2020 Season at Grendel’s Den Begins with BEOWULF

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:

Beowulf: The Only One

Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 5 pm

Get Your Tickets for Good Seats: $20

 

 

STELLAR REVIEWS for ODDS BODKIN’S EPIC DRIVE STORY COLLECTION

Norman Chiang writes: “This is one of the best (if not the best purchases/investments) I’ve made all year. I’m excited to share it with my family. At $99, this is really quite a steal … given The Odyssey alone is worth as much. (Not to mention, other such amazing series in this collection – Hercules, The Hidden Grail, etc…)

Odds’ storytelling – including sound effects, voice, music, pacing, wit and style – is both versatile and relevant. It is a talent that needs witnessing and preservation.

All the stories I’ve so far listened to have been precise and polished, a cut above anything else I’ve seen from others at live shows and readings. Odds is a true artist, who understands the weight of virtue and fiction. A true role model for the ages.”

Amilolomy writes: “This is the version that made me absolutely fall in love with the Beowulf story, and really understand why it has become such a classic piece of literature. There is such life and emotion in the way Bodkin tells it, that you just can’t get from reading it alone. He takes it from being a dry, unsentimental piece of curriculum and spins it into a deeply moving journey, I always find myself crying by the end of it.”

 

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A WEEK FROM TODAY: Odds Bodkin performs The Odyssey in NH

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.

TICKETS

ON DEVOURING PEOPLE AND OTHER IMAGINARY ACTS

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!

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Odds Bodkin’s The Odyssey

July 27th at 8 pm

The Riverwalk Music Bar, Nashua, NH

$13 in advance, $15 at the door

 

TICKETS

Why Bar Hop When You Can Island Hop?

It’s Saturday night in New Hampshire and instead of bar hopping, why not island hop with Odysseus of Ithaca in 1300 B.C.? Unlike him, you can settle in comfortably and order drinks and a dinner as I regale you with his namesake story, the Odyssey. The Island of the Lotus Eaters is where fentanyl-like flowers grow; Odysseus and his men are lucky to escape alive, which can’t be said for their visit to the Island of the Cyclops. Other islands come: the Island of the Cannibals where most of his fleet is destroyed; Aeolia, the Island of the King of the Winds who puts all the storms into an ill-fated bag which, of course, doesn’t stay closed; on and on. Island after island. Adventure after adventure.

I’ve been telling this tale with 12-string guitar and harp for decades and will be doing a fairly long version of it (not the complete 4 hours, though) at the Riverwalk Music Bar on July 27, 2019 at 8 pm.

This is a full evening’s entertainment.

Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. It’s appropriate for kids over the age of nine, too.

I hope to see you there!

 

The Odyssey with Odds Bodkin

Saturday July 27th 2019 at 8 pm

The Riverwalk Music Bar, Nashua NH

 

An ODYSSEY in Summer/Adult Epic Storytelling in NH July 27th with Odds Bodkin

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.

HERCULES IN HELL for Teens and Adults at Auburn Public Library June 25th

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

 

FREE TO THE PUBLIC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12-STRING GUITAR MOTIFS for Fall of the Titans

 

I’ve had a wonderful run of well-attended shows at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square this winter and want to thank Kari Kuelzer, Charlie Gargano, Joe Froeber and the great staff at Grendel’s for making all the evenings run so smoothly.

Everybody’s having a good time.

This season’s last show is Sunday night, March 31 at 6 p.m.

FALL OF THE TITANS

TICKETS $15

FALL OF THE TITANS: Adult Storytelling in Cambridge on March 31st

Don’t miss Odds Bodkin’s final story performance of the season at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square this coming Sunday, March 31st at 6 p.m.

FALL OF THE TITANS is the sweeping saga of ancient Greek Titans, first birthing and then battling, the Gods of Olympus.

 

TICKETS $15

NEXT SUNDAY IN CAMBRIDGE: Fall of the Titans Adult Epic Storytelling

This coming Sunday, March 24th, Odds Bodkin performs FALL OF THE TITANS: The Original Game of Thrones at Gendel’s Den in Cambridge MA at 5 pm. Character voices, sound effects and a full score on 12-string guitar bring this epic Greek myth to life.

After sold-out shows this winter, this is Bodkin’s last appearance on Harvard Square this season.

Arrive at 5, order drinks and food from a great menu, and then settle in for this cosmic tale of creation, family jealousy and the overthrow of worlds.

Tickets $15

 

 

 

A Supercontinent Led Me to this Ancient Greek Myth

Pangea—you’ve heard of it. The ancient supercontinent of the Late Triassic that slowly broke apart into the continents we have today. Geologists have successfully matched so many rock formations at the edges of so many modern continents that they’ve reverse-engineered the rock patchwork puzzle all the way back to Pangea, or “All Earth.”

A few hundred million years of continents drifting an inch a year.

While looking at reconstruction maps of these long-lost continents, I noticed that scientists had named the ancient oceans around them with names like the Rheic Ocean, the Iapetus Ocean and the Tethys Ocean.

Rhea. Iapetus. Tethys. These were names I’d not heard.

A little googling revealed that they were Titans from ancient Greek mythology, first named by a poet, Hesiod, around 700 B.C. in a work called Theogony, or “Birth of the Gods.”

A little unclear about who the Titans were exactly (other than evil giants in Hollywood movies) and what if anything they had to do with the Greek gods, I found a translation of Theogony and lo, realized I’d come upon the Greek genesis story, like Adam and Eve in the Bible.

The story of Gaia and her Titan children, the builders of the earth. At least in the Greek imagination.

Here, ten years later, Fall of the Titans is one of my favorite epic tales to perform. The character voices are wild. The scenes of origins are exciting and revelatory and fun to enact. And as always with my tales, I’ve composed a score for it on 12-string guitar.

Since it usually takes me ten years of telling such a story to be ready to record it, I’m ripe for the plucking now, and so will be recording Fall of the Titans live at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square this coming Sunday, March 24th at 5 pm.

If you’d like to be part of this live recording event, grab a ticket and I’ll see you there!

TICKETS $15