Berkshire County's Got Talent to showcase local artists

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PITTSFIELD — Berkshire County is home to many gifted artists and entertainers — judge for yourself!

On Friday night the Barrington Stage Company is hosting Berkshire County's Got Talent presented by The Berkshire Eagle, a one-night, winner-take-all competition judged by four accomplished, local artists and entrepreneurs: Lisa Elias, Tyler Fairbank, Ty Allan Jackson and Mary Verdi. The fifth judge for the night is the audience. The grand prize is $1,000.

Sponsored by Carr Hardware, as well as BSC and PLT Pittsfield Lawn & Tractor, the event will feature 13 county people talented in break-dancing, singing, rapping, comedy and drag.

"These are young performers — it's exciting," said Carr Hardware owner Bart Raser. "We're a community business, these are community people, it's a great tie-in for us and it's a great opportunity for these folks."

The second annual Berkshire County's Got Talent is part of The Eagle's community outreach efforts led by parent company New England Newspapers Inc., said Warren Dews, NEN's chief consumer sales and events officer. The newspaper also has a "Conversation Series" that features expert opinion and analysis on important topics such as the future of the U.S. Supreme Court or faith.

"We're not just a newspaper that prints information, we do things to engage the community," Dews said. "We do things outside the normal news because it's important to bring people together and highlight the talent the Berkshires has."

Tickets for Friday's show, which is 6 to 8 p.m., are $10 to $15 and can be purchased at barringtonstageco.org or at the door.

Competition finalists performing are:

Tanisha "Chelle" Adams, Pittsfield, singing;

Berkshire Hills Chorus, Pittsfield, women's a cappella;

Boxxa Vine, Monterey, drag queen comedy;

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Christine Bile, Pittsfield, singer-songwriter/guitarist;

Madelyn Gardner, Pittsfield, stand-up comedy;

Gerald Hill, Pittsfield, singing;

Jalisa Jessup, Pittsfield, breakdancing;

Sophie Lane, North Adams, music;

Nick "Inswain" Swain, Pittsfield, rapping;

Olivia Thiemann, West Stockbridge, singing;

Chad Tarves, Dalton, singer-songwriter;

Jess Wilson, Adams, singing;

Emily Young, Pittsfield, singing.

Kristin Palpini can be reached at kpalpini@berkshireeagle.com, @kristinpalpini, 413-629-4621.


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