A Busboys and Poets in-house series! Rise + Rhyme is a weekly morning storytelling and performance series for children ages 5 and under. Mr. Gabe is the not terribly imaginative stage name of Gabe Hutter, a stay-at-home dad who lives in Takoma Park, Maryland. After the younger of his two children started kindergarten, Gabe decided it was time to get out into the world again. One afternoon, he was sitting in a coffee shop in Silver Spring, racking his brain about what he might do, when his attention was drawn to a bit of commotion coming from an adjacent room. A children’s performance was just finishing up, and the sight of the handful of smiling parents and their kids wandering out of the performance space provided a bolt of inspiration. Mr. Gabe was born.
It helped, of course, that Gabe had been playing guitar and singing music for many years and that thanks to being a dad he knew plenty of children’s songs. He also knew the ideal place to launch his new career: the Takoma Park Maryland Library, home to a wildly popular circle time on Tuesday mornings. He asked Karen McPherson, the children’s librarian and host of the event, if he could perform a few songs, and she agreed. The performance went well, and Gabe has been returning to the library ever since, appearing there every second Tuesday of the month and occasionally on Saturdays as well. He has also performed at other local events and at birthday parties. Gabe’s repertoire is a work in progress. Currently, it combines classic children’s folk songs and nursery rhymes with child-friendly pop songs and a smattering of originals.
A typical Mr. Gabe performance might start with a medley of “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” “the ABC Song,” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” move on to “Do Re Mi” from the “The Sound of Music,” culminate in a rousing rendition of “Five Little Monkeys” and end with “Yellow Submarine” by the Beatles. (See the complete list of songs.) Throughout his performances, Gabe encourages the audience – children and grown-ups – to sing, shout, stomp, dance, and make animal and car noises. So is seeing Mr. Gabe an educational experience? “Perhaps, in the larger sense of the word,” Gabe mused when asked that question recently. “But my goal is really to allow the children – and me – to have fun. And to set them up for a nice long nap afterwards.”
I would like to take the time to thank you for the support provided to our organization, Latin Fashion Week. The event was a huge success thank to the cooperation of company like Cultural Tourism DC and people like you.