Gloucester is my 2nd favorite place on the Earth, as many of you know, & the Gloucester Writers Center is just one many reasons to come back here, again (& again). The Center, now in its 5th year, held a fund-raiser/celebration this night at the Maritime Center on Harbor Loop. The first Poets’ Cabaret was held 2 years ago to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Gloucester’s (& the World’s) poet, Vincent Ferrini.
Tonight's production was written by M. Lynda Robinson & Ann McArdle, directed by M. Linda Robinson & produced by Henry Ferrini & Michael McNamara. It was a relaxed, informal performance, “a theater of nothing but poetry” as Henry described it, made all the more charming by occasional missed cues, & sound glitches, with the energy & good-humor of the performers carrying the night along.
|"Vincent Ferrini," "Charles Olson," & "T.S. Eliot"|
The cabaret acts included songs by Charlee Bianchini (“Origins”), Brian King doing Gerrit Lansing’s “The Castle of the Flowering Birds,” Karen Ristuben’s beautiful rendering of Eliot's “Marina,” & Michael McNamara reading excerpts from Vincent Ferrini’s autobiography Hermit in the Clouds.
Ubiquitous throughout the night were the dancers, Kate Tarlow Morgan, Sarah Slifer & Carl Thomsen who individually shadowed each of the dead poets, but came into their own during the cabaret finale, Willie Alexander’s iconic performance of “Life is the Poem” (quoting Vincent, of course), with a tight improv on the small stage, then enticing (some) members of the audience to dance & chant on stage.
|Photo by Wendy Dwyer|
The night went on with dancing on the pier to music from DJs & “tunesmiths” — & the programming goes on at the Gloucester Writers Center all year long, check their website.
(For more pictures from the Poets Cabaret visit my Flickr site.)