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Story Club 5th Anniversary Extravaganza Crosstown Classic's A Thrill-ride

By Staff in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 8, 2014 3:00PM

Dana Norris at Story Club. Photo by Tamara Matthews.
You don’t run a show for 5 years—consecutive years as host Dana Norris pointed out—without getting pretty darn good at what you do. Over the past few years, the Chicago storytelling and live lit scene has taken over the city and Story Club was there way back when.

“At our first show ever an open mic-er came up in sweatpants and did a lot of this motion,” Story Club creator Dana Norris says to the crowd, thrusting her hips back and forth.

“I think he was touching himself!” A voice calls out from the crowd.

“Ah yes, how could I forget that crucial detail,” Norris says.

Story Club’s 5th Anniversary Extravaganza show last night did not include lewd gestures but it was still unpredictable, in an exciting thrill-ride way not a “hands disappearing into sweatpants” way.

The show was held at the north side venue The Holiday Club; the show is also performed once a month at the south side space The Co-Prosperity Sphere and hosted by Andrew Marikis. In honor of the anniversary, both north and south side story crews were brought together to battle for neighborhood bragging rights. The broad theme for the night was “5 years” and the 7 featured performers took to the stage to share stories of heartbreak, record collections, proposals, and a mentally ill mattress salesman.

Performer Don Hall kicked off the night with a story about one long afternoon he spent shooting the shit in an Edgewater bar with two strangers he dubbed “magenta” and “stilettos.” Dana Norris brought us along to her mirror-ceilinged getaway at the famed “couples hotel” Sybaris, and Megan Stielstra told a heartbreaking story about the dangers of monotony.

In between featured performers there were two open-mic-ers picked randomly from a hat. This showcase of new talent is a part of each show and makes for a really wonderful soup of rookie and veteran tales from the front lines.

In the end, the north side came out the victors, a distinction determined by who collected the most money from audience members. All money goes back to the show and paying performers. If you’d like to perform at or attend future Story Club shows it is at the Holiday Club the first Thursday of every month and at Co-Prosperity Sphere the third Tuesday of every month.

By: Allison Kelley