My Montreal Bucket List : Yarn Storytelling

Ripping good time with local tales

Jeff Gandell. Photo Rachel Levine. Yarn Jeff Gandell. Photo Rachel Levine. Yarn

My podcast subscription list: The Moth, Risk, This American Life, 2nd Story, Strangers, Snap Judgement. There are others, but their shelf-lives were shorter or I’m just forgetting. I’m a bit addicted to storytelling. I love a good true, partially true, and even a completely untrue story.

Montreal hosts its own set of storytelling nights. I put them in my calendar every week-month and then something story-worthy in life comes up and I don’t make it. Montreal, land of flaking out.

Yarn. Photo Rachel Levine

Yarn. Photo Rachel Levine

Well, I finally got my ass to Yarn. A dedicated mob of people have figured out that this monthly show is a not-miss because the back room of Cagibi was SRO when I got there. Host Jeff Gandell has been running Yarn since 2012, and I’ve had it on my radar ever since I saw his show about going bald at the Fringe two years ago (the Balding, fyi). At least one story from Yarn is taped and finds its way onto soundcloud, so you can check the collectionHERE.

At this particular show, Gandell hosted and brought up six lovely people to tell stories about complaining. I happen to love complaining. A lot. But, well, not to kvetch, not every story was on topic. What can I say? One must keep on keeping on.

The first story was told by Leigh Kinch Pedrosa who recounted her run-in with her grade-school frenemy/tormenter. While playing doctor with a Sailor Moon magic wand (that sounds more pornographic than it should), the tormenter accuses Leigh of having a pointy-face. The tormenter then remedies this condition by sitting atop Leigh’s face. From this story, I learned that West Island women refer to each other as “West Island bitches.” Ah, enlightenment.

The next story was a fictional work by Dominique Blain that had touches of magic realism and felt like the kind of thing that the best storytelling elder would recite to kids around a campfire. Mamie teaches her youngest son Samuel Oliver Samuels how to sew. The skill helps him get through life. It was touching and had many funny quips and little word plays like “dress of a gigantess.” Simply lovely.

Closing up the first act was Britt Dash who recounted her woes trying of Jewish Speed Dating. On her mother’s advice, this funny lady said yes to a date with a hair-dressing bro who drove a Hummer and was a little too kosher for Big in Japan.

Darren Schilling. Photo Rachel Levine. Yarn

Darren Schilling. Photo Rachel Levine. Yarn

The second act started with Jaymie Guy Métivier who told a story about protecting a girl named Tara when a “roofer” appears on his second story balcony at 3 a.m. and auditions for his progressive metal band.

The next story was told by first-timer on the Yarn stage, Darren Schilling, who recounted a drug deal gone horribly awry on the day he was complaining about his lost hunting knife.

Nisha Coleman. Yarn. Photo Rachel Levine

Nisha Coleman. Yarn. Photo Rachel Levine

Finally, Nisha Coleman ate a hash cupcake and the rest of her day at highschool was punishing. Of all the storytellers, Coleman had me laughing hardest, recounting how lines of Shakespeare’s Richard III soared to new comedic levels when under the influence. The play isn’t one of the Bard’s funniest, and it sounds like Coleman’s English teacher had a small meltdown when the most reliable, obedient student couldn’t keep it together. And then there was drama class…

Since the line-up changes every month, and sometimes last minute, every installment of the Yarn is different. Check the next one out in March at Cagibi HERE.

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About Rachel Levine

Rachel Levine is the big cheese around here. Contact: Website | More Posts