Review: They’re Poets that Know It

Yes! Yes! Yes! Whoever said that poetry is boring had never attended a U-Club Poetry Slam! These students are amazing writers and performers. They had such imagery, detail, and emotion in poems written during hours of pain and happiness.
I arrived incredibly early with some family and friends and played hangman until the show started. We waited anxiously for the first poets to start reading in open mc.

They started the music that signaled the beginning of the show. The host got up on stage and explained the process of open mc and slamming for people who had never come before. It’s all rather simple. When a poet is performing, if you want to show appreciation for a certain statement or description, you snap quietly instead of applauding. After they finish you clap loudly and cheer enthusiastically. The open mc poets get up and perform poems they’ve written without being judged. After a few great performances by these skilled artist, the slam began!

The slam is an exhilarating experience. These poets take the stage and pour their hearts out to five volunteer judges from the audience. Each judge has a white board and gives a rating between 1 and 10, 10 being the best. The judges as this event were a lot meaner than normal slams. I had never seen a score below a 7, but at this slam they were giving scores below a 3. It was very strange and very rude. These poets are pouring their hearts and souls to this audience and these judges, and the low scores tell the poets that they suck. It is so rude and these judges should never be allowed to score again. In fact, they were scolded for it at the end of the show. When the scores are announced the audience can boo or cheer for the score. Our job was to make the judges feel bad about themselves for giving bad scores.

It is quite an experience hearing the poetry performed as opposed to reading it quietly. It is so much easier and so much more vivid to hear the passion in person.

The club advertises well, so you should see their signs everywhere. The next slam is November 19.

Adam Falkner
Adam Falkner
Jon Sands
Jon Sands

These slams are also famous for having great poets from around the country visiting to perform. This slam’s guest was Adam Falkner and Jon Sands. Both were amazing writers and performers with deep emotions and passion. Both were incredible and brought amazing works to the table. And both have Facebook pages with more info and videos of their performances. Feel free and encouraged to friend them. Also, don’t forget to come to the next U-Club Poetry Slam!

Preview: Poe’s Got Nothing on These Poets

The one and only U-Club Poetry presents another of their amazing slams. Whether you like poetry, your friend drags you to these events, or you are required to attend one for a class, U-Club Poetry Slams draw a very diverse and supportive crowd to the Michigan Union. Everyone should attend to see the wide range of talented writers and performers that hide in the masses of the U of M student body. Who knows, you may even see me, Danny Fob, up on stage performing in the slam (hint hint). Plus the entrance fee is only $3.00. Can you get better than that? Also bring a little extra to donate to the winnings jar. The best slammer wins a jar of cash donated by the audience! So don’t forget:

U-Club Poetry Slam
Thursday, November 5, 2009
8:30pm to 10:45pm
U-Club in the Union

This is also a very special slam because it features two, count em’, two key-note poets; Adam Falkner and Jon Sands. For more info, join the Facebook event. There are already 70 confirmed guests!

Danny Fob; Artist and Art Reviewer

Review: Drag King Rebellion Strikes Again

Yes! Yes! Yes! DKR gives yet another spectacular performance. I think that by the end of the night, everyone who attended had a crush on at least one of the dancers. My crush is on A-train, who’s birthday was actually the day of the show. “A” received a good spanking for each year of his life, including a few from a vicious lovely with a riding crop.

A-train, My Celebrity Crush
A-train, My Celebrity Crush

I realize that a lot of people don’t know who DKR is, so I will give a brief description of the group before moving on to the performance. Drag King Rebellion is a gender performance group that began here in Ann Arbor but now performs all over the state of Michigan. Each entertainer has a unique drag name and sometimes their own persona. The group dances and lip sings to a variety of different songs, from Broadway and Michael Jackson to Lady Gaga and N’SYNC. The show includes solo and group acts, displaying several different forms of contemporary feeling. Some of the acts are sad and political, some are funny and energetic, and some are romantic in a gushy kind of way. I love them, and so does their crowd of adoring fans!

Charlie Chapless, Funny and Fabulous, When I Questioned Him Later About Why He Joined the Troupe 3 Years Ago, He Said Im Just Drawn To It. I Love To Perform In Drag!
Charlie Chapless, Funny and Fabulous, When I Questioned Him Later About Why He Joined the Troupe 3 Years Ago, He Said "I'm Just Drawn To It. I Love To Perform In Drag!"

To get to the show I had to ask people at the Spectrum Center (an excellent on-campus resource) where Sh/AUT was located and how to get there. My friends and I arrived, never having been there before, and were immersed into a sea of costumed Halloween goers and beautiful drag queens. So much fun! Everyone should visit at least once in their life.

The show started off with a upbeat funny song from the Broadway show “Altar Boys.” They had the crowd rolling in laughter and cheering. Later there was a very deep number that showed us the affects of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy on a relationship. Perhaps everyone’s favorite act was the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Fish net stockings and lacy corsets really bring out the Rocky/Franky/Columbia/Magenta in all of us. The dancers had so many great acts that I can’t describe all of them. The concert started at 10:15ish and went till 1:00am. Songs like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Backstreet Boys’ “Incomplete” received shouts of enthusiasm as people recognized them, while lesser-known songs were used to convey certain messages. One dance, I can’t remember the name of the song for the life of me, was about a couple in love in a park. We had to listen to the words and watch the dancers to understand. It was a very passionate and lovely display of talent by Manny Schevitz and I believe Ridn Handlebars.

Manny Schevitz, An Acquaintance  of Mine from the Spectrum Center
Manny Schevitz, An Acquaintance of Mine from the Spectrum Center

I didn’t realize that it would be this hard to write about the performance. This is just one of those shows that you have to see for yourself. Everyone who goes has a blast and we even receive a little education/awareness on the subject of gender identity and expression. I know that I love them, and now my friends do too. So you should all definitely try to stay up to date on their events (I’ll help the best that I can) and make sure you go.

Cliff Hanger, Actually an Alum of the Group, Performed a Beautiful Resurrection  in a Love Song to her Long Time Girl Friend
Cliff Hanger, Actually an Alum of the Group, Performed a Beautiful Resurrection in a Love Song to her Long Time Girl Friend

The show ended with a fantastic “Thriller” act, but then as they started walking away, some angel in the crowd shouted “ENCORE!” and we all repeated the cry. The troupe came back for one last dance, and of course the finale was Rocky Horror’s “Time Warp.” Everyone got in on this dance. I love the Time Warp! And so did most of the crowd.

Coco Le Femme, Absolutely Amazing Dancer!
Coco Le Femme, Absolutely Amazing Dancer!

It was sad to say goodnight to the performers, but they were exhausted, A-train a little sore, so we all returned home with smiles on our faces. I’m sure many of the newcomers, such as the people I took, will be returning to the next show. Make sure you stay up to date by visiting DKR’s website at . I hope to see you at the next show! And you have a, what is it that A-train said, “A Happy Halloweener!”

Preview: Does Anyone Know Who DKR Is?

Of course you do, or at least you will once you go see them! They are only the most amazing Gender Performance group ever to hit Ann Arbor! DKR, or Drag King Rebellion, uses the power of music and dance expression to entertain and educate. Each dancer brings their own unique character to the performance and provides us with many different gender identities, experiences, and all around awareness.

The troupe isn’t all serious though. They use a diverse range of music to deliver joy, sorrow, comedy, and energy to the audience. If you’ve never seen them, you really should go to their show this Friday night.

They are performing twice, first at 7:00 pm and then at 10:00 or 11:00 pm. I keep getting mixed messages about the times, since DKR had to switch venues recently due to the Blind Pig’s discriminating guests. I will be attending the later performance with a few friends, and we are so exited! We’re getting to Sh/AUT around 10:00 just to be safe. You should definitely come and enjoy yourself!
Venue: Sh/AUT
315 Braun Court
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Cover Price: $5.00/person

For more information, or to learn about any of the individual members of DKR, or even to find out how to become a part of the group, visit

Review: Does Anyone Speak “Shakespeare”?

Love at first Wit, some would say. What we would call a Lover’s Quarrel
Love at first Wit, some would say. What we would call a "Lover’s Quarrel"

Well if you do (or even if you don’t), you should go see “Love’s Labour’s Lost” performed by a cast all the way from London. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre of London delivered a remarkable portrayal of Shakespeare’s classic comedy. Even those who have trouble with Shakespearean terminology will laugh through the entire performance. The play is full of sexual allusions and innuendos, insults, puns, and jests. The actors and actresses have obvious talent and present the atmosphere of a true Shakespearean age. And if that’s not enough, just look at all their awesome outfits!

See, fantastic outfits! And you should see the girls dresses!
See, fantastic outfits! And you should see the girls' dresses!
See, here they are
See, here they are

Before writing more about the show, I’d like to explain an interesting fact I learned when buying a ticket. I was purchasing a ticket over the phone (which would have been $36.00 for a balcony seat) when the woman helping me explained one of our many fantastic student advantages. Did everyone know that Student Rush tickets are only $10.00? As long as you purchase them before the box office closes, you get them cheaper, and I got a much better seat than if I would have paid over the phone. So when you do go see this play (because I know you will), make sure to buy a Rush ticket for $10.00 (get to the Box office before 5:00 for this price. I was also told that tickets can be purchased at the show for $15.00).

Ok, back to the play. I’ll give you a general summary and then you can go see it. King Ferdinand of Navarre and his three companions, Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine, all take an oath that they will swear off all pleasures for three years and focus on their studies. These pleasures include women, adequate food and sleep, and all-around fun. The Princess of France and her ladies, Rosaline, Maria, and Katherine, arrive and soon the boys are breaking their vows as they fall head-over-heels in love. Literally, the four suitors are seen climbing trees, rolling around on the ground, and acting as benches to hide the love sicknesses that have caught each of them.

Some classic Shakespeare tricks and an outrageously funny peasant couple help spice up the play, while a Spaniard with extremely broken English keeps the laughter rolling. An excellent performance by Christopher Godwin, who played Holofernes, a School Master, is not forgotten as he insults the other characters and trails off in his old age. I don’t want to give anything away, so you should go see the play. It is so funny that at one point some of the actors laughed on stage! I loved it, and I’m sure you will too. In fact, I enjoyed myself so much that I want to see the play again, but I’m busy with so many other events. I would definitely pay the money again. So I urge everyone else to go see it. How many times in life are you going to be able to see a world renowned cast perform one of Shakespeare’s funniest and wittiest comedies? Not very often.

For anyone that doesn’t know when and where, here are the details once again. You can also always find events and details on the arts site at or at the Globe’s Website

When: Tuesday, October 20, 8 pm
Thursday, October 22, 8 pm
Friday, October 23, 8 pm
Saturday, October 24, 8 pm
Sunday, October 25, 2 pm
Where: UofM Power Center for the Performing Arts
What: Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost”

Really though, I had so much fun Tuesday night. It always takes me that time to switch over to Shakespeare language, but once it clicks, the rest of the play is amazing (and I walk away talking like that. Usually I’ll greet people with elaborate old English sentences after a play and they’ll look at me funny, but whatever). I really do love Shakespeare. Whether it’s sad, funny, or historic, it is always well written and acted. Seeing the plays live also makes the plays better. Reading them is ok, but seeing them allows you to differentiate the characters and actually see why something might be funny (especially since we don’t always understand puns that are centuries old). Even if you don’t go to this one, everyone should see a live Shakespeare play sometime in their life. And for $10.00, why not? What else do you have to do on a Tuesday? Come on, I know you’re just sitting in your room wishing something were happening. Guess what, something is, and it is Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost” by his Globe Theatre of London!

Now you have a Fobulous day!

Preview: Shakespeare is Coming to Town

First of all I would like to say “Hello!” to everyone. My name is Danny Fob and I’m a new writer with [art]seen! I’m a freshman in LSA majoring in Italian and minoring in Art History. I’m trying to be as involved as possible here at the UofM, so I’m doing everything I can to stay busy with extra-curriculars. So far I’ve joined the Ballroom Dancing Team, LGBTQ Commission, attended two amazing poetry slams, watched movies under the stars, and seen countless performances of our amazing acapella groups on campus. I want everyone’s freshman year to be as interesting as mine, so I’ll try to suggest as many exiting events as I can. Always remember to check the Arts website ( for event calendars and information. Never stay in your residence hall on a Friday night!

For my first event, I will be attending an international performance of Shakespeare’s comedy “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” Shakespeare’s Globe Theater of London is touring in the United States until December, so don’t miss it. This week they are performing at the Power Center and I will be there. Would you like to join me? If yes, here are some more details, or you can just visit the Globe’s website at

When: Tuesday, October 20, 8 pm
Thursday, October 22, 8 pm
Friday, October 23, 8 pm
Saturday, October 24, 8 pm
Sunday, October 25, 2 pm
Where: UofM Power Center for the Performing Arts
What: Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost”
Why: Becuase it’s amazing!

If you’ve never heard of or seen the play, that’s OK. Don’t worry about it. You’ll see that it’s actually a very funny and lively story full of strange and comedic characters. The play is about the King of Navarre and his courtiers. The four men have sworn of all pleasures and dedicated themselves completely to their studies, but these oaths are soon regretted when the Princess of France and her entourage arrive to mix things up! It’s sure to be a fantastic performance, and it had better be if they came all the way from London!