This past Saturday night I had the unique opportunity of seeing Ira Glass, Monica Barnes, and Anna Bass perform Three Acts, Two Dancers, and One Radio Host in Birmingham, Alabama. The performance consisted of storytelling through radio, and dancing. In my opinion it was magical and unique in how everything came together.
The performance was held at University of Alabama Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. This was my first time being on UAB’s campus and I was surprised at how easy it was to find the performing arts center.
The staff at the performing arts center were so friendly and helpful in finding where I was supposed to go, I was really impressed! I sat up in the balcony but I usually like sitting further back from the stage so that I am able to see absolutely everything.
The performance as I said before was magical. Getting to see Ira Glass in the flesh was exciting, but having the chance to listen to him in person was even more exciting. Ira had control of what audio would be played from interviews that they had prepared for their show.
The performance was split up into three acts, the first act was about repetition. Within the first act there was a story about a girl named Katie that was a part of the famous Riverdance tour and how the entire cast and crew bought lottery tickets. They believed that if they repeated good luck rituals and told themselves on a daily basis that they would win they would. Long story short, they did not win the lottery. On stage Monica and Anna repeated the same dance sequence several times and not only was it comical but it got the point across.
The second act was simply endearing, it was all about love, and who doesn’t love love? Staff from Ira’s radio station went out to middle school dances and asked middle schoolers how they felt about slow dancing and interacting with the opposite sex. It was so cute to hear these middle schoolers explaining why they did or didn’t want to be there and so on. On stage Monica and Anna brought up members from the audience who didn’t know each other to slow dance and participate in a mock middle school dance. They had a balloon arch, a disco ball, and props for them to wear!
In-between the acts Monica and Anna would do dance numbers that connected all of these acts together in some way. They are very skilled and graceful dancers who have been dancing together for 11 years! So there is a lot of trust, respect, and as Anna put it, healthy competition between the two of them.
The third and final act was about Anna and Monica themselves and how dance is a part of them and their friendship. This act I particularly liked because it gave an inside look at what goes through a dancer’s mind when they are performing with another dancer.
During this act Ira talked about the show and how they didn’t know who it would be for or who would care to watch it but because it was something that they believed in they made it work. It was a sentimental part of the show that I particularly loved.
It was such an experience watching and listening to radio/podcast storytelling happening before my eyes. It gave me a lot of inspiration for my blog and future content!
Ira Glass in the flesh.