By Drew Ailes
By Joseph Hess and Mabel Suen
By Kenny Snarzyk
By Dave Geeting
By David Thorpe
By Ben Westhoff
By Shea Serrano
By Drew Ailes
The longer that I've been doing it, I've been tickled by this whole other audience that I didn't anticipate. If I'm working the door at the club, someone will walk up, maybe a 26-year-old, and I'll ask for their ID or take their cover charge, and just with those few sentences they'll recognize my voice. "You're Grandfather Stark." It's weird. Someone is hearing that voice, and they feel like they know that guy. One time at Off Broadway a guy came up and said, "You know, I don't have kids, I don't care for kids, but your show kinda fucking rocks." He would just be falling asleep after a Friday night of partying, and he'd be listening to the comforting voice and music.
I'll also get these really sweet notes from seniors. They'll start out, "Dear Grandfather Stark: I'm a grandfather myself." And their kids are grown up, out of the house, and maybe they don't get to see their grandkids because they live far away. There's something sweet there, maybe they're missing their kids or wanting their kids, and something is happening. So that's an audience I try not to ignore when I'm on the air.
What inspired the move from Off Broadway to Voce for the series?
212 S. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103
Category: Bars and Clubs
Region: St. Louis - South Grand
It was an invitation. It's a new venue; it has a really nice PA system; the whole room is new and shiny. I like the fact that they'll have a pizza buffet; the kids can pig out while the concert's going on. I like that it's located right in the center of downtown. My hope is that we'll get some people that didn't attend previously because they weren't familiar with Off Broadway. For some people, the club is kind of off by itself; you don't walk past it. Voce is located by the ballpark and the hockey arena, and it's close to the Metro station. Suburbanites will walk right past it on the way to the ballpark. I talked to Steve [Pohlman] at Off Broadway, and he was surprised that I hadn't tried something like this before. He said we'd always be welcome to come back.
Do people drink at these shows?
More than you'd think. There's a lot of bloody marys, a few beers, a good glass of wine. And the kids buy juice boxes. What these shows don't have is a long span of sales; family shows only last an hour, maybe an hour and fifteen minutes. The bartenders always do well on tips.
What's the best show you've done, in terms of attendance and entertainment?
That's tough. I think it was the first of the shows. It was Justin Roberts from Chicago. He's my very favorite in the genre. Every time he puts a record out, it's well produced, well written, and he has such neat metaphors. He might write a song about the first day at school, but it could also be about a first day on the job or the first day of a relationship. His songs might be from a young person's perspective, but they have a much wider reach. That show was the best attended, over 200 people. It was very exciting: The first children's concert in a bar in St. Louis!