For me, a typical summer Monday night, still fresh with post-weekend lethargy, usually consists of copious amounts of Internet usage or catching up on the latest episode of True Blood. But last week, thanks to the promise of theater-charged karaoke, my sit-and-lounge plans were proverbially sent backstage.
The Broadway Bar restaurant threw its third-ever “Broadway on Broadway” event, described as a “musical theater open mic,” last Monday, June 4. Complete with a special menu just for the occasion, artsy folks of all ages were invited to get up and sing. Show tunes? Special pizza? I was in.
So I grabbed some of my fellow thespians (we were all in our high school’s drama troupe) and my cutest pair of wedges and hit the town for some evening entertainment. We sat at quaint four-person tabletops in a room filled with the kind of candlelit ambiance you’d find in any intimate jazz lounge. We indulged in polite chit-chat with other college-age performers about their artistic interests as the rest of the room shared stories and clinked wine glasses before the show. I felt at ease, surrounded by fellow arts lovers and people eager to either show off their vocal chops—or just sit back and listen.
From big belters to timid songstresses, and even a gentleman’s own musical composition about “dumpster diving” (which earned a big cheer from my group for its sheer creativity), the wide variety of performances saturated my musical taste. Performers intermittently came up on stage in between campy numbers and theater trivia from the emcee—who, to my extreme amusement, encouraged us to meow every time a word was forgotten in the massive opening sing-along of “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” Even with the jokes and gags, the audience was always respectful—the courage that it took the performers to sing in front of a room of strangers was not lost on anyone.
As soon as my friends and I found the series of songbooks by the live accompanist, all of which were at the audience’s disposal to peruse and perform with, we jumped at the chance to sing together again. Alas, none of the songs were the right feel for us, so we opted to enjoy the other performances instead and plan on returning to the next open mic with our own songbooks (personally, I’m keeping track of our AIDA score).
Open to everyone, the Broadway Bar is hosting its next “Broadway” night on Monday, June 18th, at 7:30 pm. Bring a songbook, bring a buddy, and bring an extra set of whiskers just in case the emcee starts sporadically inserting feline harmonies. For more information, contact the restaurant at (941) 953-4343 or log on to www.broadwaybar.com.