January 23, 2010

U.rban G.uerilla T.heatre presents Newness, January 15

The Urban Guerilla Theatre has moved uptown, to "the Linda" on Central Ave., after many months downtown at the Masonic Temple on Madison Ave. After a confusion about the start time (some PR said 8PM, some 9PM & the fancy postcard ad didn't list any time at all) the program took off with energy, variety & good vibes. D.J. TrueMaster was spinnin' & Mojavi aka "First Thought" shared M.C. duties with "Poetyc Vyzyonz". The night included an open mic, then a "Game Show," featured performance by "Geminieye" & more open mic.

Starting with an open mic, Miss Bliss talked about a new lover in "Disclaimer." Mydori's poem "Father" was written when she was 13 for Father's Day, then pondered what "I Love You" means. The hip-hop duo DX Poets rapped about themselves & being poets. Poetic Voice gave us advice on not burning our bridges. I'm going out on a limb & say that Lotus Lion read the best poem of the night, "Aunt Jemima's Children" (& she even sang a spiritual too).

Eloquence's hip-hop rhymes carried us along "This Day." Then Mojavi (as First Thought) showed us where poetry, stand-up comedy & sex meet in a piece beginning, "She had the biggest ass..." The "Game Show" segment consisted of seemingly reluctant contestants guessing the author of poems that had been performed at previous UGT events, so I guess you had to be there; the winner got tickets to the next show.

The night's feature was a Def Poetry Jam star, Geminieye (but actually pronounced "Gemini"), whose untitled poems were all delivered in the accent & cadence of just about any Slam poet you've ever seen ("it's not in the writin', it's in the recitin'"). By my count 3 of his poems were about being a poet & how great that is, including his response to criticism that his poetry is easily understood; part of this was a section that made fun of academic rhyming poems, while, of course his own poems are full of stretched-for rhymes. One of his best was an erotic poem where he went backward in time from his death to the moment when he didn't put on the condom.

After Poetyc Vyzyonz was back describing "The Perfect Mate" they brought out a tap-dancer & that's when I left, missing the rest of the open mic.

There were a few real poems, lots of fun whatever it's called, & a bit too-much of the self-referential I'm-a-poet-&-that's-why-I'm-so-great that plagues so much of hip-hop. But a different kind of show & a warm, friendly community that apparently will be back at "The Linda" on a monthly basis. See you there.

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