Spoken Funk's Third Year Anniversary at the M Bar
As the weekend lights dimmed and most of Los Angeles was ready to call it a week, the party was just getting started at the M Bar in Hollywood.
Spoken Funk, a weekly showcase of some the most inspirational, hilarious and brilliant spoken word poetry and comedy was celebrating their three-year anniversary on Sunday, April 12.
Jurin Smith and her husband, Tony Award winning poet Poetri, started Spoken Funk in an attempt to entertain crowds of people that enjoy laughing hysterically with comedy and love being moved emotionally by some of the most famous spoken word poets. This fusion of genres has created an amazing show that anyone would love to see.
The show also broadcasts live from the Spoken Funk website making it easier for this show to be seen nationally.
The third anniversary show gathered some of the most notable artists from the spoken word comedy and poetry family. It was split up into two two-hour sessions, both of which were opened by host Poetri.
The first show had a lineup of comedic poets that entertained a packed crowd. As the audience enjoyed the restaurant's home-style cuisine, the show went underway.
Brutha Gimel, the show's DJ opened the show with classic beats along with poetry of his own. Following Gimel was tap dancer and poet Jospeph Wiggings, who enlightened the crowd with his multiple talents. Next was spoken word artist Shihan.
Shihan has been seen on Def Poetry Jam a number of times and is also a YouTube sensation. He performed some of his greatest hits such as "Fathers Day" and "Love Like" in his act.
Comedian DC Erwin took the stage next and lit up the crowd with his gut busting comedy. Soon after actor and poet Malcom Jamal Warner took the stage. Malcom, who starred as "Theo" on The Cosby Show is a regular performer at Spoken Funk, and gladly participated in this third anniversary special.
He has been doing poetry since 1993, and as a local resident, he often finds himself performing at Spoken Funk. Last and definitely most memorable was comedian Ron G, who blew the audience away in laughter with his "slow motion" comedy.
"Its nice to see all these poets come together," said Warner. "We've all known each other for years and it's cool to see our talents put into one show."
The second show had performances once again from Gimel and Higgins. Along with them were performances from comedian James Davis and Rod Man. The show came to an end with the final act, Saul Williams.
Actor, musician, writer and poet Williams was the most anticipated act for this show. Williams is one of the most notable poets in the history of spoken word, and was a delight to see at Spoken Funk.
He performed "Telegram to Hip Hop", "1987" and song "Black Stacey." Williams is most noted for his appearance in the 1996 film "Slam" with which he won in the Sundance and Cannes film festivals.
"I had fun tonight," said Williams. "I've never performed for Spoken Funk before nor in this building."
Williams is currently working on a new album, and is not sure if he will be back at Spoken Funk anytime soon.
The crowd was honored to be at Spoken Funk. Some of which are usual performers, some were new to the poetry scene in L.A., and others were there to experience the brilliance of that which is Spoken Funk.
"This is my sixth time here, it's enjoyable and it's a great display of both comedy and poetry," said Kristen Hurd, a regular attendee of Spoken Funk.
Smith has created a remarkable environment in that which is Spoken Funk. The comedy, poetry and talent of these artists has set its mark in the L.A. night life. Spoken Funk is a creative alternative for L.A. entertainment. It's fun, it will make you laugh till tears, and keep you coming back for more.