Electric Pressure Cooker Cabaret Brings Anything-Goes Open Mic to Exchange House Akron

by Gray Giaconia

Wandering Aesthetics has partnered with Gum-Dip Theatre to bring the Electric Pressure Cooker Cabaret to North Hill. At this May 27 event (and all EP Cooker events), any performance is welcomed, and according to Wandering Aesthetics’ website, “no art is too taboo.” Acts range from rock bands to comedy to feats of strength and often land in between. People of all levels of ability and all ages are welcome to attend and perform, and anyone can sign up for a 12-minute performance slot. You may need to bring your own instruments, weights, dirt bikes, etc., but an emcee, house drum kit, keyboard, and sound system will be provided and available for use. Dean Coutris, an Akron-based performer, will emcee the event as a farewell before he leaves Akron for other pursuits. The Electric Pressure Cooker is a no-pressure event, at which Kyle Jozsa of Wandering Aesthetics says, “Even if you fail, you never fail.”

At this event, Wandering Aesthetics looks to raise the final $300 of their first-half match goal of $37,500 as part of the Knight Arts Challenge Akron for their planned project Bigger than a Breadbox, which is set to begin in September. Jozsa says, “It’s incredible. It seems like all of our hard work is finally paying off.” Bigger than a Breadbox will be a quarterly vaudeville show that travels to different Akron neighborhoods, offering amazing acts from local performers, some that have been pulled from the Electric Pressure Cooker itself and some that are residents of the neighborhood in which the event is taking place.

Wandering Aesthetics’ partnership with Katie Beck of Gum-Dip Theatre came together naturally because their events will take place on the same day. Beck’s Knight Arts Challenge project, Nepali Applause: An Open Air Market/Performance Festival, will take place prior to the Electric Pressure Cooker at Exchange House Akron, from 12-6 pm. Beck is a regular at the Electric Pressure Cooker as both performer and audience member and has even emceed the event before. She says that the two events together will be “12 hours of badass Akron Art!”

The Cabaret will take place at 7 pm in a circus tent outside of Exchange House Akron, 760 Elma Street, Akron, Ohio 44310. Registration begins at 6:30 pm at the event, or you can preregister at watheatre.com/epcooker or by calling 330-612-3090. Admission to the Electric Pressure Cooker Cabaret is $5 (which can also be paid ahead of time online or by phone at the same site and number as pre-registration) or pay-what-you-can at the door. All proceeds of the event will go towards Bigger than a Breadbox. Adult supervision is required for anyone under 18.

For more information, visit watheatre.com/btab and gumdiptheatre.com.

(Featured photo by John R. Aylward Photography)