NEPA Scene Staff

NEPA Scene hosts Mid-Winter Talent Showcase at The Woodlands in Wilkes-Barre on Feb. 27

NEPA Scene hosts Mid-Winter Talent Showcase at The Woodlands in Wilkes-Barre on Feb. 27
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Comedians, musicians, poets, and magicians join together to highlight homegrown talent

The Woodlands Inn in Wilkes-Barre and NEPA Scene are partnering up to present a local talent showcase on Friday, Feb. 27, featuring some of the very best comedians, musicians, poets, and magicians that the area has to offer.

The NEPA Scene Mid-Winter Talent Showcase aims to highlight homegrown talent and expose these performers to new audiences in an effort to grow the local entertainment scene.

“While we produce some fun and innovative content involving local artists every day on, we feel that getting people involved digitally is only part of the bigger picture. Our mission isn’t just to report on the scene, but to support it directly by giving artists a real-life platform to express themselves and audiences an easy way to discover what has been right under their noses the whole time,” NEPA Scene founder and editor Rich Howells explained.

“I think people will be impressed by just how professional and entertaining these acts really are, and the lineup is a great mix of different types of artists, so audience members may watch something that they’ve never seen before and gain an appreciation for something new.”

Presented at The Woodlands (1073 Hwy. 315, Wilkes-Barre), the showcase is a culmination of efforts that began with the NEPA Scene Open Mic Nights, held every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at The Woodlands’ Streamside Bandstand & Executive Lounge. While most open mics tend to attract a single type of artist, from the inaugural event on Nov. 18, 2014 to the present, NEPA Scene has encouraged musicians, poets, actors, comedians, magicians, storytellers, and others to come together and support each other.

At the end of each night, the audience votes for their favorite act, and the winner takes home a cash prize and the opportunity to headline the following week, sparking a healthy competition that has unified the steadily growing group.

Each event is documented with photos and videos on to further promote the performers.

“Some incorrectly assume that ‘open mic’ means ‘amateur,’ and while everyone is free to test out their work or hone their skills on our stage, a good portion of our participants have plenty of experience and paid gigs under their belts. Our events have attracted a higher caliber of talent than one may expect from an open mic, so we wanted to reward their hard work with a showcase that will further expand their audience,” Howells said.

“We’re excited to partner with NEPA Scene to present these events,” said Mitch Kornfeld, entertainment director at The Woodlands. “The Woodlands has always been a place to showcase awesome great local talent. What these folks have created is a way to showcase just that.”

The audiences from the open mic nights chose the winners well, and all the winning performers have agreed to participate in the showcase on Feb. 27.

Comedians Zack Hammond (Luzerne), Elliott Elliott (Wilkes-Barre), Dan Hoppel (Dunmore), Sergio Marzitelli (Scranton), and John Walton (Scranton) will slay the room; funnyman and magician Tony Klusmeyer (Dallas) will keep the laughs going; Kyle Rebar (Honesdale) will bring poetry and performance art together in an unexpected way; The Carlton (Stroudsburg) will read honest, unapologetic poems; and young musicians Skip Monday (Clarks Summit), C-Rock (East Stroudsburg), and Fiddy Shades (Wilkes-Barre) will play original acoustic songs. Howells (Scranton) will also read some heartfelt poetry to further expand the evening.

Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. The event is 21+ and may include mature language. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. The first drink is included in the ticket price, and a cash bar and food will be available.

Tickets can be purchased online now at, and attendees can use promo code “Rich” to avoid all service fees.

For more information on the NEPA Scene Mid-Winter Showcase, visit the Facebook event page.