Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

February 14, 2013

Take the stage as open mic series Toast & Jam returns Monday

Night & Day — Get ready to lose those winter blues at Lewiston Council on the Arts’ Toast & Jam open mic series which begins again Monday at the Brickyard Pub & BBQ, 432 Center St., Lewiston. It’s a long way from Greenwich Village but the spirit of the traditional coffee house percolates through the pub where couples, friends and singles come to socialize, relax and check out the local talent scene.

Dale Campbell hosts the open mic on six Monday evenings (through March 25) beginning at 7 p.m. The stage is open to all singers, musicians, poets, actors, dancers, comics and performance artists.

Campbell’s calling card boasts a long history of open mics and he can be heard regularly on WJJL 1440AM, “Just Me and the Dog” and “Dale Campbell - All About Town.”

Most of the people who perform at open mics are not professionals — they do it for the love of it, and part of the fun for the audience is never knowing what to expect. Neophyte songwriters play at open mics to help overcome stage fright. Seasoned pros show up to try out new material on a live crowd just to see how it flies in a room full of fellow performers. Then again, some people use it as a way to learn that playing to a crowd is not their forte.

Toast & Jam provides a unique opportunity for performers to enjoy a moment in the spotlight in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Everyone is welcome at this all-ages show. The format allows about 15 minutes for each performer, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. On one hand, you don’t get much of a chance to warm into their performance, but if someone is really awful, you won’t have to wait too long before it’s someone else’s turn.

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