Comedy series about ‘ghosting’ expands to the web
SBy Ben Verde he’s really getting into the spirit
A Brooklyn comedy series
that uncovers the horrors of modern
romance has gone digital, reincarnated
as a three-episode online talk show
about “ghosting” — the phenomenon
of online dating wherein potential
suitors disappear without a trace.
“Ghost Town: the Series,” launched
online on Feb. 13, but it started
more than a year ago as the monthly
live show “Ghost Town Comedy,”
harnessing the comedic potential
of what its host calls an everyday
experience for anyone dating in the
“I’ve done it, we’ve all done it,” said
comedian Savannah DesOrmeaux.
“It’s kind of sad, but I think it’s
The frequent nature of ghosting
ensures that plenty of funny people
have a hilarious tale to share about
it, according to the Prospect Lefferts
“Everyone has this wackadoo
story,” she said. “It’s always like, we
went on a date and had this amazing
time, and then we met up again and
confessed our love for each other, and
She’s got spirit: Savannah DesOrmeaux
has taken her monthly live comedy series
“Ghost Town” online. Photo by Mike Bryk
then he canceled on me and was never
to be seen or heard from again.”
DesOrmeaux started the series
after she experienced both being
ghosted and ghosting on other people.
Her friends’ similar stories about
disappearing dates made her want to
create a platform for comics to turn
the sometimes painful experience into
laughs, she said.
The live show, now running at
Friends and Lovers in Crown Heights,
alternates between traditional standup
COURIER L 36 IFE, FEBRUARY 14-20, 2020
sets and interview segments, in
which the comics share their ghosting
tales with DesOrmeaux.
The web show focuses solely on
the interview, with each roughly eightminute
episode featuring a different
guest. The episodes are jazzed up with
text overlays, sound effects, and fastpaced
emoji images that fly across the
screen. The latter images accent the
extremely-online nature of the show,
said DesOrmeaux — and they have
another advantage for a cash-strapped
“First and foremost I’m broke and
emojis are public domain, so in many
ways it’s free and in many ways I’m
broke,” she said. “And it represents
the texting kind of digital world we
all live in.”
New online episodes of “Ghost
Town” will appear over the next week,
on the run-up to the next live show on
Watch “Ghost Town: the Series”
ghosttown. New episodes on Feb. 16
and Feb. 23. “Ghost Town Comedy” at
Friends and Lovers 641 Classon Ave.
between Pacific and Dean streets in
Crown Heights, (917) 979–3060, www.
fnlbk.com. Feb. 25 at 8 pm. Free.
Rise and Shrines!
Bed-Stuy musician mixes Irish and electronic music
OBy Jessica Parks h Danny boy, the bleeps and
bloops are calling!
musician will add electronic beats to
the traditional ballads of the Emerald
Isle, at a Williamsburg concert next
week. Shrines — the solo project of
singer Carrie Erving — said that the
show at National Sawdust on Feb.
19 will showcase tunes from her
debut album “Release,” which uses
synthesizers, cellos, and electronic
drums to accompany her powerful
“I think it’s going to be a really
great night for folks, with music that is
combining the influence of traditional
folk music with modern music, with
electronic beats, with synths,” said
Her debut release was heavily
inspired by Sean-nos, she said, a
traditional Irish style of a capella
singing. The self-written album mixes
that style with influences from more
modern vocalists such as Bjork, she
“It is sort of following those
influences, but also thinking about
music that I like to listen to that is
emotionally powerful and draws you
in,” Erving said.
The artist will also offer a sneak
peek at songs from her next album,
which she describes as “my version of
traditional Irish songs,” that she plans
to release sometime in the fall.
Erving, who is of Irish descent,
was first drawn to traditional Irish
music while on a trip to the land of
her ancestors. She was impressed by
the storytelling in those songs, which
often describe the experience of love,
of immigration, and of everyday
personal life — topics which are still
relatable, she said, even though the
songs may be centuries old.
“I also feel like they’re hauntingly
beautiful songs that have been passed
down through the years that help me
feel connected to earlier generations
and to a spiritual realm,” Erving said.
“There’s also a lot of songs about
connecting to the natural world that I
find really beautiful.”
During the show, Erving will sing
and play the synthesizer, and will be
joined by an electronic drummer, a
cellist, and a team of dancers from the
group CreateArt. Adding dancers is
a new experiment, she said, but one
that felt right for National Sawdust’s
“It’s really exciting for me to be in
the National Sawdust space. I feel like
they encourage experimentation and
I feel like it is a chance for me to add
some visual elements that bring a new
aspect to the work,” she said.
Shrines at National Sawdust (80
N. Sixth Street at Kent Avenue in
org ). Feb. 19 at 8 pm. $18.
Wall of sound: Shrines will perform
at National Sawdust on Feb. 19.
Photo courtesy of Shrines
The best reads
by some of the
by Jeremy Zallen
Subtitled “The Dark
History of Artificial Light,
1750–1865,” this book goes
from the tallow candles that
lit the colonies, to the whale
oil lamps, and then coalpowered
electricity that allowed for
the around-the-clock labor (particularly by children
and the enslaved) through which a new nation grew.
Jeremy Zallen’s history of artificial light in America
threads histories of labor, ecology and technology into
an incisive narrative spanning two centuries of war,
industry, and radical cultural change.
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore 43 Seventh
Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park
Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commu nityb ookst ore.net.
Word’s picks: “You’re
Not Listening,” by
It feels like we live in a
disconnected time. Debates
quickly turn contentious,
friends have become
“followers,” and hot takes are
dished out at the expense
of genuine conversation. In
her new book “You’re Not
Listening: What You’re Missing and Why
It Matters,” journalist Kate Murphy argues that not
listening is at the root of a lot of our problems. She
interviews a wide array of people to get to the bottom
of what makes a good listener, and gives advice on how
to become one (because odds are, you aren’t!). Equally
informative, helpful, and entertaining.
— Lorenzo Gerena, Word 126 Franklin St. at
Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.
In her second novel, Jenny
Offill uses pithy prose that
recalls the epigrammatic
style of post-modern
masters of the last century,
like David Markson and
Donald Barthelme, to create a
catalog of fragments that feels especially suited
to depicting our contemporary psyche. It has been
five years since her debut, “Dept. of Speculation,”
and “Weather” is more explicitly political, perhaps
necessarily so. More importantly, Offill is still a very
funny and charming writer; she has one of the best
senses of timing and rhythm in the game.
— Matt Stowe, Greenlight Bookstore 686 Fulton St.
between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort
Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenlightbookstore.