BWW TV: LA¬'s Next Great Stage Star 2012!
Upon the conclusion of six weeks of intense competition which began January 8, nearly a thousand patrons supported 20 of Southern California's newest and most dynamic, young musical theatre performers in LA's Next Great Stage Star 2012 at Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's in Studio City, CA.
Presented by Producers Michael Sterling and Tony Monsour in association with performer and arts philanthropist Barbara Van Orden, 21 year old singer/actress/dancer Chelsea Emma Franko of Apple Valley, CA emerged victorious at the 6th annual competition's glittering Finale on Sunday, February 12th. Distinguished finalists included Carrie St. Louis who placed second, with Tyson Pyles and David Michael Laffey tying for third place, and Justine Huxley taking fourth place.
Established at Vitello's Restaurant, Sterling's Upstairs has reigned as the most critically acclaimed, award-winning supper club of its kind in the greater Los Angeles area since 2006, and has presented the best of Broadway performers and nightclub artists who sing the music of Broadway and the Great American Songbook. However, it was announced by Michael Sterling on February 12th that Sterling's Upstairs will close its doors at Vitello's following its final show there on March 18th, and open April 1st as Sterling's Uptstairs at North Hollywood (NoHo) hot spot The Federal Bar and Restaurant located in the heart of NoHo's trendy Arts District. "After investing six years of sweat equity into the building and reputation of Sterling's Upstairs, not to mention our stake of propriety in bringing back the art of cabaret to the cultural landscape of Los Angeles, we found our needs growing rapidly both artistically and technically with each passing year at Vitello's," said Sterling at the Stage Star Finale after-party hosted by The Federal.
"We are thrilled," Sterling said, "to be partnering with General Manager Ed Levy in this new venture. Ed is not only supportive of our achievements, but has an innate and first- hand understanding of our productions and future goals. His expertise at the helm of The Federal comes from a deeply dedicated tenure with The Federal's parent company, Knitting Factory Entertainment, a cutting edge corporation based in Los Angeles. The Federal's exquisite design emulates the present meeting the past (circa. 1930's). Add to that, their culinary, gourmet sensibilities toward California cuisine, a spectacular second story setting with its state-of-the-art lighting and sound technology, a proscenium stage, a star dressing room and VIP green room, two bars, and an outdoor patio... "and.. well... it's a win-win for Sterling's Upstairs (www.msapr.net), The Federal, and the thousands of new guests and die-hard patrons of the arts who we will be introducing to The Federal." www.thefederalbar.com.
Though LA's Next Great Stage Star 2013 will be held at Sterling's Upstairs at The Federal. This year's 2012 Stage Star Judges included: Michael Donovan - Michael Donovan Casting - Theatre, Film, Television, Commercials; Daniel Solis - Disney Entertainment Casting –Anaheim, Tokyo, Disney Cruises; David Elzer - Producer - The Marvelous Wonderettes, Life Could be a Dream; Steven Glaudini - Artistic Producer/Director – Musical Theatre West/Long Beach, CA, Director - Moonlight Amphitheatre, Vista, CA; Robert Marra – Director – A Chorus Line, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Dan Mojica - Associate Director/Choreographer - Disney's Beauty and The Beast - National and International Tours; Vocal Coach and Broadway singer Dan Callaway – Executive Committee/Musical Theatre Guild of Los Angeles; Creator/Writer/Director Roger Bean – The Marvelous Wonderettes, Life Could be a Dream; Executive Producer T.J. Dawson and Producer Daniel Dawson – 3-D Theatricals/Fullerton, CA; Director Richard Israel – Once Upon a Mattress, Gypsy, Having it All; John LaLonde – Artistic Director Candlelight Pavilion/Claremont, CA; Calvin Remsberg - Vocal Coach and Director - Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd/Musical Theatre West/Long Beach, CA; Producer/Director/Composer/Author Bruce Kimmel of Kritzerland Records; Equity Department Theatre Agents: Jodie Bowman and Jacole Kitchen - Kazarian, Spencer & Associates; Dave Secor - Daniel Hoff Agency; and Steven Dry – Connor, Ankrum & Associates. 1976 Tony Award winner Sammy Williams (A Chorus Line) was a special celebrity guest judge at the Stage Star Finale on February 12.
Selected by Sterling and Monsour through an audition process held in mid-December, Stage Star 2012 the competition's fifteen remaining included Lauren Leigh Barker, James Blashaw, Taylor Courtney, Melody Goodell, Demaree Hill, Tyler Hodges, Katrina Lauren McGraw, Brett McMahon, Harrison Meloeny, Monica Quinn, Scott Reardon, Tyler Scheef, Adrienne Storrs, Jessie Withers, and Josie Yount.
All 20 contestants sang at each competition with no eliminations until the Finale which determined the winner and four top finalists. Ms. Franko received a $1000 cash prize and a lucrative, paid headlining engagement at Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's during 2012. Noted Los Angeles director Robert Marra will direct Ms. Franko's cabaret act.
Ms. Franko will also receive a photo session with Silver Sponsor Robert Douglas of Robert Douglas Photography. www.robertdouglasphotography.com.
Upon Franko's debut at Sterling's Upstairs at The Federal, she will be provided with a luxurious suite by the Sheraton Universal Hotel and dinner for two in the hotel's signature "Californias" Restaurant. The Sheraton has extended the same such gift to Stage Star's first runner up Carrie St. Louis, who will also headline Sterling's during 2012, as will Pyles, Laffey and Huxley. 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 fourth year as a Gold Sponsor of LA's Next Great Stage Star.
Anderson Trophy Co. of North Hollywood, CA served as a Silver Sponsor for their second year, providing the top five contestants with official Stage Star awardS. Anderson Trophy has been providing trophies and awards to North Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita, Burbank, Glendale and Los Angeles since 1972.
For his first year as a Gold Sponsor, Jerry Evans of the JLE Media Group served as Stage Star's official videographer and media producer for Broadway World TV (BWW TV).
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MICHAEL STERLING is a successful entrepreneur of public relations and stage productions. Throughout the years, he has represented such icons as Elizabeth Taylor, Lance Armstrong, Scott Hamilton, Robert Goulet, Joan Collins, George Harrison, the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb, Donny and Marie Osmond and the Osmond Brothers, and Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager. He has also represented numerous theatre productions including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Andy Gibb on Broadway, the 30th Anniversary U.S. National Tour of The Fantasticks starring Robert Goulet, Broadway on Ice starring Scott Hamilton and Dorothy Hamill, Concert on Ice starring Dorothy Hamill, and Festival on Ice starring Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner. In 2006, Sterling opened the award-winning cabaret Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's in Studio City, CA dedicated to presenting the best of Broadway musical theatre performers in concert. The popular supper club is the most award-winning critically acclaimed such venue in the greater Los Angeles area. In October, 2009, Mr. Sterling created an alliance with Broadway World.com TV to co-produce and co-host television packages about select Los Angeles theatre. In May, 2010, he co-created the State of the Arts radio series for broadcast by LA Talk Radio.com, one of the world wide web's most successful and innovative radio sites. Presented by Breakdown Services, State of the Arts has become a popular weekly series co-produced and co-hosted by Mr. Sterling and actor Paul Stroili. www.msapr.net|
JERRY EVANS has worked as a dancer, choreographer and director for over 28 years. The beginning of his career was highlighted by dancing in a Mikhail Baryshnikov television special. Today, Mr. Evans can now proudly boast of having worked with every major awards show, with every television network, and in every medium in which a dancer can work. With a successful professional dance career as his foundation, Evans then launched a stunning career in choreography that has been more than two decades in the making. Having choreographed numerous consecutive world tours for such artists as Reba McIntyre, Paula Abdul, and Chayenne, Evans has earned industry wide. With more than 20 feature films, 15 music videos, and 50 commercials to his choreography credentials, Jerry's reputation as the "commercial king" precedes him throughout the entertainment industry. In recognition of his achievements and contributions in dance, choreography, and production, Jerry has been honored with numerous, major industry and peer awards alike. In more recent years, Mr. Evans assembled a comprehensive knowledge of film and television camera directing based on his years of choreography experience. Whether on a set that requires single or multiple camera direction, Jerry is known for bringing his wealth of experience in film, television (both commercial and episodic), music videos, and live stage to any production. He is also the founder of JLE Media Group Inc. which specializes in hi-definition video production from conception to post-production. www.jlemediagroup.com
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