookiness in the horror of Pearl Harbor and thought it fitting for a Halloween reading.

The only thing I’ve left out is the poetry antics of my pal Jim Jordan. I have caught all of the occasions Jim had read for the last decade but one. Interesting enough Jim tells me that’s the one I should have really caught. To hear him tell it he was asked by Bono to open for U2 at the Cleveland Stadium. Seems Jim was so well received he got standing ovation, dived into the crowd and was crowd surfed around for an hour. Jim tells me Bono is setting some of Jim’s poems to music for his next album. Damn if I don’t always miss the great events.

About this time Crissy who is sitting next to me live blogging gets a strange look on her face gets up and runs to the bathroom. That was close as I noticed she was drinking some hooch or giggle water as we said in the 20’s. If she’d of heaved on me it would have made me a double asshole magnet for the night. That usually only happens to me on special occasions like my wedding or my birthday. As far as an asshole vomiting on me I’d have to go back to 2004 when Senator Kerry was running for president. I was in Kent Oh. at an event featuring Michael Moore supporting Kerry. A drunk and stoned girl behind me with a Bush sucks sign threw up on my shoulder. Two guys in dark suits wearing shades and earphones hauled her out as I was wiping my shirt with her long hair. Turns out my asshole magnet that night was Jenna Bush. Ever notice the name Bush has a B and an S in it?

Jim Jordan takes the stage but is having a hard time reading as he broke his eyeglasses today. He is reading a poem called, “Swift boating God.” Beings as Jim’s dyslexic and not wearing his glasses I suspect it really is, “Swift boating Dog.” The thing I like about Jim’s poems is he laughs at the fact that there is nothing left to laugh at anymore. I could write books about how talented this guy is but he’s too modest to let me print such things. When I attend talent events and a poet comes on I say, “Oh no it’s the poetry train and I ain’t riding.” Jim has taught me that poetry can be fun, insightful and palatable. Speaking of palatable where are those baguettes?

On the way out I noted Joe the Dumber was hitting on Kerri. But as they said in the 20’s he saw, she saw, she shot. Good I won’t have to encounter him next month at the Stage. That was a heck of a show for $5. You should find out what you’re missing. As we said in the 20’s it’s the cat’s pajamas.



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2 responses to “The Oakland Stage Review and Asshole Magnets

  1. crissy

    Thanks a freaking lot! For the record, Ive never ever vomited on anyone! The strange look was guilt about leaving in the middle of your performance probably. I just don’t have the bladder I used to since Ive had children….

  2. elecpenciljim

    You shouldn’t go to Speakeasys and Gin Joints before blogging. here’s a link that might help you:the goods

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