Friday, February 26, 2016

A Harmonious Open Mic

The Sunday February 21st installment of the Sherman Theater's Living Room's weekly Open Mic Nite Series welcomed the many who came to partake of the music, comedy, and poetry the venue has become so well known for. The warmer than normal temperatures enhanced the hospitable atmosphere as those who sought to share their talents lined up so their names could be recorded on the sign in list at the appointed time. An eagerness filled them and those who came in support of their endeavors until the moment in which the opportunity to let their desires regarding being part of the performances arrived.

After the sign in procedure came to a close, the event's co-host, Theresa Ratcliff, took the stage to welcome those who were present. She shared some announcements and introduced Bongo Dan who offers to provide percussion to performers who desired it. Ms. Ratcliff and Bongo Dan remained on stage as they were joined by the evening's first performer which was Ann Matthews and her guitar. Together, the trio explored the joy embodied in some rousing songs associated with the Beatles.

As the set concluded, Ms. Ratcliff and Bongo Dan remained once again on stage and were joined by guitarist Brian Bramkamp who, with Ms. Ratcliff, form the duo known as “Woodrow.” Their exceedingly extraordinary talents and interpretations of the songs brought a new dimension to them including “Daydream Believer” which was composed by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio and was originally recorded by The Monkees. The song appears on their 1968 album titled, “The Birds, The Bees, and The Monkees.” A new life was also given to Bob Dylan's “Like a Rolling Stone” which is found on his 1965 album titled, “Highway 61 Revisited.”

Woodrow was followed by Brad whose terpsichorean interpretations looked into and revealed the essence of each song that accompanied him. Brad was followed by comedian Zack Hammond who was introduced to the gathering by co-host, Satilia Rose (aka Tilly), who alternatively shared the honors of presentation with Ms. Ratcliff throughout the evening. The topics Mr. Hammond explored included those relating to the Salvation Army, Film Etiquette, and passing the love to fellow comedians. He was followed by Bongo Dan whose solo performance explored the origins of the blues.

Bongo Dan was followed by Dedzik whose hard core phrasings were strung together on a barb wired thread which cut deeply into every soul that accessorized them. It was after the echoes of his performance resurfaced the contours of the psyche did a break ensue in order to prepare the stage for the much anticipated featured performers for the evening. A great deal of excitement filled the room which crescendoed to fever pitch when they took their first step upon the stage.

From the first moments their voices touched the air with their divine qualities, the female trio known as “The Set Up” caught the gathering up in the flowing serenities of their harmonious utterings. A calmness in their measures allowed each listener to explore the subtext of each song they performed which revealed not only a new meaning to the work but of his/her life in general. This inspired an enthusiastic reception from the Living Room denizens that proved to be well deserved. The Set Up consists of Josefine Cardoni, Hannah Lee, and Charlie Cimino. You can learn more about them by exploring their Facebook Page at

It was after their performance did a raffle take place with the winner receiving a gift card to a local restaurant. With the help of co-host Satilia Rose (aka Tilly), Set Up member, Hannah Lee, picked the winning ticket which was received with great appreciation. A break ensued in order to prepare the stage for the next performer.

Guitarist Walter Lee (brother of Hannah Lee) took to the stage as the break concluded. His clarion voice echoed the substance of his songs as they were absorbed by each listener. He was followed by Guitarist Lauren Bruckstein of the band Azure whose haunting voice transfixed the gathering's communal conscientiousness toward a new awareness. She was followed by John who shared his A Capella renditions of a number of songs. John was followed by comedian Chris Jones who explored the endeavors of buying beer trunk side, life after college graduation, not having a life on Facebook, and the value of voting. The evening officially concluded with a performance given by Wilbium whose electronic musicianship led the crowd into a dance which transcended the senses.

After Wilbium concluded his performance, co-host Satilia Rose (aka Tilly) stepped on stage to announce the main list of performances for the evening was exhausted and there was time enough to present those who placed their names on the waiting list. The first of these was co-host Satilia Rose (aka Tilly) herself who shared poetry whose power permeated the room with their emotions. She was followed by a new comer to the venue named, “Brandy.” Her poetry blended into the mind of all who were touched by their words creating an understanding that transcended understanding. It was with Brandy's concluding words did co-host Satilia Rose (aka Tilly) share her farewells with the gathering while expressing her appreciation for their endeavors and presence. Her words inspired those who heard them to share equally warm adieus with one another as they looked forward toward the next installment of The Sherman Theater's Living Room Open Mic Nite Series.

The next Open Mic Nite is scheduled to take place on Sunday February 28th beginning at 7pm with sign ins beginning at 6:30pm. The featured performer for the evening will be Joe Craig. 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 we took during the Sunday February 21st event in the A Harmonious Open Mic Gallery at

The Sherman Theater’s Living Room is located at 522 Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA. You'll be able to view additional photographs taken during installments of their Open Mic Nites Series by their staff along with videos taken of interviews with the featured artists and the performances of some who attended the event on their Facebook Page. In addition to their Open Mic Nites Series, the venue also holds a number of concerts and special events. Please Explore The Sherman Theater’s Living Room Facebook Page at, The Sherman Theater's Website at, or call 570-421-2808 for more information.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

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