Wow – what an amazing event last night at The Central! Four incredibly talented women joined forces with their music and spoken word/poetry talents to put on a fabulous show and support Red Door Family Shelter. I was working the merch table, and up taking pics with both my and Lizzie’s camera, only sitting down now to put into words the fun, support and talent in that room last night. If you’re in Toronto, check out The Central sometime – it’s a great space (and I enjoyed my burger and beer so, so much): http://thecentralbar.ca/
Lizzie Violet and Arlene Paculan took turns MCing the evening, with Lizzie working the raffle draws between sets – lots of very cool prizes: books, jewelery, art, music. Representing Red Door was Bev Webb, who came up to talk about the organization’s work assisting families, refugees and women in their escape from abuse and homelessness. For more info on Red Door Family Shelter, please visit their website: http://www.reddoorshelter.ca/
Kat Leonard kicked off the evening’s entertainment with her quirky fun blend of comedic and heartfelt songs, some from her one-woman show A Depper Kind of Love, as well as a cover of Arlene Paculan’s song “Nightmare” – accompanied by Arlene on guitar – which Kat introduced with the disclaimer that any “f**k’s” were ad-libbed by her and not part of Arlene’s original lyric. I love how Kat works that cordless mic to move about the space, sidling up to gents at the bar for one song, then slinking down the stage right wall and off backstage to hide on the end of “Nightmare.” Check Kat out at: http://www.katleonard.com/home.cfm
Cathy Petch brought rawness, passion and dark comedy with her spoken word set. And who knew she could play such a mean saw? Seriously, this lady played Madame Butterfly on a saw with a violin bow as she recited her piece. Then there was the Mainly Because of the Meat apron that she wore, accompanying a piece in which a wife has a late-night meat-eating habit. Awesome! Check Cathy out: http://www.cathypetch.com/
After the break, Lizzie Violet was up with her spoken word, poetry and haiku – with an incredible range of subjects, from zombies to relationships to sex talks with mum (“Chlamydia is Not a Flower!” is still one of my faves). Lizzie finished off her set with a few haikus, two of which were dedicated to friends: one for Ellie Anderson (who was there in the audience) and another for Kat and I. Erotic, naughty and with that especially intimate friendly nudge that only a true close friend can give. You can find Lizzie, along with some other great pics of the evening’s festivities, here: http://lizzieviolet.wordpress.com/
Arlene Paculan and drummer Mickey Rodriguez finished off the night, serving up a set of soulful and mostly original tunes – my personal fave being “I’m Worth It.” And, this time, Arlene covered a song of Kat’s too – the quirky ballad dedicated to Johnny Depp “Jockstrap,” putting her own soulful stamp on the song (which is one of my faves of Kat’s songbook). For more on Arlene, take a look here: http://www.arlenepaculan.com/
Uplifting, fun, entertaining – and, wow, what an amazing selection of local Toronto talent. Keep an eye out for these ladies and their upcoming gigs. You won’t be sorry.