By Marion Filler and Tyler Barth
Maggie Waldron and her mom have enjoyed Morristown Onstage together for years. But one year stands out.
When Maggie was in middle school, she saw a friend perform.
“I admired her so much and thought it was the most amazing thing. I told myself I would never give up until I finally could do what she could do,” said Maggie.
Her persistence paid off.
On her third try, Maggie made the cut. On Feb. 26, 2020, she will be among 15 top amateur acts from Greater Morristown competing at the Mayo Performing Arts Center for cash and fame. It’s the 13th year for Morristown Onstage, a fundraiser for programs in the Morris School District.
The Morris Knolls High School sophomore will sing Dead Mom from Beetlejuice, a Broadway revival of the 1988 movie.
“Singing fills me with a different type of passion, more than just wanting to do well in school. It gives me like, this electricity. It makes me feel so safe,” she said.
Maggie studies with a private coach and attends the Vocal Performance Academy at Morris Knolls, where she is friends with fellow finalist Bobby Becht.
Petite and sophisticated, Maggie will wear a one-shoulder, black sequined dress during her number. Although she caught the performing bug when she was 8, “I’ve never tried out for anything as competitive as this.”
And if she wins the $1,000 prize?
“I’d like to take my mom out for a nice dinner.”
Produced by the nonprofit Morris Educational Foundation, Morristown Onstage is open to amateurs who live, work or study in Morristown, Morris Township or Morris Plains, and to alumni of Morristown High School. From more than 60 acts that auditioned, 15 were chosen to compete on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. Show business pros will award $1,000 to the top youth and adult performers, and the audience favorite will take home $500. Tickets go on sale Jan. 29. Proceeds benefit Morris School District programs.