Watch out Randy,
Paula and Simon. In February and March, Mercer County Community
College (MCCC) will host "Searching for the Stars," a
showcase of talent in the spirit of American Idol, Dancing
with the Stars and MCCC's very own Late Night Series.
to inclement weather on Feb. 22, the first round of the
competition is now set for Friday, Feb. 29 from 7 p.m. to
9 p.m. Performers should arrive at 6 p.m. to sign in. This
round will take place in front of an audience in Kerney
Hall on the James Kearny Campus.
second round of the competition is now set for Friday, Mar.
7, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Performers should arrive at 6:30
p.m. to sign in. This round of the competition take place
in front of the judges only.
third round of the competition remains the same: Mar. 14,
from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Performers should arrive at 6:30pm
to sign in. This is the grand finale where guest judges
from the Apollo Theatre will help select the winner of the
The winner or
winning group of Mercer's "Searching for the Stars" will
be among the featured performers on Amateur Night at the famed Apollo
Theater in New York City's Harlem, scheduled for this spring. The
challenge for local performers is to impress a panel of MCCC judges
- faculty and staff - who in their own unique styles will offer
constructive feedback. Mercer County residents must be 18 or over
to compete in all genres. Contestants will be judged on presentation,
substance, originality, and performance execution. (MCCC faculty,
staff and employees who are not students are not eligible to compete).
Since 1934, aspiring artists and performers have graced the Apollo's
stage. MCCC's lucky star will join the roster of Wednesday night
Apollo alumni that includes such greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah
Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Lauryn
Hill, Dru Hill and Blu Cantrell.
For Jody Person, theatre program coordinator at MCCC and show coordinator,
"Searching for the Stars" is a creative way to build upon
the idea he and other theatre/communications faculty had to establish
a theatre program at Mercer's James Kerney Campus. Over the years,
a Fundamentals of Acting course (Theatre 104) has been taught at
Kerney. Person envisions big productions and more courses.
"We want to introduce the arts to Kerney with a big bang,"
said Person. "In order to make more people aware of the opportunities
that theater creates, this is an exciting way to present our message.
After many e-mails and phone calls, the Apollo agreed to invite
our winning performer to display his/her talents. Both the Apollo
and Trenton have rich histories and the two seemed perfectly matched.
There is so much talent here."
Terrance Carter, student activities adviser and counselor at JKC,
concurs. "Kerney has never hosted a show of this magnitude
before," he said. "The excitement level will be huge once
people hear about it. There is a tremendous amount of undiscovered
talent, a true galaxy of stars in Trenton and Mercer County."
Audition sign-ups will take place Thursday, Feb. 14; Friday, Feb.
15; and Monday through Friday, Feb. 18 to 22 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
in the Student Activities Office, Room 160, on the West Windsor
Campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road, and in the Student Services Office,
Room 209, at JKC. Information packets with guidelines will be distributed
to all individuals who sign up. (Applications may be returned up
until the day of the first audition on Feb. 22.)
Performances on Feb. 29 and March 14 are free and open to the public.
Limited parking is available in college lots on a first come, first-served
basis. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.