Speak Easy

Open mics are a cringefest full of artists whose material is so bad it isn't even ironically funny. But the weekly free-for-all at Long Beach's Acres of Books is different. Hosted by suit-wearing/crop-holding store manager Raun Yankovich, the cast of regulars is as diverse as the city itself. Many Fridays include Citizen Poet, who recites works off the top of his head using an array of voices; Lilith Babylon, an Australian woman whose wild character demands its own reality program; authors Rob Woodard and David Dannov, two locals whose readings are much stronger than the average poet; Soul Blue, a guitar-playing bluesman; and Amber, whose song, dance and poetry close each show. Unfortunately, this fun is ending, as the store is rumored to be history come October, so witness this motley crew before they're forced to endure the torture that comes with all other open mics.
Fridays, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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