When band mates Danielle K.L. Gregoire and Ravella Riffenburg decided to write a wine-soaked email to Mal Blum, a New York musician whose music often helped get the two through bouts of depression, break ups, and other heavy sad stuff, and offer them (Mal uses the singular pronoun ‘they’) a spot playing their song Fine! at a strangely awesome show about sorrow at the Seattle Fringe Festival called A Necessary Sadness, Danielle and Ravella didn’t actually expect a reply. So when they didn’t get one for a month it wasn’t surprising. The surprise came when Mal, after a month, wrote the two an email apologizing for their lack of response and admitted to being intrigued by the concept of the show, and agreed to consider the offer to come play in Seattle.
A Necessary Sadness is a show that celebrates the vulnerability of sorrow by putting people on stage in front of a live audience. After doing four shows, Gregoire found that the shows ended up being more uplifting than sad.
“It was surprising how many people turned out to sit in a room and listen to sad stories, and left with smiles on their tear-stained faces and how many people wanted to come tell their stories.” Gregoire said after the ANS in December at the Pocket Theater. Gregoire decided to develop A Necessary Sadness after three years in Seattle’s hilarious, but grueling stand up comedy scene running the Comedy Womb left her depressed and exhausted. She wanted to explore the other side of the coin, the ‘what if you put people in a room and told them they didn’t have to laugh, but instead were allowed to cry’. The show features stories, sketch, and music exploring sadness and ends with a set by a stand up comedian to lift the audience back up, and finally a cover of Mal Blum’s Fine! The show was so successful that Gregoire decided to submit to the Seattle Fringe Festival lottery and got in. Gregoire confessed to Riffenburg that she dreamed of asking Mal Blum to come play the final show at the Fringe festival, and like a good friend, Riffenburg decided to write up an email asking Blum to come perform. Then one Saturday night after a particularly good bottle of wine, they sent that email. Now Riffenburg and Gregoire’s dream is coming true.
Mal Blum is coming to Seattle to play ANS, and also two completely independent shows organized by the duo, and their band Sea of Slugs even gets to open for their favorite musician. The independent shows will feature comedy by Elicia Sanchez, as well as new comedians and poetry by spoken word poets and are sponsored in part by the Northwest Network.
Turns out sometimes sadness has positive consequences:
Mal Blum at the Fremont Abbey (ALL AGES SHOW)