Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's, the most critically acclaimed, award-winning supper club of its kind in Los Angeles, presents LA's Next Great Stage Star 2010 beginning Sunday, November 29, 2009 for a series of six competitive performances, culminating in a spectacular Finale Sunday, January 3, 2010.
The November 29th, sold out opening, set advance record sales for this annual "Master Showcase/Competition", now in its fourth year. Remaining dates are also heading into record sell-outs.
Produced by Michael Sterling and Tony Monsour of Michael Sterling & Associates and judged by an elite panel of Los Angeles theatre industry professionals, LA's Next Great Stage Star is geared to discovering fresh, young talent for the theatre stage. As is the standard, 18 vocalists will compete.
Selected through an audition process held earlier this month, competitors include:
Sam Ayoub, Lila Bassior, Bobby Bennett, Matthew Claiborne, Melanie Gotto,
Kristen Heitman, Derek Klena, Janet Krupin, Nicole Ligerman, Aletta Mannix,
Elizabeth O'Malley, Domonique Paton, Jenna Romano, Raquel Sandler,
Melissa Strauss, Taylor Tracey
, AaRon Williams and Luke Yellin.
2010 Stage Star Judges include: Peter Matyas - Michael Donovan Casting; Daniel Solis - Disney Entertainment Casting; distinguished Broadway musical theatre Producer/Director/Performers Dan Mojica (Beauty and The Beast), Todd Nielsen (The Lion King), and Larry Raben (The Producers); Artistic Producer/Director Stephanie Coltrin - Civic Light Opera at South Baby Cities, Redondo Beach; Artistic Producer/Director Ms. Rey O'Day - Performance Riverside at the Landis Performing Arts Center; Equity Department Theatre Agents: Jodie Bowman - Kazarian/Spencer/Ruskin & Associates, Steven Dry - Schiowitz/Connor/Ankrum/Wolf, Mark W. Smith - The Savage Agency, Eric Stevens - Rainbow High Entertainment, and Carol Weiss - Stage 9 Talent.
Sunday matinee competition times and dates are 1:00 - 3:30 pm November 29, December 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2009; and 12:00 - 3:30 pm January 3, 2010.
Contestants will compete at each competition with no eliminations until the Finale on January 3, 2010. The Finale will determine the selection of one winner and four finalists. The winner will receive a $1000 cash prize and a lucrative, paid headlining engagement at Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's during 2010. Upon the winner's debut at Sterling's, he or she will also be provided with a luxurious Suite by the Sheraton Universal Hotel and dinner for two in the hotel's signature Californias Restaurant. Known as the "Hotel of the Stars" for nearly 40 years, the Sheraton Universal blends four-star service with the history and glamour of an iconic Hollywood hotel. The Sheraton's participation with Michael Sterling & Associates, marks the hotel's second year as a Gold Sponsor of LA's Next Great Stage Star.
Additionally, the winner of LA's Next Great Stage Star 2010 and its four finalists will also receive private, general auditions with distinguished Casting Director Julia Flores of Julia Flores Casting (McCoy/Rigby Entertainment at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, among others;) Steven Glaudini - Associate Artistic Director/Producer of Musical Theatre West at the Carpenter Center - Long Beach, CA; and Lewis Wilkenfeld - Artistic Director of Cabrillo Music Theatre at the Fred Kavli Theatre - Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.
Attendance is by reservation only. For reservations, call Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's (818) 754-8700. A $10 entertainment cover charge and a $10 drink and/or food minimum apply. Audience members are entitled to vote for their favorite performers at each competition. Audience votes will be added to the overall scores of the judges.
Since the premiere of LA's Next Great Stage Star in 2007, each year's winner has been signed by top Los Angeles Equity theatre agents and gone on to enjoy a professional career in theatre. In January, 2010, Merissa Haddad (2007) ends a year run as Mary Valli in the Chicago company of Jersey Boys. Jantre Haskin (2008) went on to perform summer seasons with the Pacific Conservatory for Performing Arts and the Sierra Repertory Company in Northern California. 2009 Stage Star winner Theresa Anne Swain becomes a universal cast member of Wicked in 2010.
STERLING'S UPSTAIRS at Vitello's is produced by Michael Sterling of Michael Sterling & Associates, the Studio City-based entertainment public relations company. Since 1980, Sterling has represented such stellar clients as ElizaBeth Taylor, Lance Armstrong, Scott Hamilton, David Copperfield, Joan Collins, Alan Thicke, Carol Lawrence, David Brenner, Andy Gibb, and Robert Goulet. Aside from his celebrity clientele, Mr. Sterling has represented various National Theatre and arena tours, Los Angeles theatre productions, Emmy Award-winning television specials, celebrity books, albums and CD's. Sterling is also a critically-acclaimed director of musical theatre in Los Angeles, and has produced various theatrical events and productions throughout southern California. In September, 2009, Mr. Sterling joined Broadway World TV with colleague and former Broadway and Television star Dean Butler (Into the Woods and Little House on the Prairie, respectively,) to become the worldwide site's Los Angeles correspondents and co-hosts for television coverage of select Los Angeles theatre and theatrical events.
Tony Monsour of Michael Sterling & Associates serves as Associate Talent Producer. Having been with the company for 9 years, he is also a trained actor and singer with an impressive resume in television, film and musical theatre including co-starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Musical Direction will be provided by James Lent who received the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Piano Performance from Yale University, and has appeared in concert with symphony orchestras throughout the world.
Nick Sartoris and Ricardo Robinson serve as Production Associates and Sound and Lighting Directors.