by Chris Estey
When FOUND! Magazine publisher Davy Rothbart performed at The Croc a few months ago, the spacious club was full of the magazine’s fans, cheering for the scraps of life he described and read aloud, letting us in on the universal joke of personal debris. It’s rare for the spoken arts to attract such a lively, enraptured audience at a music venue, but FOUND! has become a unique industry in itself, a high-quality entertainment empire — about crap you you find in library books, on the street, beneath your feet, et al.
Rothbart was responsible for the recently published anthology Paper Bag, one of the finest collections of writing this year — especially for including punk-poet Jim Carroll’s superbly paced rumination on a pal finding a plastic toy soldier in the discharge of a colon cleanse (which Davy did an astonishing job of reading when he was here); and Homicide/The Wire creator David Simon tracking down some original paperwork from Bob Dylan the singer wrote trying to get background for his culture-changing song “Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.”
At 2:45 PM every day of the festival (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) at the Comedy Stage South, Rothbart’s cult of creators will engage Seattle again with a “multimedia comedy musical.” Starring New York City’s Story Pirates After Dark Ensemble, FOUND: The Show features all the sometimes too-personal and often bizarrely emotional and often fascinating flotsam and jetsam of people’s private lives under the motto “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” (or at least source of hilarity).
More than that, audience members are urged to bring scattered, scribbled reflections found from their own lives in to help participate in the celebration of life’s random joys and weirdnesses. This will be a musical and literary high-point of Bumbershoot this year, and with the crowd being engaged for new material all three days, is worth catching every performance!
Story Pirates and Found Magazine on WNYC BL Show