Rich Howells

New ‘NEPA Scene Live’ series features select local artists on Tuesday nights at Thirst T’s in Olyphant

New ‘NEPA Scene Live’ series features select local artists on Tuesday nights at Thirst T’s in Olyphant
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The NEPA Scene’s Got Talent open mic and talent contest series at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill in Olyphant brought something new and exciting to the Northeastern Pennsylvania arts and entertainment scene two years ago, giving musicians, comedians, poets, magicians, performance artists, and more a unique event to feature and develop their talents, meet and network with each other, and win free cash and big prizes. It is only held for 12 consecutive weeks twice a year, however, so what about all those Tuesday nights in between?

That’s where our new weekly series, NEPA Scene Live, comes in. Starting this Tuesday, Nov. 22, NEPA Scene will be selecting four to six original local artists to perform in a unique show every Tuesday night, starting at 7 p.m. and running until about 10 p.m. Each night will have a different theme, with some nights featuring all musicians, some all comedians, some mixed shows, and a few surprises along the way. On nights where performance schedules may not come together, NEPA Scene editor Rich Howells will host a regular, no-frills open mic. Every NEPA Scene Live event will be free and open to the public, through donations to the artists are encouraged.

As with NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, all performers will be featured in photos and videos on

“Many of the artists who have participated in Got Talent over the years tell us how much they miss it when it’s over, so NEPA Scene Live is a simpler way for us to still meet and feature performers outside of our website. Supporting local artists online is important in this day and age, but so is actually leaving your house and seeing them live – and these are one-night-only performances you need to experience in person,” Howells said.

“We have long since put the cynical notion that ‘there is nothing to do in NEPA’ to rest, so now we’ve giving the public a chance to see why we’re so passionate about these artists and hopefully introduce people to musicians and comedians they’ll want to follow for years to come.”

The first NEPA Scene Live event on Nov. 22 will be a singer/songwriter night with Joe Craig, Used-Car Cowboy, Ryan Barry, and James Barrett, who have all been Got Talent finalists in previous seasons. Each local artist will play original songs (and maybe a few covers) for short sets ranging from 15 to 30 minutes.

The venue opens at 5 p.m. and serves food until 10 p.m. and drinks through 2 p.m. In addition to the regular menu and wide beer selection, specials include Taco Tuesday (three hard or soft shell tacos with tortilla chips, salsa, and sour cream for $5.95) and a Happy Hour with $2.50 domestic bottles and 49 cent wings with your choice of 14 homemade sauces.

“It’s great to have NEPA Scene back on our newly renovated stage, and we hope everyone comes out to see these impressive local performers we have lined up for this series,” Thirst T’s owner Tom “T” Tell said. “Come enjoy dinner and drinks with us and see the best entertainment this area has to offer.”

For a full schedule of NEPA Scene Live events, visit NEPA Scene’s Facebook page. Artists who are interested in participating in the series can e-mail