For the first time in the event’s year-long history, the NEPA Scene’s Got Talent Finals Showcase for Season 4 was split into two separate finales – one for musicians and one for comedians – to make the judging portion of the contest more fair and give more local artists the chance to be recognized and win prizes. After the Music Finals on Sept. 27, the Comedy Finals Showcase on Tuesday, Oct. 4 brought the season to a close with a ton of laughs surrounding the recently renovated stage at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill in Olyphant.
For 12 weeks, audiences chose their favorite 12 comedians during the open mic portion of Got Talent, all picked for different reasons. Tyler DiBenedetto, Erich Drexler, Jillian Chiaro, Elliott Elliott, Ted Hebert, Chris Jones, Dan Hoppel, Marietta Mendler, Angelia Petrillo, Russell Austin, Bryan Walsh, and Dane Bower each brought polished sets delivered in uniquely fun styles that evening, making it another tough and extremely close call for the judges.
Hilarious Lake Ariel funnyman Ted Hebert, a regular participant since Season 1, was voted the grand prize winner for his well-crafted jokes about himself and his nerdy interests. He took home $250 cash; a headlining Thursday night performance at Thirst T’s with a $5 cover that all goes directly to him; a home party kit from Coors Light and LT Verrastro, Inc.; a photography and graphic design package from Jess Meoni Design; and a feature story or guest spot on an episode of the NEPA Scene Podcast.
The very funny Marietta Mendler, a newcomer to the event, came in second place, winning a gift certificate to Thirst T’s.
Sponsored by Coors Light, LT Verrastro, Inc., Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, Magdon Music, JL Studios, Jess Meoni Design, 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 on Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
At the end of each night, audiences who have enjoyed the free live show have the opportunity to vote for their favorite act. The two winners each week receive $25 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 who participates is featured weekly on nepascene.com.
See the photos from the Music Finals here.
by Rich Howells
Rich is an award-winning journalist, longtime blogger, photographer, and podcast host. He is the founder and editor of NEPA Scene.