Potluck & Poison Ivy
Last week, I was fortunate enough to help kick off the 2019 season of Potluck & Poison Ivy. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this event, Potluck & Poison Ivy is a live dinner theater located at The Joint in the Argenta Arts District of North Little Rock. Bring your story to the table—that’s the tagline for the evening. A $35 ticket will get you dinner, southern storytelling, and live music.
What a deal.
Arkansas friends, do you remember the Starving Artist Cafe? The cafe, which served as the venue for Tales from the South, closed in 2014. I never had the chance to attend Tales, but I imagine Potluck is similar.
How It Went Down
Doors open at 6:00 with potluck dinner already ready and waiting. I suspect it may be different each month, but last week there was barbecue, potato salad, cole slaw and a biscuit. There is a cash bar. I never took time to eat, but thanks to Allen Vincent, I had a Miller Lite.
The show starts promptly at 7:00 with a quick hello from the owner John Gaudin and introductions from Dillon Hupp. Storytelling and live music alternates every few minutes which gives both the storyteller and the musicians time to catch a breath. The music during my show was provided by Stephanie Smittle. She was fantastic!
After my third/final reading, I returned to the stage for a conversation with Dillon, as well as questions from the audience. The fast-paced format keeps things entertaining. Based on the laughter and excellent questions, I believe the audience was engaged.
I had a blast!
If you’ve never attended a show, I hope you’ll consider becoming an attendee or a sponsor. And to the storytellers out there: if you have a story, pitch an idea to Potluck & Poison Ivy.
Here’s the 2019 schedule:
I owe a HUGE thank you to J. Bradley Minnick who joined me on stage! We read four passages from The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee. Yes, I was Gracie Lee, Brad was Brother Brown, and for a while that night, The Joint became Boon Chapel. (There’s some irony right there.) I can’t say enough great things about Brad who went above and beyond to join me, taking time out of his busy schedule as host of KUAR’s Arts & Letters and a professor at UALR.
Without Brother Brown’s voice, well, it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun for me or the audience.
Afterward, I had the opportunity to chat with folks and sell books. There was such a sense of community and connection at this event. I’m always amazed at the stories I hear. One gentleman told me that when he was three years old, his dad was a Presbyterian minister in Osceola. Two other ladies who belong to Little Rock book clubs are already planning to read Gracie Lee later in 2019.
OH YEAH ?
Confession: a highlight for me… Kevin Brockmeier was in attendance!
Brad introduced me to him the moment I walked into the place. Whatever I’d been fretting over with respect to my performance flew from my mind. I focused on keeping my cool while shaking Kevin Brockmeier’s hand.
I said something like, “pleasure to meet you” rather than what I wanted to say, which was “OH MY GOD, I’M A HUGE FAN, AND IF I’D KNOWN YOU WOULD BE HERE I WOULD HAVE BROUGHT ALL MY COPIES OF YOUR BOOKS AND ASKED YOU TO SIGN THEM. WELL, ACTUALLY, I ALREADY HAVE SEVERAL OF YOUR SIGNED BOOKS BECAUSE I COLLECT THEM, OH, AND LAST YEAR I READ A FEW SECONDS OF RADIANT FILMSTRIP AND CAN’T TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVED IT. CAN WE TAKE A SELFIE, PLEEEZE? AND MAYBE, REALLY, IT WOULD BE BETTER IF YOU TOOK THE STAGE AND I SAT HERE AND LISTENED TO YOU? MKAY?
No. I managed to not say any of that. Seriously. I believe I’ve grown as a person because I did NOT go all fangirl.
And that’s my evening in a nutshell.
Special thanks to Dorothy and Terry Johnson who drove me, helped set up my books, and gave me a bed for the night. Thanks to Donna, who always works diligently as my “handler”, and Allen who didn’t heckle me and bought me a beer.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.