Friday, June 13, 2008

Jeff DeMark at the Sixth Street Theatre this Weekend

Racine native Jeff DeMark will be performing his show, "Writing My Way Out of Adolescence," at the Sixth Street Theatre tonight and Saturday. Details here:

I went to high school with Jeff, but got to know him better afterwards, at college and from his and friends' "Poetry Smörgåsbord" shows in Madison in the 70's. One of my favorite stories about him concerns a visit he paid to me and my then wife in Chicago in the mid 80's. We went out to a pub/club in the trendy Lincoln Park area. There, a fellow appeared onstage with a guitar. The performer sang some songs, but, unfortunately, he stunk. The audience more or less ignored the guy and people chatted away while he sang. This perturbed the guy, so he stopped his performance and made some comments about the audience ignoring him. A few people replied with "You suck" and "You stink." We added in our two cents. The performer then said, "If any of you think you can do better, come on up here and try." Without hesitation, and much to my and my wife's surprise, Jeff stood up and walked to the stage. He took the guy's guitar, sat on his stool, and launched into songs and stories. The audience loved it! After a few minutes, the performer cut in and took back his guitar. The audience applauded for Jeff. I knew then that he was going places.

Check out his show.