Monday, July 20, 2015

A Nite Open to Newness

The Sherman Theater’s Living Room in Stroudsburg, PA held an installment of their weekly Open Mic Nites Series on Sunday July 19th. It's been a while since I've been to the venue and it was good to enter the air conditioned establishment as the temperatures reflected the Summer season at 90 degrees. The coolness of the room met me as those who run the event and their staff were busily preparing for another adventure in talent.

The meteorological qualities of the day produced a sense of laziness among the local population and this was reflected in the manner in which those who would participate in the event. Only a smattering of musicians, singers, and poets arrived before the designated time to sign in so they would be called to share their talents. However, as the evening went on, more and more individuals and groups arrived along with others who increased the size of the audience thus making it an enjoyable night for all.

The evening began as the event's co host, Emily, blessed the mic with her welcoming words and stories of her week's adventure which included a mishap with chickens. The conclusion of her words led to the introduction of Guitarist Burt Kleinle whose energetic renderings of the selections he played moved the audience from their lackadaisical demeanor of which the day induced to a heightened state of wakefulnesses as his performance reached into each listener through the songs' lyrics and melodies to adrenalinize them. As the final note of his performance resonated around the room, Mr. Kleinle was followed by co host, Theresa Ratcliff, who expressed her appreciation for the talent he shared before introducing the next participant. The Spoken Work poet known as The Carlton (Mofos) took to the stage and immediately began to skillfully string his words together like conceptual pearls upon a necklace that would not forgo a remembrance of their murky origins.

The Carlton was followed by a newcomer to the gathering known as “Baby Tooth.” He began with poetry that touched the heart of all who listen to its beat and followed his rendering with some extraordinary hip hop that excited the crowd. He was follow by another first time performer for the gathering who was simply known as “Comedian” who share his reflections on a variety of topics which included a tryst of the character “Thelma” from the cartoon “Scooby Doo. Where Are You?” He was followed by a performance given by the duo known as “Woodrow”, which consists of Theresa Ratcliff on vocals and Brian Brancamp on vocals and Guitar. The subtle rhythms and beats found in their haunting melodies touched the soul's pondering on a starry, starry night while painting their palettes of dreams blue and grey.

Woodrow was followed by crowd favorite known as “Dee Songbird” whose lively tunes inspired the gathering to sing along while clapping their hands and tapping their feet. Ms. Songbird enhanced a number of the songs by blending them with others that at first seemed unrelated but soon created a bond in which the sentiments of one song was complimented by the other. Ms. Songbird was followed by an author named, “Dexter Lopez” who was new to the event and whose words captivated the audience with the truthful depictions embodied in his words. Mr. Lopez was followed by two very talented young girls known as “SK Duo” who recently won a talent contest and decided to share their blessings with an Open Mic audience. All who were present was glad they did as their performance proved to be a delight and wonderment. This outstanding performance was followed by a short break upon which the final performer of the evening took the time to set up his apparatus that would bring an end to the night.

With flight goggles adorning his forehead, Wilbium took the denizens of The Living Room to the air that gives breathe to their dreams as the beats of his renderings moved the spirit to dance. The conclusion of his performance led to co host, Theresa Ratcliff, sharing her appreciation with the gathering for coming out to make the July 19th installment of the Open Mic Series an enjoyable one. The next installment of the Living Room Open Mic Nite Series will take place on Sunday July 26th 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 In the meantime, you’ll be able to find more photographs taken during The Sunday July 19th Open Mic Nite at the A Nite Open to Newness Gallery at

In addition to the Open Mic Nites presented at The Living Room, the venue also holds a Gallery which presents their current Creepy Crawly Exhibition until August 10th. Their next exhibit is titled, “Hot Summer Night” featuring the work of local artists with an Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday August 15th beginning at 6pm. The drop of date for artists who wish to place their work in the show is Monday August 10th from 2pm until 8pm. 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 a non-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 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.

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