18 full-length storytelling albums on a single flash drive.
18 full-length storytelling albums on a single flash drive.
So howls Polyphemus the Cyclops to the other cyclopses outside his stone door. He’s been blinded by a giant spear in his one eye as he slept, a spear carved from a tree by Odysseus and his men. Now thrashing in agony in the darkness, the monster has attracted the other monsters with his howls.
“I’m blinded! I am killed!” he screams.
“Who did this to you, Polyphemus?” calls one outside.
“No Man did it! No Man killed me!”
“Well, if it is no man, then it is the work of the gods. Good bye!”
Polyphemus has been cruelly fooled, doubly so. For as Odysseus has poured brandy into the monster’s bowl and fooled him into drunkenness, and the monster has asked him his name, Odysseus has replied, “My name is No Man,” fooling him again.
Come hear this and other adventures from Odds Bodkin’s adult storytelling, THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST, this coming Sunday in Cambridge, MA.
“a consummate storyteller” — The New York Times
“a modern-day Orpheus” — Billboard
Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square
Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m.
Doors open at 5 p.m. for dinner.
Grendel’s Den hosts Odds Bodkin for the second show in his winter adult storytelling series, THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST. Eat Greek specialty menu items, drink, and then settle in for hypnotic music on 12-string guitar as Bodkin spins mythic magic with vocal effects, character voices and narration.
Introduction to Homer and Greek mythology on Celtic harp.
It’s when instead of attacking them immediately, the cyclops rolls the giant stone to block the cave door, that Odysseus senses doom. It just hasn’t happened yet, but will. As the monster tears two men apart in a shower of blood and devours them, Odysseus realizes that this is no peaceful shepherd as he assumed. No, this one-eyed giant who stands as tall as thirteen men is a cannibal. And soon they will all be in its belly. Unless they escape somehow. But the giant stone weights many tons, and there’s no other way out.
For one of the most famous scenes from Homer’s The Odyssey, Odds Bodkin takes on the giant voice and deadly gestures of Polyphemus the Cyclops. Vocal effects explode in the scene: popping heads and crunching bones, roaring flames and a giant hissing eyeball–while his 12-string guitar burns with rapid notes–all to render a vivid and yes, horrifying imaginative experience.
It’s really fun.
Of this performance Professor James Tatum of the Dartmouth Department of Classics wrote, “Odds Bodkin’s performance is the closest thing we have to a Homeric experience.”
His first show of the season, Beowulf, was sold out, so get your Odyssey tickets today.
Come feast and drink like a Greek, then settle in for the show. VIP ticket packages available for great seating and special foods.
It’s been four years now since Kari’s husband built the stage for me. Kari’s restaurant on Harvard Square, Grendel’s Den, had never hosted a performer before, and since I was to be the first, I needed a stage in order to be seen by folks at the tables. This had all come about when Gavin, my son, who, since I perform Beowulf–and Grendel the monster figures prominently in it–pitched the idea to Kari: dine on Scandinavian food and drink, and then hear a classic monster myth from Viking times. Just for adults. No kids.
It worked. Since then I’ve done lots of adult shows in the heated intimacy of Grendel’s Den, and I’ll be back for a fresh season starting on Sunday January 12th at the usual 5 p.m. start time. This year, we open with Beowulf: The Only One, a favorite tale to tell, despite the hard work involved. Hard guitar playing. Hard voice work, especially Grendel, who roars out his emotions, and his mother, who screeches out her vengeful, but intelligible words.
Next, on February 9th, I’ll perform The Odyssey: Belly of the Beast.
Then, on March 8th, it’s Odin and Thor Battle the Frost Giants.
Lastly, on March 29th, I don’t know what I’ll be performing because Kari’s holding an “audience’s choice” contest over winter where ticket buyers for other shows get to vote on the final show. Choices are FALL OF THE TITANS: THE MYTH OF GAIA, INDIA’S ANCIENTS: TALES FROM THE MAHABHARATA AND BEYOND, HEARTPOUNDERS: HORROR TALES or HERCULES IN HELL.
I like them all.
Meanwhile, first up is:
THE ODYSSEY: A Storytelling Evening with Odds Bodkin. Show starts at 8 pm at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH. Older kids and teens welcome. Enjoy an immersion into Greek mythology you’ll never forget!
Aeolus is the King of the Winds and lives in luxury on Aeolia, his island in the middle of the Mediterranean. One day twelve Greek triremes sail into his harbor, crewed by thirsty, starving men. It turns out they’re lost soldiers from the war at Troy, led by a fellow named Odysseus. Utterly entertained by this warrior captain’s tales, Aeolus hosts the hungry Greeks for a month. They rest, grow strong again, and he lavishly provisions their fleet for the journey home.
Before they leave, Aeolus secretly hands Odysseus a leather bag tied with a silver wire. “In this bag,” he says, “are all the storm winds of the sea. Keep the bag closed, and you’ll have good winds at your stern all the way to Ithaca.”
Sadly, it turns out, as they approach Ithaca, jealous sailors open the bag, thinking there’s gold inside, and release the winds. Sudden storms blow the fleet all the way back to Aeolia, where this time the king curses them.
Hapless again, the fleet next comes upon an island swarming with giant cannibals.
I’ll be telling this episode, and many others, this Saturday night at 8 pm at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH, when I perform The Odyssey: An Epic Telling.
Music on 12-string guitar and Celtic harp. Vivid character voices. Sounds of winds and sea.
Grab some friends and enjoy a different kind of night on the town.
Grab your tickets today to see Odds Bodkin perform his epic version of Homer’s THE ODYSSEY next Saturday night, July 27th, in Nashua, NH. The show starts at 8 pm at the Riverwalk Music Bar. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door.
Polyphemus is a Cyclops, a one-eyed giant, and as with many giants, he enjoys devouring people. He’s not very bright, but stands as tall as thirteen men on one another’s shoulders and so has a long reach when he grabs at something. His voice is low, like word thunder, and he’s quick to anger. And so when Odysseus and his 24 men appear unexpectedly in the Cyclops’ cave after a long day tending his flocks, Polyphemus roars his fury, shoves a giant boulder into the exit and snatches up two men, popping off their heads and eating them.
Horrible as it sounds, of all the characters I enact when I perform The Odyssey, Polyphemus is probably the most fun. My right eye shuts, leaving only the left one open, and I’ve been told my face contorts into something truly ugly once he shows up in the story.
Along with the 12-string guitar score that races along during these grisly scenes, his voice and actions make for a crazy combination of stimuli. Intense enough, I hope, to become cinematic for listeners.
I’ll be performing large sections of The Odyssey Saturday night, July 27, 2019 at 8 pm at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH. It’s a great venue with excellent sound and intimate seating, not to mention delicious food.
Just try to be done eating by the time Polyphemus snacks on the humans!
The Riverwalk Music Bar is a hip place to perform. Usually the venue hosts bands and young singer-songwriters, but a few times each year I arrive in my ancient hoariness with an epic for adults.
If you count them, there are 37 character voices in my telling of Homer’s The Odyssey: Odysseus himself, his crew, the Cyclops, cannibals, Circe, Lotus Eaters, on and on. It’s Greek mythology told in modern English with a score on 12-string guitar and Celtic harp, peppered throughout with vocal effects like wind and seabirds. Of all the epics I tell, I’ve been telling this one the longest.
The show starts at 8 pm. So grab a delicious dinner, order from the bar and settle in for some imaginative, out-of-body storytelling.
Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door.
Join Master Storyteller and Musician Odds Bodkin as he performs HERCULES IN HELL for teens and adults on June 25th at 1 pm in Auburn, ME. This gripping, feature-length performance on 12-string guitar with a host of character voices is a no-holds-barred exploration of the mythic Hercules from Greek mythology. Anything but a kind do-gooder, this Hercules kills his family in a madness and is haunted by guilt. He’s driven to perform amazing labors to free himself.
He’s the strongest man in the world, but he’s commanded by the weakest man in the world. The irony is not lost on him.
HERCULES IN HELL
June 25, 2019 at 1 pm
Auburn Public Library, Auburn ME
4 hrs, 8 min., 42 episodes
37 character voices
music on 12-string guitar and Celtic harp
Ages 8 to adult