Poet Ally Are will try to become the second repeat-winner of Morristown Onstage, when she performs in February with Dance Innovations.
They were announced on Tuesday as finalists, chosen from more than 60 acts that auditioned over the weekend for the 11th annual edition of this benefit show.
Are’s poem about struggling to maintain a positive self-image won the $1,000 prize in the adult division in 2015. Dance Innovations competed in 2013.
They will have plenty of competition at the Mayo Performing Arts Center on Feb. 28, 2018. The other finalists:
- Shayna Atkinson and James Moran, Singing with piano accompaniment
- Allison Chong, Acrobatic/Dance
- Jackie & Peter, Singing with piano accompaniment
- The Mau Brothers, Piano Duet
- Nina & The Boyz, Band
- Playful Banter, Singing Duet
- CJ Ryan, Singing
- SideSlam, Band
- June Soriano, Singing
- Spare Tire Band, Band
- Gabrielle Trumbull, Singing
- Juliette Trumbull, Singing
- Zap the Moles, Band
- Liv Zito, Singing
The contest is open to amateur performers who live, work or study in Morristown, Morris Township or Morris Plains, the towns comprising the Morris School District, and to alumni of Morristown High School.
This year’s show raised a record $126,000 for the Morris Educational Foundation, which funds programs in the district.
Contestants will be introduced to the media in early January, and tickets for the show are scheduled to go onsale in February.
A panel of pros will choose prizewinners in the over- and under-18 categories. Prizes also will go to the “most promising” act, and to the crowd’s favorite.
The Fab Three–siblings Sofia, Isabella and Arthur Wawrzyniak–won the youth prize in 2015, after winning third-place honors under a different format in 2013.
“You have to put your best foot forward,” Are coached finalists two years ago.
“If singing’s what you love, act like you love it. If dancing’s what you love, act like you love it. If you don’t love it today, you’d better pretend you’re an actress and act like you love it! If you’re not selling it to the audience, they’re not buying it,” she said in her pep talk.
Ally Are’s winning performance in 2015, video by Kevin Coughlin:
Video: Ally Are pep talk to 2016 finalists:
Video: The Fab 3 win for the second time, in 2015: