Tonight marked a milestone in the consciousness of the Short North. A moment of recognition. Evidence that we are family and all connected.
Well, actually, we just had a really good time. And it was the simplest of ideas that became the biggest of events.
We put on a show.
A talent show. Not a contest. A show. Owners and employees of the businesses of the Short North got to show their stuff, shake their tail feathers, rattle the beams. We started off with restaurateur, Tasi Rigsby, doing a samba with her professional dance partner. Ekklesia did some wonderful gospel, as did Bree Perry, from Blazers (a bar). Dave Weibel, financial adviser from Edward Jones, played banjo – both as a soloist and accompanying Joe Baer, of Zen Genius, during his take on Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Chris Hawker, Trident Design, also played solo – on a handmade guitar, before joining Joe and Dave. Phia Hair Salon had multiple talents on display from ballroom dancing to improv cello/drums/vocals. Gendala, also of Phia, was particularly fantastic as she partnered with Short North Business Association director John Angelo for some dirty dancing, before morphing into a politico rapper partnered with DJ Moxy from Kickstart. We had interior painter Doug Joseph doing a show tune from Hairspray, Shawn Slivinski, from Touch of Earth in the North Market doing amazing acepella Italian opera, and Scott Hanratty, from Collier West, playing the best bassoon I have heard in years. Blue Level, featuring Tracey Smith from Cameron Mitchell, had original music with mandolin and vocals. The bands McCallister, featuring Bob Corkwell from Europia, and Help Is On The Way, featuring Jason Montgomery from Wood Companies, blew the roof off.
Personal favorites were Heather Leonard, from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants corporate office, doing a song from Evita. Heather has not performed in public in years, despite being classically trained. I have been waiting to hear her sing for ages! My husband, Michael, also sang one of his original compositions, to raucous applause and laughs. Intentional laughs, as befits a song called “Peanut Butter Junkie”.
Unintentional laughs included the Power Point projection not wanting to cooperate, a few missed cues, and a lot of “what does this plug go to?”. Which just shows that we don’t do this for a living, and did not take away from the experience at all!
This would have all been wonderful all by itself – but there was a goal – raising funds for a permanent art project in the Short North, either a mural or a sculpture. And the support was phenomenal! We will do this again next year. Once we recover. And get a new act together!