Writers and musicians came together in benefit of Oakland Children’s Hospital and Research Center at the annual event, Notes and Words. This year’s installment featured an hour long set from Cake as well as comedy from John Hodgman and words from authors Anne Lamott, Michael Chabon and Kelly Corrigan. The benefit always draws a large crowd to the Fox Theater in Oakland and this year was no exception.
Before Cake hit the stage, comedian Hodgman had the crowd in hysterics. The comic’s biggest claim to fame is his portrayal as the PC along side Justin Long in a long running ad campaign that has turned his name into a Trivial Pursuit answer. Those commercials are long gone now and Hodgman had no qualms reminding the audience exactly who he was.
His self deprecating humor worked well, even in front of an audience that didn’t pay the price of admission just to enjoy his comic stylings. Charity events can fill venues with the definition of a tough crowd. Hodgman handled it like a pro and got the laughs he needed.
The rest of the night went smoothly as well. Anne Lamott owned the stage. Michael Chabon had a polite shyness about him but captivated the audience nonetheless. And Kelly Corrigan won the crowd over with a refreshing attitude after reading a memorable excerpt from her recently published book.
Most charity events have a strict theme and can become stale. Notes and Words is an exception and delivers with a diverse line up every year. The show’s attendees have come to expect the unexpected. The night moves along quickly with no set changes. Each performer introduces the next and the entertainment is non stop.
The bulk of the wine in the room had been polished off by the time Cake hit the stage. That would explain the dancing that quickly ensued after a few offerings from the band. The Bay Area natives performed a solid 60 minute set that ran through every recognizable song they’ve recorded. The night was a memorable one and gave attendees a chance to see a wide variety of talent hit the same stage. All for a great cause.