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Recovery Lounge offers unique entertainment experience

UPPER JAY By day, its an upholstery shop ... but by night, the 1920s-era building sheds its mundane identity and turns into a scene for some of the best entertainment around. Scott Renderer, owner of Upper Jay Upholstery, transforms his shop periodically into a performance house, The Recovery Lounge. Renderer, who retired from acting and writing in New York City, uses his connections in the creative industry to import acts. Several local favorites, such as Russ Bailey, also use the space to perform. Renderer said the building, known locally as the Old Seed Store, has great acoustics, with the wooden structure offering a warm sound for musical performance. I like it for theatre because its an inconvenient space you have to be inventive, and that helps a director make choices, said Renderer. Sewing tables are pushed aside and curtains are hung to create an intimate performance space with limited seating. Some of the pieces the Upper Jay Upholstery is working on become audience seating. At The Recovery Lounge a pun on the upholstery business that works out of the space performances are often spontaneous and informal. Renderer said he is looking forward to two planned performances. The first takes place on Saturday, Feb. 2, when a group of New York City actors will read a new play titled Flashback based on a book by Penny Coleman. The performance will start at 7:30 p.m., and a donation of $5 is requested. Flashback tells the story of the women left behind when Vietnam veterans tried to come home from their war with post traumatic stress syndrome, but did not make it all the way. Based on interviews with women who survived their husband's suicides, Flashback is both a deeply moving piece of theater and a tragically relevant cautionary tale about war. After the reading, there will be a question and answer session with the author of the show. Renderer said the performance would be similar to a work shop reading, since the play is still in the process of being written. The second will be a presentation by singer/songwriter Amanda Homi on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. Homi is a multi-cultural recording artist who performs in several languages, playing irresistible grooves, infectious rhythms, as well as telling slice of life stories that inspire listeners to sing and dance along. Renderer recently formed The Upper Jay Art Center, which is a non-profit group designed to support performances. He said there are no plans to change the way the under the radar performances operate, but the NPO would help with financial stability. For more information about The Recovery Lounge, check out the Web site at www.upperjayartcenter.com .

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