Talent was in the air at Bradford’s Night of Stars.
Bradford Elementary School’s biennial talent show Night of Stars exceeded PTA member Luisa Esposito’s expectations. This year, the show was run by Stacia Thiel, Stephanie Haberle-Roth and Esposito, allowing each of them to take turns hosting the show on stage, as well as helping out backstage.
“The best part for me was being backstage,” Esposito said. “We had these two kindergarteners who were so nervous at dress rehearsal, so I talked to them and they were the cutest things all done up with makeup and outfits.” Esposito then helped to motivate the two girls and told them how great their act was. The girls became excited to jump onto the stage and show the rest of the crowd their performance.
Over 50 children performed in the 32 acts throughout the show, all showing their extreme passion for the performance that they had planned out. Along with the classic singing and dancing, which are talent show staples, Bradford’s Night of Stars also included bottle flipping acts, Rubik’s Cube solving and even gymnastics.
Many of these acts also integrated the crowd into their routines, such as a fifth grader who, while performing a rap, went into the crowd to high five his fans just as a professional would. Another girl who was tap dancing to the classic “The Candy Man” by Sammy Davis Jr. threw candy into the crowd after her dance.
As with every big performance, Bradford’s Night of Stars was not complete without a few hiccups. At the dress rehearsal, the curtains broke and wouldn’t close completely. Esposito said they tried everything from pinning it together to pulling it shut, but nothing worked. Luckily, it was able to be fixed before the big night, but that wasn’t all. Between every act, a pianist was scheduled to play while people set up on the stage, but a few days before dress rehearsal, the pianist had a family emergency and said he would be late on the day of the rehearsal.
Thiel, Haberle-Roth and Esposito tried calling for anyone else to cover for the pianist, but couldn’t find anyone. The pianist ended up not showing on the actual day of Night of Stars, and again the three were frantically trying to find a way to kill time between each act. They ended up using the extra time to explain and enrich aspects of each of the performances, and it turned out great.
“I love giving people that opportunity to get on stage,” said Esposito. “It’s great to encourage the kids to try out something that may be uncomfortable at first and something that they’ve never done, and see them become more and more confident through the many rehearsals before the show. So many parents came up to thank us for giving this experience to their children.” Bradford also set up a red carpet area, where kids could take pictures, making this experience truly meaningful.
Next, Bradford School has a Spring Concert, where every class, along with the school chorus, will perform. The PTA has also planned for a Family Skate Day at Clary Anderson Arena on March 11, as well as Harlem Wizards vs. Montclair Dragons (a team of Bradford’s very own teachers) at the Montclair High School on March 25.
To find out more about the upcoming events, check out the Bradford PTA’s website, bradfordpta.org/.