Talent, poise, maturity at Mr. Mature America Pageant

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Jen Marra / Frank Faralli Jr. of Cape May Court House is crowned the first Mr. Mature America by Junior Miss Ocean City Julia Erickson during the finale of the inaugural pageant Saturday, March 22 at the Ocean City Music Pier. Jen Marra / Frank Faralli Jr. of Cape May Court House is crowned the first Mr. Mature America by Junior Miss Ocean City Julia Erickson during the finale of the inaugural pageant Saturday, March 22 at the Ocean City Music Pier.

OCEAN CITY — Frank Faralli Jr., 61, a nurse from Cape May Court House, is the world’s first Mr. Mature America.

Faralli, who sang “Edelweiss” for his talent and won the poise and interview awards, was crowned during the city’s first Mr. Mature America Pageant on Saturday, March 22 at the Ocean City Music Pier.

Former Ocean City Mayor Roy Gillian, 84, won the talent award with his rendition of piano favorites.

The event began with a lively and humorous production number choreographed by Jessica Albertson. This set the stage for an entertaining show from contestants age 60 and over. They included Rene Sese, 73 of Egg Harbor Township, who sang a love song; Eugene Ross, 89 of Ocean City, who recited a humorous poem and presented an original song; Jerry Lukas, 66 of Vineland, a noted cartoonist who produced a professional onstage drawing in three minutes; and Joel S. Fogel, who entertained with a lively, original harmonica and ukulele performance.

The pageant also included performances of four women over 60: actress and vocalist Peggy King, who sang a jazz number; Betty Lambert, an 81-year-old baton twirler; Vanessa Shaw, Miss New Jersey Senior America and longtime Broadway performer; and Nancy Fox, who sang the national anthem and an original runway song.

Atlantic City icon Pinky Kravitz received Mr. Mature America’s Inspirational Award. Kravitz, 86, has been hosting a popular radio show for 57 years. He is a Hall of Fame broadcaster and has received countless public service awards.

He was presented the award by fellow Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Sheeran, who assisted host Maribeth Neall.

Neall and Kristie Fenton, who produce the Miss, Little Miss and Junior Miss Ocean City pageants, helped put together the show.

Judges included “Momma Dietz” Ruth Eni, Peter Voudouris, Jane French, Rosalyn Lifshin and Lora Stankiewicz.

City publicist Mark Soifer said the city will host the event again next year.

Jen Marra / The 2014 Mr. Mature America Frank Faralli Jr., 61, of Cape May Court House waves to the crowd after receiving his crown during the Mr. Mature America Pageant Saturday, March 22, at the Ocean City Music Pier. Jen Marra / The 2014 Mr. Mature America Frank Faralli Jr., 61, of Cape May Court House waves to the crowd after receiving his crown during the Mr. Mature America Pageant Saturday, March 22, at the Ocean City Music Pier.

Jen Marra / The six contestants perform a dance number during the opening of the show. Jen Marra / The six contestants perform a dance number during the opening of the show.

Jen Marra / Rene Sese, 73, of Egg Harbor Township does a little turn on the catwalk as the judges watch. Jen Marra / Rene Sese, 73, of Egg Harbor Township does a little turn on the catwalk as the judges watch.

Jen Marra / Eugene Ross, 89, of Ocean City recites his poems and sings a capella for his talent.  Ross starts off a poem “There’s nothing quite as pretty, as the beach in Ocean City, in the morning.” Jen Marra / Eugene Ross, 89, of Ocean City recites his poems and sings a capella for his talent. Ross starts off a poem “There’s nothing quite as pretty, as the beach in Ocean City, in the morning.”

Jen Marra / Roy Gillian, 84, of Ocean City dances solo during the opening dance routine and later plays piano for his talent. Jen Marra / Roy Gillian, 84, of Ocean City dances solo during the opening dance routine and later plays piano for his talent.

Jen Marra / Jerry Lukas, 66, of Vineland draws an encouraging cartoon for an audience member during the talent portion of the pageant. Jen Marra / Jerry Lukas, 66, of Vineland draws an encouraging cartoon for an audience member during the talent portion of the pageant.

Jen Marra / Joel Fogel, 69, of Somers Point plays the ukulele and sings “A Whale of Tale” originally sung by Kirk Douglass in the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Jen Marra / Joel Fogel, 69, of Somers Point plays the ukulele and sings “A Whale of Tale” originally sung by Kirk Douglass in the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Jen Marra / Betty Lambert, 81, of Harmony, Pa. shows off her twirling talents. Jen Marra / Betty Lambert, 81, of Harmony, Pa. shows off her twirling talents.

Jen Marra / Vanessa Shaw, Miss New Jersey Senior America 2013 and runner up for the national title, shows off her Broadway singing during the pageant. Jen Marra / Vanessa Shaw, Miss New Jersey Senior America 2013 and runner up for the national title, shows off her Broadway singing during the pageant.

Jen Marra / Peggy King sings at the event. King’s long career included appearances at nightclubs, television, film and the stage, including on Ed Sullivan and in “Abbott and Costello meet the Mummy.” Jen Marra / Peggy King sings at the event. King’s long career included appearances at nightclubs, television, film and the stage, including on Ed Sullivan and in “Abbott and Costello meet the Mummy.”


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