Saturday, December 06, 2008

ebony and ivory

A small crowd of country music fans found themselves in the audience for a Poetry Slam on Friday night. Of course they weren't there for the poetry, they were waiting to see Julianne Hough, the true star of "Dancing with the Stars."

I had tried to catch a glimpse of Julianne at the WIVK Fowler's Furniture Christmas Parade along Gay Street. The sidewalks were packed with people who had gotten there a lot earlier than me to reserve their spot. After barely seeing Julianne's float pass by, I made the tough decision to bail on the parade and head over to the World Grotto, where my wife was waiting with our Tele-buddy Terry Morrow. He had interviewed Julianne earlier in the day and joined us for dinner on Market Square. The three of us got good seats on the cushioned benches along the wall near the stage just as the Poetry Slam began. Others sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the stage.

The Poetry Slam is a regular event produced by Black Sunshine Arts and Entertainment. As we waited for Julianne, we heard recitations from local poets RheaSunshine, Dawg, Jump Drive and Black Atticus. We also heard the evening's featured poet Carlos Robson, who had traveled from Charlotte to perform. Most of the country fans listened politely to the poets' left-leaning monologues. However the woman seated behind me spent most of the time chatting with her friends both in person and on the phone. Carlos was quite good and was able to command the audience's full attention. The emcee, RheaSunshine, repeatedly entreated the crowd to stay for more poetry after Julianne's concert. On the whole, t
he experience made me think of an improv game called "Performance Art" and a new variation we've recently started doing at Einstein Simplified shows called "Beatnik Coffeehouse."

As Rhea began to wrap up their first set, I went to the bathroom, thinking that I might catch a glimpse of Julianne's entourage in one of the other Grotto rooms down the same hallway. Instead I saw County Commissioner Mike Hammond, who greeted me warmly and allowed me to step in to the area reserved for WIVK's meet and greet with Julianne. After Mike introduced me to Julianne, I spied Jimmy Holt, who I knew to be a good guy from my time working at WOKI. I offered to take a picture of him with Julianne if he would return the favor. I told Julianne that I used to work with her former dance partner Adam Carolla.

Julianne was in good voice as she sang selections from her self-titled album and her "Sounds of the Season" disc. I thought she sounded better than she did on the various television shows where I've seen her sing. We had a good view of the stage until Julianne sang "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and asked everyone to stand. Those who were seated on the floor were very happy to get up and stretch their legs.

I've been a fan of Julianne since she first danced with the stars. I now have both her CDs and have already programmed the DVR to catch her on the annual "Christmas in Washington" special on the 17th.

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Anonymous 101 said...

Great you carry a camera or use a camera phone to shoot?

Blogger Frank Murphy said...

Thanks 101! The pictures of Julianne were taken with my little Olympus camera. I bring the camera to events like that.

I use my LG camera phone when I happen across something photo-worthy unexpectedly, usually at the grocery store.

Anonymous Ryan Kazinec said...

I've got some good news Frank. It's not as bad as Marc, Kim, Tearsa, and a number of callers made it sound. You're smile is incredibly awkward but Julianne doesn't look that uncomfortable. So it's only half as bad as I thought. lol

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to post late, but I just got back to a comp. The pic of you and Ms. Hough looks as if you had just been busted for a little illicit moments. The only thing I could say was as pretty as she is, it;s a VERY good thing your wife knows you to be...harmless.

Anonymous Jere said...

I think it's a good picture.

I do think that Frank tends to over open his eyes, because he has been teased before as having beady eyes. However, he has beautiful blues eyes; he should show em off.

Of course, I am biased.


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