Back Fence PDX
Back Fence PDX
I did not know what to expect when I attended Back Fence PDX: Russian Roulette. I told people I thought it would be a combination of comedy and storytelling and it turns out I was right.
Russian Roulette is the edgy younger sibling to the Mainstage series, and for this show expect eight comedians, writers and other funny people from all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond. They spin a wheel and a topic is revealed. If they want to speak on that topic they have five minutes to prepare five minutes worth of wonderful and entertaining content. If not, another performer can scoop the topic by bursting out of their seat and onto the stage. During the performance I attended, the most popular topic was "In the Thick of it," which was evocative but also general enough to include almost any story you might want to tell.
On June 14th, the storytellers included past winners JESSICA LEE WILLIAMSON and SHANNON BALCOM as well as EMMETT MONTGOMERY, NICOLE GEORGES and JOHANNA STEIN. It was Balcom whose story of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Portland teens on a school trip to New York (it ends badly, of course) made me laugh and won my heart.
The show is hosted by two charismatic hosts, B. Frayn Masters and Mindy Nettifee, both authors and performers themselves, who kept things moving. At the end of the evening, the audience votes and a winner is chosen. It was a close close fight at my show and I don't think the best story won, but it was still a lot of fun.
As the PDX implies, this event takes place in Portland. If you are in town, you should go.