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Moon Family Theatre has big weekend with Performanc Academy Pageant
and Janelle Arthur Concert
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For photos and videos of Janelle Arthur, Matt Cordell,
and Performance Academy performers, click here.

From the Oct. 13, 2021 issue of
The Journal

By Richard Harris
   Last weekend was a huge one for the Moon Family Theatre, as it hosted the annual Performance Academy Pageant (back from a Covid-related hiatus in 2020) and a concert by one of the hottest emerging artists in country music – American Idol finalist Janelle Arthur.
   Winners of the PA Pageant are listed below.
   * Ambassador: Andi Rowland, whose talent was vocal and dance to the song Cups.
   * Queen: Kimberly Eldridge, whose talent was vocal (Old Time Rock & Roll).
   * Princess: Hayden Harris, whose talent was playing the clarinet (Hallelujah).
   * Junior Princess: Millie McCorkle, whose talent was vocal, piano, and video (Grandpa).
   * Petite Princess: Emory Taylor Murphy, whose talent was vocal (Tomorrow).
   In addition to the titles and crowns, each of the above winners earned a $1,050 Performance Academy Tuition Scholarship.
   Special awards also presented during the pageant were:
   * Miss Photogenic – Kimberly Eldridge.
   * Miss Congeniality – Kimberly Eldridge.
   * Overall Interview Award – Andi Rowland.
   * Overall On Stage Intro Award – Emory

Taylor Murphy.
   * Overall Talent Award – Hayden Harris.
   * Overall Formal Wear Award – Millie McCorkle.
   After being crowned on Friday, they returned to Moon Family Theatre on Saturday to open the Janelle Arthur/Matt Cordell concert.
   Cordell was making his second appearance at the theatre. Earlier this year he performed as Elvis. This time the tribute artist channeled country super star Jason Aldean, performing a variety of the quadruple-platinum artist's songs. He was once again a hit with the crowd, but no matter how talented he his, the versatile performer still can't pronounce "Buena Vista" – a fact that he poked fun at himself about.
   The featured entertainer was Janelle Arthur, who has been performing since she was a child. She rose from her humble roots as a small-town Tennessee girl to international exposure as a top finalist on American Idol.
   She sang many of her own songs, as well as songs from 90s country female artists, but paid special tribute to Dolly Parton, which made sense in a number of ways. She got her start at 8-years-old by portraying a young Dolly in a show at Dollywood. She's maintained a relationship with her through the years and recently recorded a duet, Hand Me Downs, with the legendary performer.
   In addition, she is proving to be one of the most promising multi-dimensional country entertainers since Dolly Parton with success not only in the studio and on the stage, but in front of the camera as an actress. In 2018, she was the lead actress in the feature film Runnin' From My Roots.
   The crowd was also treated to a set by local favorite Anastasia Daniels Batastini, veteran of the Performance Academy.
   For info on future shows at Moon Family Theatre, see the ad on page 6. For photos and videos from last Saturday's concert, visit tjournal.smugmug.com.