For the past four Mondays, I've been at The Spire of Jamestown, covering the third annual Chautauqua's Got Talent competition. The fifth and final round will take place Monday, and the audience has been given a tall order.
Those who attend the final round, which will begin at 7, will determine which of the six acts will win $500 and a promotional package. That won't be an easy task. There isn't a weak link in the bunch.
The audience had a hard enough job eliminating acts this week. I don't think anyone would've complained if Aaron Stone and Meghan Farnham, Leisha Kolstee, Anna Paterniti, or Rap Sensation had made the finals. They all showed their talents during the past month and successfully made it through the first three cuts.
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If judges had determined who would qualify for the finals, who knows how the results would've changed. Maybe one or two of the eliminated acts would've landed a spot in the finals, or maybe the selected half-dozen of Ben Swanson, Austin Anderson, Halle Weston, Emma Wirsen, Stephanie Benson and Ashley Paulus would've remained the same.
But it's a democratic nation and a democratic contest that allows everyday people of Chautauqua County and beyond to have their say. Like any election, Chautauqua's Got Talent is about both popularity and ability. Whoever wins will certainly have talent, but he or she will also have a lot of diehard supporters sitting in The Spire.
The theater almost filled this week, and Angelo Giuffre, organizer of the competition, expects the final round to sell out. Those who would like to help determine who walks away with a fatter wallet and a head start on promoting a career in the entertainment industry should buy their tickets early.
Pre-sale tickets are on sale at Jamestown Savings Bank Arena and the Labyrinth Press Company for $6. Tickets at the door will be $7 while they last.
The winner will be announced Monday night at The Spire. The six acts will perform first, and guest performers will follow while contest organizers tally votes. Performers from The Spire's upcoming production of "Godspell" will take the stage, and former Chautauqua's Got Talent winners will perform. Some of this year's contestants will provide additional entertainment. The Spire is located at 317 E. Third St., Jamestown. Chautauqua's Got Talent is presented by Big Time Production in conjunction with The Post-Journal.
Here are some entertainment options for the coming days:
Great Blue Heron Announced: The 21st annual Great Blue Heron Music Festival will be held July 6-8. The annual celebration of music and friendship features a variety of live music on three stages, workshops, drum circles, and activities for children and teenagers. This year's lineup includes the festival debut of Nat Geo recording artists Toubab Krewe. South Carolina balladeer Jim Avett is also new to the event.
These acts will join Sugar Hill recording artists Donna the Buffalo, whose roots-rock has been a staple of the event for two decades.
Other returning acts include Vancouver Celtic-rockers the Town Pants, roots-reggae musician Kevin Kinsella, Entrain and Sim Redmond Band.
Big Leg Emma headlines a list of several local acts.
Day passes are available, but most attendees choose to stay for the weekend. Those under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
For tickets and additional information, visit greatblueheron.com.
March Woodsongs Performers Announced: Singer-songwriters Kev Rowe and Gina Vecchio will perform during the live recording of "Woodsongs Coffeehouse Radio Hour" at the Labyrinth Press Company on Thursday, March 29.
Rowe, Big Leg Emma's lead guitarist, has released three studio albums and has more than 37,000 fans on Facebook. His most recent CD, "Hi Love," has brought Rowe national attention for his personal singing style and lyrics, said Woodsongs host Ken Hardley.
"His understated yet very skillful guitar playing and oh-so-smooth voice are projections of his personality," Hardley said. "He is truly one of the real gentlemen in this business."
As a singer with several local bands over the years, Vecchio became known for her voice and savvy stage presence, according to Hardley.
"Blues has always been her passion, yet recently she dove into new territory writing and performing her own music, much of it moving significantly away from her blues roots," he said.
Vecchio is in the process of recording her first CD, which is due out next year.
Hardley believes Vecchio's abilities have improved over the years.
"At this stage of her life she has more technique, power, soul and life than I have ever heard from her," he said. "Gina's music keeps growing from within."
The show will start at 7 p.m., but the audience is asked to be seated by 6:30.
As always, Woodsongs will feature a mix of performances and interviews. The Labyrinth is located at 12 E. Fourth St., Jamestown.
The February Woodsongs show, featuring classical guitarist David Allen Coester and singer-songwriter Steve Piper, can now be downloaded on wrfalp.com.
Lovefest Seeks Sponsors: Several tiers of sponsorship are available for Lovefest 5, which will be held at the Gateway Center on Saturday, June 16. Proceeds from the event will benefit the David W. Love Memorial Scholarship, which gives a graduating Jamestown High School senior $1,000 each year. Email Shawn Sprankle, the event's co-organizer, at email@example.com for more information.
Boyz II Men Tickets To Go On Sale: Tickets for the June 8 Boyz II Men show at Jamestown Savings Bank Arena will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. Call 1-888-695-0888 or visit jamestownarena.com to order tickets.
Tritt Playing At Seneca Casino: Travis Tritt's show at Seneca Allegany Casino will be held Sunday at 5 p.m.
Comedian Bob Saget will perform at Seneca Allegany Casino on Saturday, April 14, at 7 p.m. Tickets for the show, which is restricted to adults ages 18 and older, start at $25.
Country band Little Big Town will perform Sunday, April 29, at 5 p.m. Tickets start at $35.
Impressionists of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop will perform in the Events Center five times from Friday, May 18, through Sunday, May 20, as part of Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show. Tickets start at $20.
Visit senecacasinos.com for more information.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, call Scott Shelters at 487-1111, ext. 253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue Grass Jam: 7-10, Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave., Celoron.
Derek Davis: 4-7, Bellini Lounge, Chautauqua Suites, 215 W. Lake Road (Route 394), Mayville.
Brian Hanna: 6-9, The Lakeview, 13 Water St., Mayville.
Sammy Slicker Band: 8-midnight, Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave., Celoron.
Ken Hardley and the Henways: 9-1, The Jammin' Vine, 11884 E. Main Road, Northeast, Pa.
Derek Davis and The Tasty Groove: Mayville VFW. The show will benefit Hospice.