Rich Howells

PHOTOS: NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, Week 1, 09/01/15

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After a few months off, NEPA Scene’s Got Talent returned to Thirst T’s Bar & Grill in Olyphant for Season 2, and we were greeted by both new and familiar faces at the kickoff on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Local singer/songwriter Adam Fox, who opened Season 1, graciously agreed to keep the tradition going and begin Season 2. Solo bassist Grant Williams, a finalist from Season 1, played three original compositions and explained the deeper meaning behind each one, garnering the audience vote that evening. Read an interview with him in this week’s NEPA Scene’s Got Talent spotlight.

Week 1 performers:

Music: Adam Fox, Katie Evans, Pulak (Connor Langan and Dom Ludovici of Crock Pot Abduction), Kyle Rebar, Joe Craig, Joe Quincy, Candi Vee, Nick Van Wagenen, Grant Williams, Adam Bailey, Rafael Pimentel, Hoppy Slot Mess, and Stephen Tyler Bloom

Comedy: Ted Hebert, Rob Heilimann, Zack Hammond, and Dan Hoppel

Williams won $50 in cash, provided by Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, and the chance to headline the next event on Tuesday, Sept. 8, along with a slot in the Finals Showcase on Dec. 1, where the 12 winners from 12 consecutive weeks will compete in front of a panel of judges for the grand prize – a winter getaway package with ski passes and more, $250, an interview broadcast on Fuzz 92.1, and a free 10-hour recording session at TwentyFiveEight Studios in Scranton. The second place winner will receive $100.

During a break in the middle of the show, sponsors Samuel Adams and LT Verrastro, Inc., hosted a one-night-only Stein Hoisting Competition, which is part of a larger series held all across the country. The winner in the men’s competition was Thirst T’s owner Tom Tell, and the women’s competition was won by Lisa Petz. They will advance to a competition at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Sept. 11, where they have a chance to fly to Los Angeles for a three day, two night trip to compete for the national title on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The ultimate winners crowned at the championships in Los Angeles, California will each win a trip for two to the 2015 Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Germany.

Sponsored by Samuel Adams; LT Verrastro, Inc.; Fireball Cinnamon Whisky; Fuzz 92.1; TwentyFiveEight Studios; and Thirst T’s, NEPA Scene’s Got Talent takes the format of an open mic night and turns it into a friendly competition, inviting local musicians, comedians, poets, performance artists, magicians, actors, and more to perform on Thirst T’s stage every Tuesday at 7 p.m. through Nov. 17

At the end of each night, audiences who have enjoyed the free live show will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite act. The winner each week will receive $50 in cash and the headlining slot for the following Tuesday, and all other performers are encouraged to compete again as often as they’d like or simply show off their talents for fun. Everyone participating is featured weekly on

Photos by Robb Malloy/NEPA Scene