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The Narrators: A different type of Denver showcase

Andrew Orvedahl tells jokes, but also does a lot of other things. Like run The Narrators.
Andrew Orvedahl tells jokes, but also does a lot of other things. Like run The Narrators.
Courtesy of Orvedahl's MySpace page

In Denver, there is no shortage of comedy showcases or open mics. New rooms and comedic alliances are constantly coming alive, offering new talent the opportunity to see and be seen at multiple rooms even on the same night. It's a bit of an all-the-comedy-you-can-take buffet, and although most rooms have their own feel and their own flavor, it's rare to find a room that changes the dynamic or steps outside of the traditional art form of stand-up comedy.

With this in mind, I'd like to introduce The Narrators, a monthly storytelling event held at Paris Bar in the Highlands.

The Narrators is the brainchild of local comedian Andrew Orvedahl. It's built on the art of storytelling and crafted around a monthly theme. Although there are a great deal of comedians that partake in the evening, it's open to other artists as well. This month's event featured comics, actors, a journalist, a storyteller, and a musician, affording the audience a wide-range of life experiences and artistic takes on the theme of "Integrity...or Lack Thereof".

The theme proved to be an interesting one. Storytelling lends itself to the entire emotional spectrum, and as much as comedy was a definite part of the show, there were moments that were poignant, revealing, and at times a tad long-winded, but such is the risk one takes in this type of performing environment. As Orvedahl put it, "In stand-up, you learn the economy of style and how to cut out all of the fat, which is really important in storytelling." It's an interesting balance, mending the fat of the details with the climax and direction of the story.

Orvedahl emcees The Narrators, and on his own, he is strongly embedded in the best-of-the-best of Denver comedy, performing regularly at Comedy Works and various big-name rooms from Wrist Deep Productions' Los Comicos Super Hilariosos to Bobby Crane's Hot Stand Up at Vine St Pub (happening tonight for anyone who is interested!). He also is a third of a unique comedy trio with Ravi Zupa and Mat Reichhardt  that goes by the name of Threople. In his own words, The Narrotors was "inspired out of his frustration at not being able to tell longer stories during his stand up set." He raised the point that most audiences who have come to listen to stand-up simply don't have the patience for stories without multiple punch-lines, and that The Narrators is a forum where those stories can happen.

The show itself is a definite diversion from the norm, but a welcome one. Where the movement is not simply from punchline to punchline, but from moment to moment, a building of emotion and intrigue that is a breathe of fresh air from the Denver comedy scene. It lives on the first Wednesday night of each month at Paris Wine Bar, with a start time of 8pm. The theme for August is "Near Death Experiences" and it will be guest-emcee'd by Mark Lee, a stangely hilarious local comic, and if you're not good at counting Wednesdays, the actual date will be Wed, Aug. 4th.

If you or someone you know seems like they would be a good artistic fit for the show, contact Andrew Orvedahl at TheNarrators3000@gmail.com. Thanks for reading about Denver comedy, and if you'd like to contact Nicole, you can reach her at Nicole.Qualtieri@hotmail.com, 'hear' her twitter occasionally at DenverComedy, and if you facebook friend her, she might accept.

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