The fifth installment of Vashon Center for the Arts’ in-house late-night talk show(ish) thing, “It’s Late on Vashon” (iLOV) will be live-streamed at 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, at vashoncenterforthearts.org and VCA’s Facebook page.
The show is a chance to get to know some island celebrities in a virtual living room, through interviews with host Darragh Kennan and performances by local artists.
The new episode is themed, “Forest for the trees” and will feature Michael Meade, renowned local storyteller, author, and scholar of mythology, anthropology, and psychology. He connects and distills all these disciplines, guiding his audiences and readers into discovering the ways ancient stories connect with their modern lives.
Joe Panzetta, of the Vashon band Saint Ophelia, will be the featured artist, performing his soulful original songs. Panzetta, who is also a longtime VCA staffer and one of the technical wizards behind the show, will be joined by Meade in a special collaboration.
Other regular segments in the show include a demo from a local bar or restaurant, Vashon Trivia Time, Who’s Your Hero? and the 4-Way traffic report with Glenn Easley.
The show runs 30 to 40 minutes, the first Monday of every month at 9 p.m., so audience members can still make their 10 p.m. bedtimes.
The show’s genesis took place in the middle of summer, as Allison Reid, VCA’s executive director, lead a staff brainstorming session on Zoom, calling on her staff to imagine ways to present art in VCA’s performing art space, where audiences could no longer gather.
Ronly Blau, a VCA staffer, came up with an idea that was based on her impressions about the close-up nature of VCA’s first live-streamed concert, Sundae and Mr. Goessel — a presentation that she said provided a rare intimacy to see the performer’s interactions close-up.
Blau had a strong feeling — humor and a feeling of connection through dialogue, in the format of late-night talk shows, seemed made for the moment. Could an all local, late-night show on Vashon be a way to share that kind of connection more deeply?
“Emboldened by the dialogue, I shared my idea for our own version of a late-night talk show,” Blau said. “With so many incredibly interesting people on the island, I knew we could generate captivating interviews. And, with an abundance of talented artists, we would also be able to highlight performances in a more intimate setting.”
Thus began a collaborative process between Blau (iLOVE’s producer), Darragh Kennan (its host), with Panzetta and Michael Hayes stepping up as technical leads.
“Each show is generated in a cooperative way,” Blau said. “We hash out ideas for guests, the flow of the show, segment ideas and throw in anything at all we think is remotely humorous. Whatever sticks gets tried out…um, usually a couple of hours before we shoot the show. So, it’s all incredibly spontaneous.”
Aside from being a show that is created from scratch each month, it is also presented live from the stage of VCA’s Katherine L White Hall.
‘There are no edits, going back and fixing mistakes. It stands as it lands — it’s own moment of perfect imperfection,” said Blau. “So, while the budget is small, the cast minimal, and the learning curve big, we have been striving and sometimes managing to create an experience for the island that brings us together.”
So far, the show’s guests have included Mik Kuhlman, Gregg Curry, Bruce Haulman, Lisa Peretti, Merna Hecht, Malea Dickerson, David Mielke, Thomas Pruiksma and Arlette Moody.
And according to Kennan, the show has been both a personal learning experience and a source of inspiration.
“It’s been a real opportunity to try something new for all of us,” he said. “If it can provide some joy and healing during this time, and also fun — all the better.”
For more information about “It’s Late on Vashon” and other virtual offerings of Vashon Center for the Arts, visit vashoncenterforthearts.org.