LitCity312 Review: That’s All She Wrote

Location + Time:
On February 9, 2014, I attended the That’s All She Wrote reading series located at their new venue The Savoy in Wicker Park – every 2nd Sunday of the month event featuring non-fiction essays.

Atmosphere + Feel:
The new home of That’s All She Wrote is a snazzy oyster and absinth bar and restaurant on Milwaukee Ave. Upon walking into the eating area, I was immediately immersed in an array of warmth and fancy. The hostess led me to the back nook of the restaurant to a curtained-off room. Here is where all the magic happened! I was surprised by how small the actual audience and pseudo-stage area really was, but this wasn’t necessarily a negative trait. I enjoyed the intimate feel of the arrangement. The walls are adorned with brick and the long and short tables laid out along the perimeter are made of cherry dark wood and the leather bench on one side is like something out of a Z Gallerie boutique. The most striking part of the entire space is the long, vertical beautiful paintings of various women on the opposing walls. They seemed to have a mysterious, melancholy mood and are enhanced by the candle-light that quietly illumines the room. This is truly a very adult atmosphere. I was mostly impressed by the bar manager who approached everyone who attended the event (including me), asking if they are able to consume alcohol. Moments later, he revealed a tray of absinth/cocktail shots (called miniature Moscow mules), free of charge for everyone! It was not long before the faint trickle of oyster and alcohol enveloped the room in a warm embrace. Although I didn’t quite enjoy the taste (it was a conglomeration of flavor, floral and otherwise), I certainly appreciated the thought and gesture. I realized then that The Savoy planned this celebration of sorts because this was the re-launch of the series at its new home.

Performers + Quality:
Although there were some technical microphone difficulties that ate up a lot of time at the start of the event, the hosts and the audience took it in stride until everything was eventually taken care of. At one point, I overheard one of the hosts say, “There is a pubic hair” (on the microphone). This, of course, made everyone laugh. By the time the event went underway, the six readers all provided real-life anecdotes of a particular moment(s) in their lives. I was impressed by how funny and theatrical some of the performers ended up being. I also appreciated how there was generally a very good balance between serious subject matters and light-hearted subject matters. It made for a well-rounded reading series, bound to please most audience members in one capacity or another.

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Amanda Hanna

Amanda Hanna earned her Bachelor's Degree in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing, from DePaul University in June 2014. She plans to pursue her MA in Writing & Publishing, from DePaul, beginning in the fall of 2015. She was born in Chicago, but has lived in a variety of places throughout Southern California, such as Riverside, Orange County, and San Diego. Post high school, she attended a nineteen-day trip to Europe and visited Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, England, and France. On her free time, Amanda loves to draw and paint, attend symphonies and plays, peruse museums, visit farmers' markets, and, of course, read and write. One of her favorite collections of short stories is J.D. Salinger’s, 'Nine Stories'.

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