It has been some time since I was able to attend the weekly Open Mic Nites held at The Sherman Theater’s Living Room in Stroudsburg, PA. But, on Sunday May 10th, I had the good fortune to be present at the venue in order to enjoy an evening of poetry and music performed by a variety of individuals and groups that made the waning hours of the day something truly wonderful. However, the event would hold a degree of sadness as Andrew Paul (aka AP) would announce he would no longer perform the function as the Open Mic Nite Series' co host as the responsibilities of becoming a new father beckons.
An hour or so prior to this announcement, AP took the stage to welcome the gathering to the event and proceeded to introduce the evening's first performer. Guitarist Burt Kleinle played a number of songs associated with the group Nirvana with all the generational frustration embodied in the grunge band. He was followed by a poet known as SP who shared his words seasoned with hesitant pauses that created a space filled with a presence that created an intoxicating transcendent abyss in which all who listened to its silence delved. After his alloted time had expired, SP was followed by Jesse Morales who shared his heart felt words that were composed on his laptop computer that followed the steps one takes when faced with life's disappointments until the destination of letting go is reached.
Jesse was followed by a musician known as Maxwell who utilized his laptop computer to create some instrumental compositions that touched the realm of fantasy that resides in each listener. Maxwell was followed by a duo known as “Your Boy Brian and Rachey” which consisted of Brian on drums and Rachey on guitar and vocals who, together, offered songs whose music and lyrics that were powerful in and of themselves but transcended their magnificence through the delivery of them by the duo. Their performance was followed AP who took the stage to share his announcement regarding his leaving the event so he can concentrate on becoming a father. This was met with a mixture of sadness and joy as the departure of a well loved friend will lead him to the wonderments of sharing a life with a child.
The announcement was followed by a performance given by Cee Rock www.facebook.com/crock113officialmusic?pnref=story who shared a number of original pieces along with some written by other well established composers. The qualities of the original work and the cover tunes proved to be indistinguishable from one another as the power and musical skills of Cee Rock defined and redefine the essence of each song through his unique and transcending interpretations. Cee Rock was followed by Kevin Tails Moucha who began his set with some songs sung in A Capella but ended his performance abruptly as the emotions embodied in the pieces overtook him. His sudden departure led to a break in which AP seized the opportunity to playfully dance and sing to the delight of many while others went outside to enjoy the warm evening air and the even warmer conversations the event inspired.
As the break concluded, a poet named Cody Burawski took the stage and shared her powerful words with many relating to her experiences in Stroudsburg, PA while other compositions dealt with the overwhelming aspects of life in general. During her time on stage, she was joined by Jesse Morales to share a song together. The performance brought an end to the evening as AP came to the stage and was soon surrounded by members of the Open Mic Nite gathering who sang to him the song “Closing Time” by Semisonic which AP is known to play at the end of each open mic nite. The song ended with a group hug that radiated the love and appreciation felt throughout the room for AP and his contributions in making the weekly event something wonderful. He will be missed.
The next installment of the Living Room Open Mic Nite Series will take place on Sunday May 17th 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. You can learn more about The Living Room Open Mic Nite Series by Exploring their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/OpenMicAtTheLivingRoom. In the meantime, you’ll be able to find more photographs taken during The Sunday May 10th Open Mic Nite at The Living Room at
www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153835825143761.1073741848.91146283760&type=1. You'll also find our archive of photographs taken of various events taking place at The Sherman Theater's Living Room throughout 2015 at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153108259710421.1073741966.636000420&type=1 as well as archival photographs of events featuring the Performing Arts throughout Monroe County, PA and beyond at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.789279141163124.1073741841.207838092640568&type=1.
In addition to the Open Mic Nites presented at The Living Room, the venue also holds a Gallery which presents their current exhibition titled, “Express Your Selfie” and will continue to be on display until May 25th. Their next exhibit is titled, “Music: My Universal Language” featuring the work of local artists with an Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday June 6th beginning at 6pm. The exhibition will continue to be on display until June 28th. Please contact the gallery at 570-421-2808 for more information.
The Living Room is located on Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA next to The Sherman Theater who owns the building. The Living Room is anon-profit artspace and community hub featuring live music,exhibitions, and other events in an intimate setting at affordable prices. Please Explore The Living Room Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Living-Room/123978921059378 for more information on The Living Room, all they have to offer, and how to be a part of it all.
Photography by Paparazzi Paul.