Thursday, December 17, 2015

An OMN Birthday Bash

On Sunday December 13th, I entered the Sherman Theater's Living Room in Stroudsburg, PA to partake of another installment of their weekly Open Mic Nite Series Bobby Jo Moran, Theresa Ratcliff, and others who manage the event were busy adorning the room with balloons and Star Wars themed materials in preparation of Ted Hebert's 25th Birthday which would be celebrated that night. Mr. Hebert would serve as the evening's featured performer as well.

It was shortly after the room began to fill toward its capacity was it announced the time had arrived for those wishing to make their desires known about sharing their talents to sign. A line formed quickly as an assemblage of singers, musicians, poets, and comedians eagerly approached the list to add their names to it. Excited conversations followed the ritual as final preparations were being made by those who were to perform that evening. This was until the evening's host, Theresa Ratcliff, took the stage in order to welcome the gathering and share her appreciation for their presence.

It was after her words did she introduce the first act on the list which was a young man known as Creez who moved the house through his original hip hop compositions with a voice that soothed the soul toward an exploration of the deeper avenues of their meaning. Creez was followed by the return of Theresa Ratcliff who was joined by Brian Bramkamp so they could form the popular duo known as “Woodrow” who began their set by singing the Happy Birthday song for Mr. Hebert. Their performance continued as voices and music mesmerized the gathering allowing them to transcend the familiar expectations of their dreams.

Woodrow was followed by a guitarist named Burt who sang with a power which moved each composition toward an orbital lair in which each listener could dwell. Burt was followed by another guitarist known as Dee who is a favorite among the frequent visitors of the room as her ability to bring each song to a new level elevated them. She was followed by a performance artist named Ann Matthews who proceeded to inspire the audience to participate in a song that required movement as well as voice thus transforming the company into a relaxation nation. The conclusion of her performance led to a break as preparations were made for Ted Hebert to share his comedic talents.

Mr. Hebert shared his views on many aspects of popular culture including relationships and the modern requirement of declaring one's status by making it Facebook Official. He also shared his desire to be a time traveler so he could experience certain things for the first time. All this proved to be hilarious as Mr. Hebert's perceptions and delivery of his material inspired a great deal of laughter among the gathering. You can learn more about Ted Hebert by exploring his Facebook Profile at

Ted Hebert was followed by another comedian named Zack Hammond who shared his politically incorrect humor which elicited a great deal of laughter. As the last laugh echoed throughout the room, Theresa Ratcliff and Ted Hebert took the stage to select and announce the winners of the prizes that were raffled off for the evening. They were followed by Guitarist Joe Craig who will be the Open Mic Nite's featured performer on Sunday February 28th. He shared songs that sang to the soul and he was followed by The Carlton who shared a in-depth exploration of his life that led to a profound sadness.

The Carlton was followed by a guitarist known as Andy who moved the gentleness embodied in the audience's serenities through his voice and music. He was followed by Poet Cody Wyoming who shared her thoughtful reflections on some previous performers that allowed those who listened with their heart to gain an elevated perspective. She was followed by duo known as BBQ which consists of Rick and Frank Mitchell. Their sounds guided the psyche to realms left unexplored until their hypnotic beats and words opened the Taco Bellian doors from within. It was after the conclusion of BBQ's performance did the evening's Open Mic Nite reach its conclusion.

The evening's host, Theresa Ratcliff, shared her appreciation with the audience and all who shared their talents as their endeavors and participation help make the night another wonderful one. It was soon after her words did the company bid each other farewell and begin to leave in anticipation of returning the following week for another Open Mic Nite at the Sherman Theater's Living Room. This will be take place on Sunday December 20th beginning at 7pm with sign ins beginning at 6:30pm. The feature performance for the evening will be the band known as The Set Up who won the Battle for your SPOT band competition held at The Living Room on Sunday December 6th. 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 Sunday December 13th event in the An OMN Birthday Bash Gallery at

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 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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