The tap dancers dazzled. A stand-up comic tickled the funny bones of young and old alike. And the musicians commanded the stage with the sparkle, spunk and sureness you’d expect from Broadway pros.

Jackson’s got plenty of talent, which showed at the annual fundraiser Friday for the Teton Literacy Center. Twenty-nine performers of diverse ages performed a wide range of skills on the Pink Garter Theatre stage, all in the name of raising money to support the center’s goal of making sure everyone can read.

The first act of the evening, fifth-grader Frances Reid, set the bar high as she belted out “Naughty” from the Broadway musical “Matilda,” based on Roald Dahl’s book. In keeping with the character Reid sang in a British accent, using books as props.

Her stage presence out-sparkled her sequined sandals, and at the end of the evening she took home the Judges’ Choice award.

Jackson's Got Talent

In a British accent Frances Reid belts out a song from the Broadway musical “Matilda,” based on the Roald Dahl book. The fifth-grader won the Judges’ Choice award.

Judge Libby Crews Wood praised Reid for her “moxie” and encouraged her to take inspiration from the song’s lyric: “Cause if you’re little you can do a lot. You mustn’t let a little thing like little stop you.”

The People’s Choice award went to the Timeless Tappers, a troupe of 10 tap dancers, ages 62 to 79, some of whom started dancing together 35 years ago. The tappers included Teton Literacy Center tutors, board members, former librarians, literacy enthusiasts and (full disclosure) this author’s mother-in-law. For the record, those ageless dancers crushed it.

A crew named Super Stunts Multiplied choreographed a dance act and rehearsed during recess at Journeys School, which the middle schoolers all attend.

“They wanted me to let you know there was absolutely no parental supervision,” announced the evening’s master of ceremonies, Tony Horton, a Jackson resident and the fitness celebrity behind the P90X workout.

After members of Super Stunts Multiplied performed acrobatic lifts and tumbling, depending on one another for balance and spotting, Wood praised them for demonstrating “trust.”

Rainbow Mist also impressed on the crowd that no adults influenced the trio’s artistic execution. Rainbow Mist performed Gillian Welch’s “Look at Miss Ohio” with Madilyn Hovinga, 11, and Vanessa Morales, 11, on vocals and Ellie Stubbs, 10, on piano.

Jackson's Got Talent

Super Stunts Multiplied perform a dance act Friday night during Jackson's Got Talent at the Pink Garter.

Wood happens to be Stubbs’ fifth-grade teacher.

“This pianist is my student,” Wood said. “I didn’t know she could do what she just did.”

Victor, Idaho, student Abigail Lily, 11, hushed the audience with her honey-like vocals.

“Can I see your birth certificate?” judge Gavin Fine asked. “Are you really 11?”

Jackson Hole High School student Alexia Jay returned to Jackson’s Got Talent for a second straight year. The judges praised her gusto onstage, emphasizing that her hard work over the past year and stage presence show what it takes to one day get to Broadway.

On the dance front Jackson Hole High School Broncs Dance Team members Jordan Lutz and Kiva McConaughy-Munn fittingly showed off the moves that made them Wyoming State 3A Hip Hop Champions in 2016.

Jackson's Got Talent

The Jackson Hole High School dance team duo Jordan Lutz and Kiva McConaughy-Munn do a hip-hop routine during Jackson’s Got Talent.

Laff Staff improv team member Nick Staron is a comedian who moonlights as a school bus driver. He was the evening’s only stand-up comic, a type of talent that judge Mark “Fish” Fishman said he’s wanted to see added to the lineup for a while. Staron’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” impression even cracked up kids who had never seen the movie.

In keeping with the literacy nonprofit’s mission, Wood, who is a language arts teacher, laced her judge’s comments with reading recommendations for performers.

Picking up on the evening’s bookish humor, singer and songwriter Clint King cracked, “Now I’ll be sweating like a redneck reading a book.”

King, who grew up in Jackson and is pursuing a full-time music career, performed an original cowboy-themed song. Afterward he said the talent contest provided the perfect opportunity to pair his passion of playing music with doing good for the community.

Jackson's Got Talent

Clint King performs an original song Friday night during Jackson's Got Talent at the Pink Garter.

In one unscripted moment onstage Teton Literacy Center volunteer (and Timeless Tapper) Claudia VanRemortere chatted with Heidi Morales, who she tutors weekly. VanRemortere told Heidi to throw away her cue cards after the fourth-grader became a little nervous onstage.

“Did you miss me while I was gone for two weeks?” VanRemortere asked Heidi.

“Yes,” Heidi said, “because I love seeing you every week.”

Heidi said those weekly sessions help her “with my words and my writing.”

Through Jackson’s Got Talent, the literacy center raised more than $85,500 to support more readers like Heidi. Donations are still welcome.

Contact Managing Editor Rebecca Huntington at 732-7078 or

Managing Editor Rebecca Huntington has worked for newspapers across the West. She hosts a rescue podcast, The Fine Line. Her family minivan doubles as her not-so-high-tech recording studio.

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