The concept of the Two Chairs Telling is simple: Put two great storytellers on stage for a couple of hours and see what happens when they trade tales. In practice, the results can be complex, as curator and longtime local teller Loren Niemi chooses his pairings for both contrast and complement. Now in its second season in the cozy Open Eye space, this run opens with a bang. Southern Minnesota master Michael Cotter has been telling since before I was born (I grew up with his stories), in a relaxed style and a wind-worn voice that embodies the quiet patience and hard work that are central to his farmland stories. Joining him on stage is Allegra Lingo, member of the dynamic telling collective Rockstar Storytellers; she brings a precise wit and polished, radio-style delivery to subjects more urban than agrarian. Their collaboration represents a collision of storytelling styles, generations, and geography, and promises to be a richly textured performance.
Tue., Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m., 2009