One of the things I love best about Los Angeles is that it is like a huge steaming pot of deliciously, creative soup. Artists of all types, from all over the planet come here to live, practice their art and to be discovered; while some just come here to share in these dynamic communities of other, one of a kind originals.
For me, spoken word is right at the top of my list of favorites, as far as performance art goes; so when I hear about a spot called, Da Poetry Lounge, I knew I had to check it out first hand. The venue is located in the Greenway Court Theatre located at: 544 N Fairfax Ave in Hollywood and the line was curving into the parking lot nearby as I arrived at 8:40.
With free parking near the theatre and a five dollar donation for entry, this casual spot draws quite a crowd every Tuesday night, so early arrival is suggested. Seating for the nine o’clock show is limited so once they are filled, the audience camps out on the stage for an up close and personal view of the performers.
Each artist is given a three-minute time limit before the DJ, Brother Gimmel, sends them packing off the stage to hip hop music.
I take my court side seat just as the lively host and one of the founders( along with brother Gimmel and Poetri), Shihan, is giving us the rules: no cellphones, texting or walking out is permitted during the performances out of respect for the poets.
On this particular night, amateur poets line up and place themselves on a list to perform in hopes of being considered for the upcoming poetry slam competition, which begins the next week and features the two artists pictured above.
The first three acts blew me away with their depth, clarity of thought and the raw emotion of their pieces. And for a moment I was taken for a walk in their footsteps, led to the windows where they waited for their lovers, stuffed into a body that didn’t match my personality and left knowing what it was like to feel invisible.
Some of the content is deep and explicit while other pieces are more humorous and free form; but all of it is guaranteed to be honest. Even a few songwriters got up with their guitars to test their lyrics on the finger snapping and welcoming crowd that makes up Da Poetry Lounge.
The venue is small and intimate; and the smiling, receptive crowd is made up of all races, ages and backgrounds. This is a great place to test your skills, bring a date or just come alone to be entertained.
Don’t worry if you can’t make the nine o’clock show; Da Poetry Lounge, breaks for intermission at eleven p.m. and new seats open up in the audience for the second half ,where new poets are introduced to the stage.
This is definitely one spot that makes me remember why I love LA! Check out this performance by Poetri filmed at Da Poetry Lounge http://www.dapoetrylounge.com/:
Here are some other lounges worth checking out:
People of Poetry– Each and Every Wednesday@ Hollywood Studio Bar and Grill-6122 W. Sunset Blvd-Doors open at 7:30-$5 http://www.voteforpoetri.com/
2. Bakery Poetry Lounge- Thursdays@ 11020 Magnolia in North Hollywood- doors open at 8-$5 http://bakerypoetrylounge.com/
What I’m listening to: \”Electric Avenue by Eddy Grant\”
~Spread The Love