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With a little help from modern technology, these hosts opened up their shows to the world.

BWW Feature: And The Nominees Are... BEST REGULARLY SCHEDULED OPEN MIC PROGRAMIn New York City, in San Francisco, in London, in cities all around the world, nightclubs host open mic nights, and performers of all different demographics turn up to take a chance, to sing their song, to hone their skills, to keep the pipes from rusting. What on earth were those people going to do when the show business shutdown hit?

Thanks to these innovative and dedicated hosts, the open-mic nights didn't stop with the pandemic - they just evolved. It took some time, some study, some trial and error, but eventually each of these hosts find their way in the New Medium, found their voice as an online host, and found their audience.


Cabaret On The Couch - YouTube: A monthly concert series created and curated by Ian McQueen, the charming show has gained so much popularity since its' debut in March that the length of the episodes has grown from an hour to ninety minutes. With delightful hosts who, it is clear, care about the performers being spotlighted, the show has a slant toward the younger generation. It's fresh and new, it's fun and youthful, it's definitely worth checking out, especially for anyone looking to see who the next wave of club and concert artists will be.

Thirsty Thursday with Nora Lyn Kennedy - YouTube: An industrious woman if ever there was one, Nora Lyn Kennedy hosts a recurring Open Mic night at Don't Tell Mama in NYC. That show, Thirsty Thursday, was placed on hiatus in March (because pandemic) and Kennedy decided to take the show online. A woman working on her own to produce her show, Kennedy has not had the resources to create as often as some of the other nominees, so her fans have tuned in to her YouTube channel every three months to be a part of Thirsty Thursday online.

Jim Caruso's Pajama Cast Party - YouTube: Arguably the most famous Manhattan Open Mic night, Jim Caruso's Cast Party didn't have to wait long before taking the internet by storm. Like most, Caruso took a couple of weeks in quarantine to sit and look out the window, but after less than a month, he had created his weekly show and filled the roster with famous names right out of his personal phone book. Since he was still in his jammies, the show had an appropriate name; and even though he is no longer dressed in flannel when he greats the guests, it still feels like a PJ party with your best friends. Producer Ruby Locknar deserves special praise for keeping it running smoothly - and when it doesn't, for fixing it fast and for making her own charming appearances onscreen now and then.

Spotlight On You Open Mic - Facebook Live: A force for good in the cabaret and club scene of New York, Natasha Castillo hosts a regular Manhattan-based Open Mic night in Midtown. The eternally hopeful Castillo was not able to abandon her throngs of fans who rely on the regular opportunities to perform for others, so she created a Zoom Room weekly show that is always PACKED with participants. It is the online Open Mic show with the greatest feeling of community - all who join in know one another, making it a perfect way to see their friends while remaining socially distant, See the Spotlight On You Facebook page HERE and a YouTube archived show below.

Harold Sanditen's Open Mic Party - Live On Zoom: Sanditen's London-based Open Mic Party is one of the popular regular events in big city across the pond. Harold took it upon himself to create an online version of his show that really glistens with production values. Eschewing the risks of technical snafus in real-time, Harold presents pre-filmed music videos while chatting with his guests. It's slick, it's professional, and it's fun, and Sanditen, clearly, has some pretty impressive names in his phone book, too.

Groovin' On a Sunday: An eight-year tradition around NYC, this Open Mic show hosted by Ann McCormack and Woody Regan went online via Facebook live and members of the community fill the computer screen via Zoom Room. It's a festive way for friends to stay in touch and still raise their voices in song. See one of their videos on Facebook HERE.

Visit the Groovin' On a Sunday Facebook page to learn more and see videos HERE.

Singnasium Singapalooza: A performing arts educational institution, Singnasium created an Open Mic for anyone to attend, with updates and information, reservations and Zoom links, provided to anyone interested. There is no online representation of their Open Mic programs that Broadway World could find. Singapalooza is a ZOOM open mic made available on the Singnasium website HERE.

Cast a vote for the virtual open mic program you most enjoy HERE.

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From This Author Stephen Mosher