Photos by Frank Santangelo
This past Thursday, the City of Somerville, Somerville Arts Council, and Greg Cook (creator of The Saddest Parade on Earth) debuted the Pity Party, a giant, sad, community festival in Union Square in Somerville.
A pity party is usually a party you have by yourself to wallow in sadness—wear pajamas, binge on ice cream, and listen to sad songs. Now imagine that as a free, community, block party. It’s sad for the whole family.
The Pity Party featured performances by sad musicians (Grace, See This World, Ralph Waldo), melancholy poets (DiDi Delgado and Crystal “Navah da Buddaphliii” Beck of the Society of Urban Poetry), and depressed comedians (Jiayong Li, Tawanda Gona, Christa Weiss, Ted Pettingell). Drabby the Sad Clown (Tom Bush) was also moping around.
They explored the depresstival midway featuring a “Tear Dispensary” by Essie Martsinkovsky, a “Complaint (& Catharsis) Department” by julie ann otis, climate change carnival games by Kari Percival, the debut of the “Sad Sap” video game by Anthony Montuori, “Anti-Sadily Shark Juice Medicine Show” by Be Be and the American Family Happily Institute, sad caricatures by Alex Salsberg, a love letter writing station by Pat Falco (feed your completed letter into a slot that goes right into a garbage can), and unfortunately much more. Local vendors were also there selling ice cream to comfort your worries.
Mainly the Pity Party was aiming to be funny-sad. But it’s also was a chance to express our genuine sadness about troubles in your life and the world. This Pity Party was to be a funny exorcism of all that’s been getting us down. So many turned that grin upside down and helped make Somerville the saddest town around.