Dayton couple curates evening of poetry, storytelling and music at Dayton Arcade

Poet David Matthews and Hsanni Scott Matthews, writer, producer and the CEO of Soul Fire Productions, organized the Rhapsody-N-Soul show, “Revival Revelation Rejoice.” The performance will be held Friday, May 13 at The Tank in the Dayton Arcade. CONTRIBUTED

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Poet David Matthews and Hsanni Scott Matthews, writer, producer and the CEO of Soul Fire Productions, organized the Rhapsody-N-Soul show, “Revival Revelation Rejoice.” The performance will be held Friday, May 13 at The Tank in the Dayton Arcade. CONTRIBUTED

Hsanni Scott Matthews, writer, producer and CEO of Soul Fire Productions, originally formed her company to produce films. However, the industrious Daytonian expanded into live events such as Rhapsody-N-Soul, which will present “Revival Revelation Rejoice” Friday, May 13 at The Tank inside the Dayton Arcade.

“Dayton has such a wealth of spoken word poetry folks and shows,” said Scott Matthews, co-producing Rhapsody-N-Soul with her husband, poet David Matthews. “In February 2020, David and I put together Rhapsody-N-Soul at the PNC Arts Annex. Of course, David was our headliner, but we brought in other artists and poets from Canada, New York and Indianapolis. It was such a great night. We nearly packed the house. It was the last show of that year at PNC and then COVID hit us. We weren’t able to do the college circuit like we thought. We had all our poets hyped for that and then COVID stopped it.”

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ROUND TWO

Soul Fire Productions is back with its second installment of Rhapsody-N-Soul, presented with support from Culture Works. The evening of poetry, storytelling and music features headliner Georgia Me, known as the Queen of Spoken Word, with Long Island-based Kyle “Atlas” Flemings and Daytonians Ralph Farley and Leroy Bean. Allamby & Wilson will serve as the house band for the evening, backing musical guests like Gil Frazier, Floyd Weatherspoon and Terry Harris.

“People wouldn’t let Rhapsody-N-Soul go,” Scott Matthews said. “They kept texting and e-mailing me about the next show. We’re so very excited to have Georgia Me. She is so energizing.”

Matthews was one of the featured performers at the first Rhapsody-N-Soul in 2020, but he serves as production manager this time around.

“I’ll have the headset on this time,” he said. “You won’t hear me do anything until the very, very end. I’ve been performing spoken word since the ‘70s so it’s great to be able to work with some of the young, up-and-coming artists. I’m happy we can give them opportunities to perform and express themselves.”

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ECLECTIC VISION

While the previous installment of Rhapsody-N-Soul was a no-frills night of spoken word, “Revival Revelation Rejoice” is a heavily-produced night of diverse entertainment.

“For the first show, all six of the artists came out, we sat on bar stools and we went down the line a few times,” Matthews said. “We each had four or five pieces and that was the end of the night. This time, you’re not going to see the entertainers until it’s time for them to perform, except for our house band, Allamby & Wilson. You won’t know who’s coming up next, whether it’s a poet, a guitar player or a storyteller.”

Curating live programs that are distinctly different is important to Scott Matthews.

“This feels to me like a Broadway show,” she said. “You have every part of entertainment theatrically produced but people won’t know what to expect. My hope is if people hear about Rhapsody-N-Soul, it will be just another aspect of creativity. I don’t want to put myself in some box where I do the same thing all the time.”

“It’s exciting to be a part of my wife’s company and for us to be able to work together,” Matthews said. “We have a lot of the same interests, but she has some skills I don’t have, and I have some skills she doesn’t. The two of us coming together has really produced some very serious projects. We have a lot of other ideas, so we’ll continue to do some interesting things together in the future.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

HOW TO GO

What: Rhapsody-N-Soul: “Revival Revelation Rejoice” with Georgia Me, Ralph Farley and others

Where: The Tank, lower level of the Dayton Arcade, 35 W. Fourth St., Dayton

When: 8 p.m. Friday, May 13. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: General admission tickets are $35; 100 VIP seats available for $65 for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. The price includes two drink tickets, hors d’oeuvres, prime seating and early entry to the special pre-show event at 6:30 p.m.

More info: www.soulfirellc.net

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