If you haven't checked into The Narrators recently -- or ever, for that matter -- there's never been a better time. Over the past six months, Andrew Orvedahl's storytelling showcase, which tasks local artists, writers, comedians and other creatives with telling true-life stories centered on a loose theme (and earned Orvedahl a 2012 MasterMind award), has found a new home, a new co-host and, just last month, relaunched its podcast with an all-new format. When the first storyteller takes the stage at Deer Pile this Thursday, February 21, it will mark half a year of The Narrators in that venue.
It's also the six-month anniversary of the addition of co-host Robert Rutherford to the mix. "I think that's burlap, right? I need to know what gift to get for Andrew," deadpans Rutherford.
But don't worry if you haven't been in a while and were a fan of the "old" Narrators -- it's still the same show at heart, despite the new location and co-host.
"The only thing that's really changed is [Andrew] and I alternate hosting duties every month," Rutherford explains. "Both of us always tell a story, but one of us will host and the other just gets to drink."
You will find bigger changes on the newly reconfigured podcast, though. The online version is now produced in cooperation with the Denver Diatribe and slimmed down for maximum impact. The twice-monthly podcast version features just the top stories from each event, which makes it even easier for newcomers to get a feel for the show.
"We decided we didn't want to post a podcast that was an hour and a half or two hours of people telling stories, so when we relaunched it we decided we would do a podcast every couple of weeks with just two stories," Rutherford says. "Andrew and I just sort of pull out our favorites from whatever show.
"We also don't want to take away from the experience of the show itself, which we feel is really what the podcast is there to support," he adds. "Being in the space and being in that environment with all these different people and just having a group share stories is what makes it awesome."
That space is now a lot quieter and more focused, thanks to the recent move to Deer Pile. Rutherford says the new venue offers a more intense atmosphere that allows the speakers to tell their stories without having to compete with the typical bar clamor. On the down side, the intimate venue may be a little too intimate for the popularity of the show.
"It's been getting bigger every month. The crowds are just great, but they've been getting really, really, really big. We're not sure what to do with that," he says. "We really love that space and more than anything, I think we'd have a hard time recreating the magic that space creates for the show."
Translation: come early and stake out a seat, or you'll find yourself settling for a place on the floor, or even in the hall.
The Narrators starts at 8 p.m. Thursday, February 21; admission is free. The theme this round: "Record Stores and Rock Shows." For more info, visit the Facebook event page and find the podcast online at TheNarratorsPodcast.com and on iTunes.
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