Night Kitchen Too shows off local talent

Musical variety show, Night Kitchen Too, welcomed a full house in from the cold Saturday evening.

Organizer and well-known local music man Joe Callahan said this is the event’s fourth year running.

“It’s to have a mix of musicians come together and entertain an audience that is appreciative. But then have a range of experiences I guess would be the way I would characterize it. Like, you saw a family tonight who had never performed in public before. And then you saw a number of performers who are quite experienced. So it’s really neat to have that kind of mix,” Callahan said after the show.

The family performance that night consisted of Dad and stepdad Joel Molloy, seven-year-old Emera Molloy, 10-year-old Deegan Smith and 13-year-old Deanna Smith.

Molloy said he had a very musical family as a child, which is why getting kids involved with music is a big priority to him now.

"We're a pretty theatrical family so we like to have fun and do this kind of stuff,” he said.

Molloy said Callahan was holding a song circle one day and approached the family, asking if they would like to do a song at Night Kitchen Too.

"This is our first time performing together, but I take these guys to every open mike and song circle I can so they can express themselves and enjoy music,” Molloy said.

When asked if the group was nervous, they all shook their heads like seasoned pros.

"Making people smile. That's what we're here for,” Molloy said.

"And hoping people will like it,” Emera said.

The family performed a Michael Jackson medley, with Molloy on guitar, Deanna as lead singer, and her two younger siblings as vocalists.

Anthony Curran was another young musician who performed at Night Kitchen Too.

Curran is a 20-year-old animation student at Loyalist College who said he’s always loved music. He was in choir at age 10, picked up guitar at 13, and said now he enjoys collecting weird instruments and learning to play them.

Curran said he has performed one other time at Night Kitchen Too about a year ago.

"I have been pretty busy so I haven't had a chance to sign up since then. But I had the chance this time so I really wanted to do it again because I enjoyed it so much last time."

Curran sang and played guitar to an original song called Tokyo.

"I finished writing it today, but I've had it half-written for over a year and it's sort of been sitting in my back pocket," Curran said before the show.

He said he learned about Night Kitchen Too through a course at the college. The course, music as a change agent, was taught by Callahan, who then invited Curran to join the show after hearing him play in class.

"I really like the environment. I think that it's really cool to give a whole bunch of people the opportunity to play. Like, it's always a wide selection of people because each person only does one or two songs, so it gets a lot of people in. And a lot of people get discovered that way and that's really, really cool," Curran said.

Night Kitchen Too takes place about nine times per year, with its home being at the Pinnacle Playhouse, though sometimes other venues are needed when the Belleville Theatre Guild is occupying the space, said Callahan.

The next show will take place on Feb. 25, 8 p.m. at the Pinnacle Playhouse with a $10 fee. Funds made from the entrance fee get split between the performers.

A recap of all the performances from the evening can be seen here:

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