Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dancing with the Robots at the OMN

Although the town of Stroudsburg, PA held a grand celebration the evening before, the Sherman Theater's Living Room proved the longevity of Halloween does not rely upon a calendar nor does the festive spirit of the holiday. It was on Sunday November 1st did the venue hold a Dance Party featuring a Costume contest and music by Wilbium as part of their weekly Open Mic Nite Series www.facebook.com/OpenMicAtTheLivingRoom. The evening also offered a raffle in which the winner would receive a painting created by Wilbium and a gift card from Dunkin Donuts.

The evening began with the customary parade of talented individuals whose desire to share their gifts led them to the sign in sheet so their names could be counted among the many who propel the Open Mic Nite towards its enchanting effects. It was after a while in which musicians, poets, and comedians anxiously made their final pre performance preparation did the event's co-host Theresa Ratcliff take the stage to welcome everyone to the venue and made a number of announcements on how the night would progress in regards to the costume contest and other aspects of the evening. She then proceeded to introduce the first performers to the gathering.

The Forwardian Players who consisted of Chris (Cee Rock) Roberts and Marisa Olmo shared a theatrical piece titled, “All of Them” written by Paul Adam Smeltz (Yeah, that's me). It took place in the oldest cemetery in Stroudsburg, PA and answered the question, “How many people are dead in this graveyard?” The work was well performed and was well received by the audience as their groans enhanced its seasonal effects. The Forwardian Players were followed by Bambient who shared the lessons to be learned by those who are effected by money and alcohol and place them as the root of their lives.

It was after his recitation did co host Emillie Day Santana take the stage to introduce the next performer simply known as “Jenny.” With a voice that emanated from the depth of her being, Jenny touched the soul of all who listened through her words and melodies as she sang A Capella. Jenny was followed by the poet known as “The Carlton” who spun his words into a web of images and concepts that captured the audience while taking them on a life journey. He was followed by comedian Zack Hammond whose anecdotes on impersonating a lawyer and going to a wave generated a great deal of laughter among the crowd. He was followed by Chris (Cee Rock) Roberts www.facebook.com/crock113officialmusic/?pnref whose voice and guitar filled the room with their powers.

It was after the final notes Chris played with abandonment faded away did Theresa Ratcliff and Brian Bramkamp take the stage to perform as the duo known as “Woodrow” www.facebook.com/wearewoodrow/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf. They moved the room with their songs until the company found their destinations which were very happy places. It was after their performance was the costume contest to begin. Many of the night's denizens stood before the audience to be judged on whose attire was the best, the scariest, and the cutest. I entered the contest as Donald Trump on a good hair day. The parade of contestants concluded with the distribution of ballots upon which the gathering was invited to cast their votes and place their selection in a bowl to be tallied later.

While votes were being cast, Mike Ratcliff took the stage to blend his words into a flowing rap while being accompanied by the vocal percussions of Chris (Cee Rock) Roberts. Mike was followed by another rapper known by the name of “Dedzitc” whose bouncy rhythms added to the beat and enjoyment of each piece. He was followed by a performer know as John who sang with a fearless heart a number of tunes A Capella including the song titled, “Man in the Mirror” which was written by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett and was included in the Michael Jackson 1988 album titled, “Bad.” It was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards.

As John's performance concluded, Wilbium took the stage. The variety of sounds that flowed from the many electronic and computerized apparatuses he utilized transfixed the gathering until they reached the trance like state they have come to joyfully expect from the well loved musician. Mesmerized dancers filled the establishment's floor while those who chose to simply listen allowed their being to be transfigured by the audiolating currents.

The performance Wilbium shared was further enhanced by moving images shown upon a screen adding a depth to each composition. These included visual depictions of external and inner worlds along with Dancing Robots. The winners of the costume contest and raffle drawing were announced during a break in Wilbium's performance but, I (unfortunately) forgot who they were. All I know is my Donal Trump costume didn't win the election. The winners gathered their prizes and the music resumed.

The wildly relaxed evening concluded as the final notes presented to the crowd by Wilbium faded into their absorbent memories. Words of gratitude were shared by the co hosts as were farewells by the gathering. It was a great night filled with music, laughter, poetry, and everlasting friendships inspiring all to eagerly await the next installment of the series. The next installment of the Living Room Open Mic Nite Series took place on Sunday November 8th and featured Milton Delgado. An article about this is forthcoming. The Open Mic Nite to follow will be held on Sunday November 15th beginning at 7pm with sign ins beginning at 6:30pm featuring the Robb Taylor Band. Musicians, poets, writers, and anyone who would like to share something with a receptive audience are welcomed to do so. In the meantime, you'll be able to view the photographs I took during the Halloween Dance Party in the Dancing with the Robots at the OMN Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154332976648761.1073741918.91146283760&type=3.

In addition to the Open Mic Nites presented at The Sherman Theater’s Living Room, the venue also holds a Gallery. Their next exhibition will be their Work in Progress Exhibition with an Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday November 14th beginning at 6pm. This will be followed by their Black Saturnalia Exhibition with an Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday December 12th beginning at 6pm. The Drop off date for artists who wish to place their work in the show is Monday December 7th beginning at 2pm. Please contact the gallery at 570-421-2808 for more information.

The Sherman Theater’s Living Room is located on Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA next to The Sherman Theater who owns the building. The Sherman Theater’s Living Room is a non-profit artspace and community hub featuring live music, exhibitions, and other events in an intimate setting at affordable prices. Please Explore The Sherman Theater’s Living Room Facebook Page at
www.facebook.com/pages/The-Living-Room/123978921059378 for more information on the venue, all they have to offer, and how to be a part of it all.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

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