Friday, March 18, 2016

A Comedy Open Mic

The joyous anticipation of laughter filled the air as poets, musicians, and others lined up on Sunday March 13th to place their name upon the sign in sheet so they could share their talent during the weekly installment of the Sherman Theater's Living Room's Open Mic Nite Series. The evening would feature comedian Russell Austin who has shared his humorous observations in the past as a denizen of the venue. But, tonight he would reveal the whole gamut of his work upon which everyone eagerly awaited. The evening was also made special with the presence of Photographer extraordinaire, Mimi Dawn, who captured the evening through her awe inspiring imaging techniques.

There were a number of comedians performing that night and many members of the gathering who signed in to perform listened to their bantering while waiting for the night to begin. It did so when the event's co-host, Theresa Ratliff, took the stage to welcome those who were present and shared some announcements before introducing the first performer. B. A. M. B. I. E (aka Brad) shared poetry that explored the interiors of mind which dismissed uniformity that denied the humanity found in acceptance which led to a song. Brad was followed by Woodrow with Theresa Ratliff on Vocals and Brian Bramkamp on Guitar who entranced the gathering with their soulful tunes.

Woodrow was followed by poet Juice Box Fairy whose words moved the audience with their smiles and Satilia Rose (aka Tilly) (who alternatively co-hosted throughout the evening with Ms. Ratliff) joined him in a duet of recited lines that proved to be deeply entertaining. They were followed by Emmit Derrick whose bluesy harmonica gave the venue a flavor of New Orleans. He was followed by Ann Matthews who performed a spoken word piece that delved into the magic of mayonnaise. It was after the conclusion of her humorous dissertation did a break ensue while Mr. Austin prepared to perform.

Russell Austin immediately elicited laughter from the audience through his unique revelations to the life experiences he had encountered. They ranged from on line dating, night terrors, doing shots in order to understand someone he met in a bar, and more. Mr. Austin finished his routine by sharing a song he wrote but remained on stage afterwards in order to select a ticket for the evening's raffle whose prize was a gift card to a local Red Robin Restaurant. You can learn more about Russell Austin by exploring his Facebook Page at

It was after Mr. Austin's set did another break take place which enabled many to chat with the comic as well as share their experiences of the evening thus far with their friends. The conclusion of the break led to the comedian known as Elliott Elliott to come on stage who spent his time reliving the endeavors of being cool in high school, skating parties, and frozen hammers. He was followed by comedian Chris Jones who spoke on topical issues such as going back to school, the recently held Super Tuesday primaries, and purchasing LSD at Dunkin Donuts. He was followed by Guitarist Joe Craig who enchanted the audience while teaching them the deeper realizations found in the profound art of smiling through his songs.

Mr. Craig was followed by a performance art group known as Play with your Eyes which consisted of Satilia Rose (aka Tilly) on baby piano, Elliot Terrill on adult keyboard, and Anthony DeRobertis (aka Frenesi Gates) on something everyone wanted. Together, their performance set new expansions on the boundaries of the mind and all its perceptual qualities. They were followed by newcomer Brandon Dougherty who explored the rhythmic textures of life through his poetry.

As Mr. Dougherty completed his words, he was followed by Wilbium who needed some time to prepare for his performance. In the interim, a special guest to the Living Room stepped on stage to entice some memories from the gathering. A. P. (aka Andrew Paul) co hosted the Open Mic Nites before leaving the venue to be a parent. His family attended the event and they collectively injected the gathering with a very good dose of love. A. P. entertained the crowd through his much missed vocal percussions and other antics he was well known for. It was after his performance was Wilbium ready to render his concoctions of psychedelic formulas which was administered through his music resulting in a great deal of dancing.

It was after Wilbium completed his set did the evening officially end. However, since there was more time to the night, those whose names were on the waiting list were able to perform. The first of these was Cody Wyoming who began by sharing the secrets of her Magic Scarf whom she would give to Brad before moving the room with her poetry and giving a performance on her ukulele. She was followed a newcomer known as Jio Cookie Eater whose every poetic phrasing was bruised with pain and spoken while Anthony DeRobertis (aka Frenesi Gates) sat on stage behind eating a banana.

He was followed by another newcomer named Iesha Whitaker whose voice touched the deepest part of our souls. It was as the final note she shared echoed around the room did co-host, Theresa Ratliff, take the stage to bid everyone adieu and invited them back to partake of the following week's festivities. A great deal of anticipation filled the gathering as they contemplated their next visit to the venue as they walked out the doors.

The next Open Mic Nite is scheduled to take place on Sunday March 20th beginning at 7pm with sign ins beginning at 6:30pm. The featured performer for the evening will be Tony Memmel. 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 March 13th event in the A Comedy 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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