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.
At first, learning to cook was just an excuse Amy McCarthy used to get out of P.E. class. And in her immediately relatable tale, she talks about how those Home-Ec classes not only soon became a passion, but led to a career in food writing.
An OF vet, Jim Kuenzer, took everyone back to the ’80s on a road trip with his college buddies. The audience laughed out loud at this journey with a car full of “sous chefs” on a haphazardly planned escapade to New Orleans.
Maria Fisher, brought the laughs with the tale of her first restaurant kitchen experience that resulted in a knife vs tongs brawl, and taught her how to be prepared for anything. If nothing else, it’s an interesting peek at the chaos that goes on behind closed kitchen doors at your favorite restaurants.
Hal Karp took the audience on a wild, revenge-fueled adventure that resulted in the cops showing up on his doorstep accusing him of assault — by yogurt! Hal gave a poignant message about dealing with bullying, summing his experience up with a bit of wisdom: “The bird doesn’t poop on your car, the bird just poops.”