Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Woodrow OMN-mas

The Sherman Theater's Living Room in Stroudsburg, PA celebrated the upcoming holidays with special culinary offerings to be enjoyed during their Sunday December 20th installment of their weekly Open Mic Nite Series www.facebook.com/OpenMicAtTheLivingRoom. A table which consisted of donations of clothing to benefit those in need of such items for the winter was being filled while Bobby Jo Moran was at another table continuously stirring a crock pot filled with a chocolaty brew. Canned whip cream and mini marshmallows were available to those wishing to experience the full effects of the mesmerizing Hot Cocoa while an assortment of cookies adorned the snack table alongside Styrofoam cups filled with popcorn. All this enhanced not only the flavor of the season but the performances that populated the evening.

After the customary sign in ritual which allowed those who wish to share their talents to give a voice to their desires, co host, Theresa Ratcliff, took the stage to welcome the company to the venue and to make some announcements. One of these proclamations shared the news that she and Brian Bramkamp would be performing as the featured act as “Woodrow” and thus the hosting of the evening would be handed to co host Satilia Rose (aka Tilly) and guest host Renee Elizabeth Eisenhardt.

The first performer the dazzling duo introduced was a comedian known as Wilbur who explore the multitudinous levels of crying and the frustration one faces while receiving bilingual directions to Spruce St. Wilbur was followed by a poet known as Juice Box Fairy whose turbulent words traveled into the listener's thoughts like whitewater vessels skipping along the rapids of a calm blue sea. The Juice Box Fairy was followed by a guitarist known as Vincent who sang songs populated with words that expanded upon their meaningfulness with every utterance.

The conclusion of Vincent's performance led to the presentation of The Forwardian Players' Christmas Pageant which was written by Paul Adam Smeltz (yeah, that's me). It starred Renee Elizabeth Eisenhardt as Mary and Wilbium Mohlenhoff as Joseph. The acting was stunning as the well received piece answered the question “How Jesus Got His Name.” The Forwardian Players' were followed by Ann Mathews who shared a song she had written so recently that its lyrics had to be attached to Pizza boxes with duct tape to aid in her memory of their content. A brief break ensued after Ms. Matthew's performance as Woodrow prepared to share their considerable talents with the gathering.

The duo shared a number of original pieces whose ability to touch the heart filled the soul with their otherworldly embodiments. They later shared songs written by other artists with interpretations that transcended the essence of the performers associated with them. A meaningful countenance filled the gathering as they listened to the mystic music generated by Theresa Ratcliff and Brian Bramkamp. You can learn more about “Woodrow” by exploring their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/wearewoodrow/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf.

Another break took place as an old friend of The Living Room prepared to perform. Jesse Morales was a frequent performer many months ago during the Open Mic Nites and his eagerly awaited return gladdened the hearts of many who remembered him. The first notes that accompanied his powerfully rich voice elevated the delight of those who appreciated his talent as well as those who were newly initiated toward its magnificence. Jesse was followed by Poet Cody Wyoming who utilized a guitar to emphasize the haunting beats that laid quietly within her poetry. She was later joined by Jesse Morales who accompanied her on guitar while she gave voice to the deepest realms of each listener's soul.

Cody Wyoming and Jesse Morales' performance was followed by that given by Melissa Ann whose powerful voice surrounded her first selection with an A Capellic embrace that gave the song an unique substance unheard by any previous interpretation. Her later pieces were joined by music which only enhanced their effects on those who listened with the fullness of their being. She was followed by Michelle Leanna Zbinden who enchanted the crowd through her songs and her voice. Michelle was followed by John who began his set with some Christmas and was joined by Brad. Their combined musical talents delighted the crowd. Later, John sung some songs from musicals in a manner that brought their grace and theatricalities to the room.

As John completed his set, Wilbium took to the stage and prepared his electronic keyboard, guitar, and other computerized apparatuses to end the evening with wild and abandoned dancing. The lights were dimmed so special colored illuminations could merge with the dancers as they moved about the room. The palpitated beats of the music joyfully effected the bodies that explored their physical limitations upon which forms came into being once such boundaries were surpassed. It was wow.

Eventually, the music and dancing came to an end. It was at this time did those who hosted the Open Mic Nite share their wishes for an enjoyable holiday as they bade their farewells. These sentiments included some touching words shared by guest host Renee Elizabeth Eisenhardt whose sentiments expressed a love for the venue that reflected the language spoken within everyone's heart. Her utterances inspired the entire gathering to hope her presence will continue to bless the event forever.

It was soon after Ms. Eisenhardt spoke did Theresa Ratcliff and Satilia Rose (aka Tilly) sing a final song as an expression of goodbye before the company departed in anticipation of another installment of the Open Mic Nite in the new year of 2016. This will be take place on Sunday January 3rd beginning at 7pm with sign ins beginning at 6:30pm. 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 photographs taken during the Sunday December 20th event in the A Woodrow OMN-mas Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154438062013761.1073741933.91146283760&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 is yet to be announced
. 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 or call 570-421-2808 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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