For the first time, two Broadway stars headlined at Montclair State’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) annual fundraising event for Autism New Jersey this past Monday.
Three-time Tony nominee and Outer Critics Award winner, Marin Mazzie, and Tony award winner and three time Grammy nominee, Melba Moore, performed for PRRSA’s sixth annual event for autism. Other performances for the event, this year titled “The Stars Shine on Autism New Jersey,” included comedian Sunda Croonquist, Montclair Encore, Mentalist Manlow and the Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir.
Originally, only Moore was supposed to perform, but she backed out due to another gig, Larry Weiner, the coordinator of Public Relations and professor at Montclair State, said. PRRSA got Marin to replace Moore and later, Moore’s manager called to say her gig got cancelled and she was still able to perform. Weiner said they did not have the budget for two stars, so he reached out to a client, who agreed to pay for Moore’s performance.
“I know that Montclair has a really great musical department and so I was impressed,” Montclair State journalism major Adrianne Natoli said. Natoli came to the event with interest in the two Broadway stars.
“The first performance, Montclair Encore, was awesome,” said Jennifer Dalli Cardillo. “I wasn’t expecting it at all, and I really loved the part where the boys did a little rap off.”
All proceeds from the event go to Autism New Jersey. Raffles were available to purchase, including a prize for a free weekend’s use of a Maserati.
“It’s important to recognize that this is a student production,” Weiner said. “I help out—I was responsible for getting the talent, but that was it. You know, they’re running the concession, they’re selling the tickets, they did the social media so they’re the ones who kind of made it all happen.”