Where It’s At ... open mic!

Posted:  Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 12:00pm

Story Location:
86 Townsend Avenue
Boothbay Harbor  Maine  04538
United States

Live! At the Opera House in Boothbay Harbor Friday, March 9, it’s ... YOU!

Or it could be.

If you’re ready to take your singing act out of the shower or the car and into the public eye; if you’ve dreamed of reading one or two of your poems or free verse to a group of real people – instead of your pets; if you are ready to share your love of playing guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, ukulele, flute or drums ... you should be at open mic night. Sign up begins at 6:30 p.m. and performances at 7. 

Now, you may be thinking what, me sing in public?! Are you out of your mind? Oh. No wait. That would be me. But, think about it. The historic bar at the Opera House is the perfect place to come out from the shower curtain: The audience will be neighbors, family, friends ... and if you need a wee bit of liquid courage, there will be beer, wine and mixed drinks available – just ask the friendly barkeep. Or, maybe you know a musician who could share the spotlight with you – no need to sing A capella. Take Gerry “Mr. Southport” Gamage. At the February open mic he sang “Old Man River” with piano accompaniment by Genie O’Connell. If you’ve never heard Gerry sing ... you’re in for a treat ... if he shows up ...

Musicians are a sure thing at open mic. Some of the regulars, according to this month’s host – and fiddler – Bruce MacDonald include John Leonard, Tim Hanley, Bill (the Plummer) Walsh, Chip Schwehm, Skip Simon ... Lillian Sherburne, host of the January and February open mics, played ukulele and sang. And, a new singer-songwriter-guitarist about town, John Schindler has performed. MacDonald says Schindler’s songs are “ ... very evocative.”

In addition to fiddle, ukulele, guitar and piano, music's come from a concertina, banjo, and mandolin ... however, as Cathy Sherrill (executive director of the venue) notes, “There’s always room for horns!?” 

Poetry writers are always welcome. At open mics past, Jean Webster has read some of her work. That’s the thing: All poetry must be original. So, if you’ve dreamt of reading Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” or “Leigia” somewhere other than Halloween parties and potlucks ... your dream continues! Short short stories (less than 1,000 words) are cool, and free verse? Let it flow! 

I’m not sure if it’s been done before, but a 5-7 minute dance performance –  ballet, tap or jazz – would really bring down the house! Well, maybe not. Even if the mic was near the floor, particularly with the ballet ... 

And where have all our local stand up comedians gone? Try out your new material on this open mic audience before that big Portland gig ... 

If March is anything like January and February, there should be around 75 people in the audience. “The attendance has been incredible,” Sherrill said (and quite happily I might add). “There have been 15-18 acts each time by performers middle school-aged to octogenarians!”

Start your Friday night off at open mic ... but don’t be surprised if your muse begins a-callin’!

Donations are encouraged at the door. That’s at 86 Townsend  Ave.

Questions? Call 633-5159. No auditions, please!