THE PUNGENT PARLOUR SUCCESSFULLY UNITES FICTION AND ESSAY UNDER ONE ROOF
The Pungent Parlour welcomes Fiction, Essay, and Experimentation with open doors and open arms
After a successful first show on February 19th, The Pungent Parlour, held at Roscoe Village’s Black Rock Pub, will return on the third Tuesday of every month at 8:00pm. The new monthly reading series, hosted by Chicago writers Jeff Phillips and Jeremy Solomon, features a rotating cast of six-to-seven writers presenting short pieces of Fiction and Essay.
Phillips (the now dissolved XIII Pocket, Three Leaves Theater) and Solomon (former Rye Bread Radio Podcast co-host and producer) host the show with no pretence, forgoing even a microphone in their efforts to embrace the atmosphere.
“I was saying to Jeff, ‘are you sure we shouldn’t hook up a mic?’ Good thing I listened to him, it was really the right decision,” says Solomon. “As an audience member, you really feel like you’re a part of the thing when you remove the microphone,” Phillips adds. “Orating is as much about the crowd as the orator. We want that intimate feel.”
There was no problem with getting the audience to pay attention even without a mic. But Solomon and Phillips admitted there are always jitters.
"The first one can be a little nerve-wracking," says Phillips, "especially as I happened to be under the weather for it. But we had a great turnout on a cold night, and there was a real warmth to the atmosphere. I know we said it, but couches and a fireplace really do the trick.”
Speaking to the variety they were hoping for, Solomon says “We were really happy with range of pieces. We had true stories [from Adam Guerino and Caitlin Bergh] that might have been depressing if they weren’t presented so humorously. Underneath the laughter, they spoke to the difficulty in finding ourselves and facing our realities. The fiction, even a story that was ostensibly about Mermaids, all shimmered with honest emotion and human relationships. Before I get any cheesier, it was pretty much all we could have asked for."
One of the most important aspects of the space was to encourage readers and audience to interact before and after the show. “At the top of the show we asked for interested audience to reach out to us,” says Phillips, “and we’ve already got a few slotted for future shows. We’re really excited about that.”
The Pungent Parlor takes place the third Tuesday of every month. The next show is March 19th. Showtime is 8pm, in the back room of the Black Rock Pub, 3614 N. Damen. You can always arrive early for a drink.
Jeff Phillips - Media Relations for The Pungent Parlour Tel. 312-391-0233
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