MORRISTOWN, NJ – The Morris Educational Foundation (MEF) has announced this year’s panel of professional judges which includes 2016 semi-finalist on The Voice and New Jersey native, Brendan Fletcher. Brendan was introduced to Morristown ONSTAGE last year when his friend and fellow musician, Jay Phatak, competed for the top prize and won last year’s 19 and over category.
This year, the following four distinguished judges from the arts profession, including Brendan Fletcher, will judge the competition:
Eileen Bernstein - Based in New York City, Eileen began her career in feature and independent films. She has held many producing titles including executive, supervising, coordinating and line producer of entertainment events over the past 30 years. From Comedy specials to award winning live television, landmark 66+ hour live TV events, from Finland’s Artic Circle to Hollywood’s boulevard to Carnegie Hall, her accomplishments are seen on big and small screens across the globe. Memberships include the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and The Producers Guild of America. Eileen is also an alumna of Morristown High School.
Brendan Fletcher - Soulful singer/songwriter Brendan Fletcher got his start touring bars in New Jersey and New York City. Influenced by the great rock, soul and blues musicians Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, and Bruce Springsteen, Brendan writes and performs music with an old soul sound. His original music, with songs like “Maria” and “Boston,” draws inspiration from his childhood summers spent on the Jersey Shore, his family, heartbreak, and his journey to find his unique voice. In 2016, Brendan competed on the 11th season of NBC’s hit show The Voice, singing his way to the semi-finals.
Bill Franzblau - Bill created and produced the Tony Nominated Best Play Say Goodnight Gracie, and produced David Mamet’s American Buffalo on Broadway, and the tour of Little House on the Prairie the Musical starring Melissa Gilbert. He also served as the Executive Producer and Lead Producer for the Broadway show Wonderland. He licensed and produced the Off-Broadway shows, Sistas the Musical, Jewtopia, Evil Dead the Musical, The Male Intellect: an oxymoron, Respect and Illuminate (America’s Got Talent Finalist). Bill recently produced ROCKTOPIA opening on Broadway on March 20th starring Pat Monahan from “Train” and Tony Vincent and Kimberly Nicole from “The Voice”.
Ali Skylar – Based in Morristown, Ali is a playwright, composer and lyricist with over 30 years creating and producing musical theater for family audiences. Her shows The Cure for TV-itis and FeelingSongs toured for over 15 years in performing arts centers, theaters and schools nationwide. She is the recipient of the Parent’s Choice Award for Recipes In A Song. Ali is currently bringing her musical dramedy, Life Sucks...Just Kidding! to the stage with Broadway director, Donna Drake. The show will be presented March 4 at the Center for Spiritual Living in Morristown.
For the fifth year in a row, this year’s Master of Ceremonies and host of the show will be Tara Bernie, an Emmy-nominated senior producer and Morristown resident.
“The Morris Educational Foundation is very excited to be sponsoring the 11th annual production of our talent show, Morristown ONSTAGE” said Molly Servais, MEF Board Member and Chairperson of the Morristown ONSTAGE Committee. “We are thrilled to have this panel of professional judges and are looking forward to another great night celebrating great talent and great schools here in Morristown! We are grateful to our community for their support of this event.”
The event will showcase the best amateur talent from Morristown, Morris Plains and Morris Township. The show will be held on February 28, 2018 at 7 pm at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in
Morristown, New Jersey. There is a $1,000 cash prize for 1st place for contestants ages 19 and over, $1,000 cash prize for 1st place for contestants ages 18 and under, a $500 award for the “Audience Choice” Winner which will be determined by text-to-vote on the night of the show, and a $250 prize named in honor of Fran Rossoff, former event chair. The Rossoff Rising Star Award is given to a promising contestant by the Morristown ONSTAGE Committee to be used for lessons in their chosen talent.
Atlantic Health System Morristown Medical Center is the event’s Headline Sponsor.
Last year, the event raised over $126,000 for the Morris Educational Foundation.