9:30 Club hosts its first storytelling event

What to expect at the 9:30 Club

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 5:13 pm

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Tim Bracken, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – One of the nation’s top music venues will be drawing a different crowd on Sunday.

The 9:30 Club in the District will host Top Shelf, a one night performance featuring the best storytellers from local non-profit SpeakeasyDC.

The scheduled Jan. 6 performance presents eight stories, each selected from nearly 150 that have been performed over the past 12 months.

Founded in 1997, SpeakeasyDC’s mission is to bolster the tradition of oral history through a mix of educational programs, open-mic nights and ensemble shows. The organization’s flagship class, Storytelling 101, welcomes new participants all year long. Each multi-week course concludes with an invite-only showcase for family and friends.

What should the uninitiated expect from the upcoming 9:30 Club event?

“A cross between stand-up comedy, theater and memoir,” SpeakeasyDC Director Amy Saidman tells WTOP in an email.

“Each performer shares an autobiographical story that is true and personal. The stories are hilarious and moving, honest and real, and this show will be no exception.”

The scheduled stories include tales of parking lot drama, the dark side of human nature, a night from hell in a bed-and-breakfast and a “cautionary tale about brothers, booze and naked hippies.”

Saidman prefers to present this particular event at the 9:30 Club over a more traditional theater setting.

“It’s got exactly the atmosphere we are looking for – a casual vibe with booze, food, and seats for 750 people,” says Saidman.

The seated event won’t be completely devoid of music.

Local favorite DJ Lil’e will turn in a pre- show set, beginning when doors open at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $20, storytelling begins at 7:30 p.m.

Watch one of the highlights from a 2012 SpeakeasyDC event in the video below.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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