Jeffry Farrell’s tale of his friendship with mentor Kumar Pallana (of Bottle Rocket fame) spanned decades, from the Thanksgiving night they met to the morning Jeffry placed Kumar’s ashes in the Ganges River in India. Filled with life lessons, Jeffry’s story resonated with many in the audience.
With a harrowing tale of survival and fighting back against domestic violence, Nicole Fillion-Robin takes the audience from the depths of despair to the heights of empowerment. And when she informed them that her perpetrator now sits in jail, they broke into rapturous applause.
Once enmeshed in gang life, English Professor Darius Frasure recounts a turning point in his life where everything changed for him. “With most of my homies dropping out of school, committing suicide, getting locked up or dying,” he realized. “Leaving was the only way to secure my future.”
Brooke Lancaster takes audiences on a wild ride with a roommate and best friend that turns out to have a double life on the wrong side of the law. And the way she winds up finding out will really blow you away.
With a story that begins at age 9, Lyndol Woodruff chronicles the bad influences that led him into drugs, drinking and delinquency. And then, Lyndol realized, he had become his own bad influence. Announcing 16 months of sobriety on show night, Lyndol received accolades and cheers.
Published playwright and seasoned performer, Dana Proulx-Willis, recalls not fitting in during junior high, and how finding a partner in crime made all the difference. “We drew pictures of people riding the bikes on the bicycle crossing signs,” she says, recalling some of the duo’s hijinks.
Paul Yanez poignantly related how his partner in crime — a shepherd-mix named Ahgee — changed his life. On a road trip that lasted much longer than either anticipiated, Paul and Ahgee were detained by police. Audiences rolled when Paul said, “Ahgee was taken to her own cell for questioning, but luckily, she didn’t talk.”
OF veteranHaven Abedin kicked off our “Partner in Crime” show with a sweet and funny tale of bumbling through young love. Her impression of Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday Mr. President” won the audience’s hearts. And her lesson-learned — that love breaks boundaries — touched us all.
Theme: “Too Many Cooks” Storyteller: Michael Serrapica
Being a Bronx-raised Italian, Michael Serrapica grew up with a large family of eaters. There was an audible “mmmm” from the crowd as they salivated over the delicious foods that Michael and his relatives shared at their 1965 Thanksgiving gathering, their most gluttonous meal to date. He ended the evening perfectly, reminding everyone that the reason that we all get together for the holidays is to be together.
Everything Sally Salas knows about parenting she learned from Google, a service which really came in handy during all those kitchen talks with her stepdaughter. As a stepmother, one of the many tall tales to dispel from outside influences on her impressionable preteen daughter, was that watermelon causes menstrual cramps.