“True Life Tales..” Review – Blue Collar Gothic Spoken Word Opera


You don’t have to be a devotee of “This American Life” or a fan of Milly’s Orchid Show to heartily enjoy “True Life Tales from the Honeymoon Capital of the World (Some of Which are True)”.  


Writer and Storyteller David Kodeski, aided by singer and songwriter Naomi Ashley have created the equivalent of a laser-precise GPS that is also culture-capture- enabled, bringing you the sights and sounds of the Niagara Falls of Kodeski’s youth. 



Starting out with a geology lesson that borders on poetry, especially with the help of the first of several collage backdrops by Chicago artist Lisa Barcy, Kodeski lands us in the streets of Niagara Falls where the REAL people live.  Tourist hordes are far away, except for the occasional amorous adventure in a visitor’s parked car.   Instead we find families of various ethnic persuasions that seem to have in common hardworking factory dads and too many children for parents to mind. 



Kodeski pauses now and again to make way for the soothing butterscotch voice of singer/songwriter Naomi Ashley, whose folksy lyrics –and especially her opening “Niagara Falls” song add to the feeling that you are tucked into bed to hear a good story that begins “…once upon a time..”.



The backup band (Paul Bivans on drums, Michael Krayniak on bass, Heather Riordan on accordion, and Cathie Van Wert on fiddle and background vocals) crescendos and decrescendos in perfect accord with the words being spoken. 



What a pity there are only three performances left in this short run through October 24!  For information visit the Stage 773 website (www.stage773.com) .


Stage 773

1225 West Belmont





Photos by Melinda Evans

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