This past Wednesday, Davie bar and performance space Stage 84 welcomed back Karaoke with Kenii. Rebecca Dittmar was there to hear the results.
I don't always attend karaoke nights, but when I do, I prefer Stage 84 in Davie.
Kenii, a statuesque black man with audacious blond hair, scrolled through the thousands of song titles on his laptop, waiting for his next victim performer. He had some pretty sophisticated equipment and several thousand songs in multiple languages.
Unfortunately, the return did not draw a crowd: There were only about five patrons in the bar but the arrival of our friends doubled that. I sat on a little sofa about four feet from Kenii. Being the karaoke host extraordinaire, he did his very best to try to convince us to sing.
"You ladies have the deepest, sexiest voices I've ever heard! What
are you going to sing?" I gave him the repressive sort of smile I give
to people on the street who try to hand me pamphlets about the end of
the world and hid behind my vanilla porter. "Fine," said Kenii. "If
nobody's gonna sing I'll just practice." He started up a song.
A quiet little beer bar in Davie off State Road 84, Stage 84 is a cozy venue. A lovely woman in a shawl is eager to bring you drinks and will talk at length about the different beers available. I happily took a few puffs of the hookah that was offered to me.
Luckily for Kenii, unlike me, my friends are not karaoke spoil sports. Free first-timer shots were given out to the brave belters before they sang. There was a stage, but nobody got up on it, preferring to simply pass the microphone around. In quick succession there was a Brad Paisley song, "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" a la Boyz II Men, and a rousing rendition of Cee Lo's classic family favorite, "Fuck You." (It was actually the radio-friendly "Forget You" version, but we fixed that.)
All of this can be yours if you just head over to Stage 84 this Wednesday around 9 p.m. Get your free "courage" shot, and say "Hi" to Kenii for me.
Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.