Monday, June 2, 2014
LOCAL COMPETITION ENHANCED BY THREE NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB LADIES
Josephine Araniti/MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2007
Won "Exellance Over All" Statue, Certificate of Appreciation and Cash Prize of $50.00
Jo Ann Gordon/MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2008
Won "#1 in Senior Pop" Statue, and Certificate of Appreciation
Diane Beebe/Member, NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB
Won"#1 in Senior Broadway" Statue, and Certificate of Appreciation
Seniors "down the shore" were encouraged to audition for a new competition called PERFORMING ARTS IDOL, which was presented by the Performing Arts Ensemble of New Jersey. The event was held on Sunday, June 1st at the Algonquin Theater in Manasquan.
The Performing Arts Ensemble, a non-profit 501(c)3 arts organization, was founded in 1987 by Evelyn Gardell, a former professional dancer, and is based in Red Bank. The mission of the PERFORMING ARTS IDOL competition is to bring together, showcase and provide opportunities for exposure for New Jersey's great talent from a variety of performing arts disciplines.
It would seem like a daunting task for a panel of judges to score singers, dancers, novelty acts, ranging from 6 to 96, but this fledging competition managed to rise up to the job. In Act One, the singers competed and were interspesed with group dance numbers, which provided entertainment only. The contestants were judged in their own age groups which were as follows: Kids, 12 and under .... one/dancer; Teens, 13-17 ... five/all singers; Adults, 18-54 ... two, one male singer and one novelty act; Seniors, 55+ ... 5 singers/1 impersonator.
Act Two started off with a company ballet, then was followed by an all-dance competition, seventeen in all, which consisted of solos duets, and one ensemble number. The contest took 3 hours, and its success was due to a tireless backstage staff, who kept the performers moving on and offstage quickly and efficiently.
In the end, it turned out to be a "feel good" event, and everyone won something ... a certificate, trophy and 3 people won $50.00 in cash. Among the six Seniors, three ladies from the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, not only sang well, but raised the bar for the rest of the contestants, regardless of age. After the opening dance number, Josephine Araniti, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2007 was the first contestant. She sang UN BEL DI, from Puccini's opera, MADAME BUTTERFLY. Diane Beebe sang THE PRAYER, and Jo Ann Gordon, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2008, sang COME BACK TO ME. All ladies received warm and generous applause from the audience.
In the end, everyone went home happy ... parents and grandparents who paid good money to send their kids to the Performing Arts Ensemble, were happy to see their kids developing into graceful dancers, and the those in the related arts, got the chance to donn their finest "duds" and sing/dance/or whatever .... on the stage of the Algonquin Theater.
Will this concept of "lumping the arts together", with all age groups, and showcasing them in a competition last? Who can tell? One thing though, it did change the format from an all-dance to a variety show. This reporter is not one to discourage any arts groups from trying to include Seniors in competition. Rather, it should be left up to the Senior him/herself to decide whats best for them.