In a multi-act event promoting storytelling and its various forms, the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) presents Literati Variety Show, 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., in Oklahoma City. Admission is free.
Charles Martin, founder and creative director of Literati Press Comics & Novels, based in Oklahoma City, calls Literati Variety Show a “five-act variety talk program.”
“This is a celebration of storytelling as entertainment as well as a force to give meaning to life,” Martin said. “We are uniting artists from all mediums — music, poetry, comedy, anyone with a good story and the wherewithal to tell it well.”
The Feb. 9 event is presented by ACM@UCO as part of its Metro Music Series celebrating the school’s 10th anniversary.
Martin hosts the show, where he’ll introduce a music and literary pairing by hip-hop act Original Flow and The Fervent Route; a conversation with George Lang, editor-in-chief of Oklahoma Gazette; Heath Huffman, Public Access comedian of note; authors Holly Sampson Hall and Jeremy Hall with a performance reading of “The Most Wonderful Wonder”; and Molly O’Connor, founder of OKC StorySlam.
The show is co-organized by longtime local artist, Oklahoma City Arts Commissioner and Istvan Art owner and manager Stephen Kovash. Speaking recently to Oklahoma Gazette, Kovash said one of his goals with this show is to establish a new artistic family in the metro.
“Things are starting to coalesce in terms of Oklahoma writers,” he told the Gazette. “And so I think what Charles is doing here is perfect timing. … There’s hunger for ideas, and there’s pent-up demand, but there’s also a supply that’s pent-up. So maybe if we can get those people together, it’s going to explode.”
ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, and the Oklahoma Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Oklahoma and the National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works initiative.
About the Performers
O’Connor is an Oklahoma City-based multi-disciplinary artist and cultural worker. Her creative and artistic practices include visual art, creative writing, original solo performance work and storytelling. In 2005, O’Connor founded OKC StorySlam, a monthly, competitive open-mic storytelling event influenced by “The Moth Radio Hour” and podcast.
Holly Sampson Hall and Jeremy Hall:
Holly Samson Hall and Jeremy Hall write and perform dark folk music as Welcome Little Stranger. Creators of “The Most Wonderful Wonder” podcast, the Halls explore tragedy, folklore and strange, true tales from the back pages of American history.
Huffman is a stand-up comic born and raised in Oklahoma City. He tells jokes that highlight the absurdity of working out, the quirkiness of his religious upbringing and the peculiar world of cheap Italian food. He also hosts two podcasts — Christian music review show “The Praisedown” with Heath and Alex, and comic book narration show “Paneled,” both of which some people (not him) think are very good.
Lang is a journalist who has worked for Oklahoma Gazette multiple times since 1994. He returned as its editor-in-chief in 2017. In the interim, he also wrote for The Oklahoman. While there, he became its assistant entertainment editor, interviewing about 95 percent of film industry’s A-listers and hosting an award-winning video series about local musicians, “Static.” He hosts “Spy 101” radio show 8 p.m. Saturdays on The Spy (KOSU) and he teaches at ACM@UCO.
Original Flow and The Fervent Route:
Oklahoma City-based music act Original Flow & The Fervent Route mixes high-octane lyrical content with live instrumentation and old-school hip-hop delivery. It also includes ACM@UCO alumni.
About ACM@UCO Metro Music Series
The 2018-2019 school year marks ACM@UCO’s tenth anniversary. To celebrate, it expanded its long-running Metro Music Festival into a yearlong event. The revamped Metro Music Series includes the High Noon Showcase, presenting free shows by ACM@UCO-tied music acts and tastemakers; its ACM@UCO Performance Lab series by regional and national touring acts; and a growing roster of masterclasses, clinics and workshops with industry leaders, many of which are open to students and the public.
Find more info about Metro Music Series events at acm-uco.eventbrite.com.
For more information about ACM@UCO, visit acm.uco.edu.