2014 Metrostar Competition Kicks Off 7/7 at Metropolitan Room

2014 Metrostar Competition Kicks Off 7/7 at Metropolitan Room

The "MetroStar Talent Challenge," a singers contest which has launched the careers of several standouts in cabaret, pop and jazz," turns 7 this year. The 2014 "MetroStar" runs for eight consecutive Mondays, from July 7 through August 25 at the Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street. Applications are now being accepted through July 1.

In addition to a new permanent jury, the competition is adding new competitive features such as jury saves, a mentor to work with contestants, and a mystery judge.

Open to solo singers and vocal duos of all ages, backgrounds and styles who have not played a major engagement at the Metropolitan Room, the jury and audience-voted, elimination-round competition offers a career-boosting package of prizes and professional encouragements, including a fully produced primetime Met Room engagement and live recording. Past winners have included Anne Steele, Liz Lark Brown, T. Oliver Reid, and Marissa Mulder and Billie Roe. The current MetroStar, Lauren Stanford makes her solo cabaret debut in a Metropolitan Room major engagement beginning on June 3.

The actor and singer Tom Gamblin returns to host the eight-week competition after a one-year absence. Tracy Stark serves as the contest's resident music director.

The contest's new permanent jury will consist of the MAC, Nightlife, and Bistro award-winning singer and director Gretchen Reinhagen and Joseph Macchia (the prolific producer of cabaret shows and events at the club and and elsewhere). Returning as jury chairman is the cabaret journalist Roy Sander, who has performed this role since the contest's inception. Returning in a new capacity is Eric Michael Gillett, the acclaimed singer, actor and director, who, as the contest's resident mentor, will offer pointers to the performers to help them "up" their games. After the contest's three weeks of trials (July 7, 14, 21), the permanent judges are joined by different weekly guest judges drawn from the media, theatre and cabaret. The contest's co-producers are Bernie Furshpan, Joseph Macchia and Beck Lee.

Singers who progress to the contest's final rounds will have performed seven different songs, including a song in a genre chosen by the jury, a song by a particular artist or songwriter (also chosen by the jury) and a song do-over in which the singer is asked for a dramatic re-interpretation or improvement. The competition also will introduce saves for eliminated singers who make a unique impact on either the jury or the audience.

To apply, performers must submit an application accompanied by a CD or recording (either by mail or via e-mail). For details and downloadable application form, visit www.metropolitanroom.com

"MetroStar" encourages singers to present well-rounded stage performances in which creativity, innovation and authenticity are prized over vocal fireworks.

The 2014 MetroStar Talent Challenge, the 7th annual edition, takes place on eight consecutive Mondays from July 7 to August 25. All shows are all at 7pm; the cover charge for all shows is $20, with a two-drink minimum. The Nightlife, MAC and Bistro Award-winning Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street, has been keeping kids off the streets and adults from spending too much time watching television since 2006. For reservations call 212/206-0440 or to order online visit www.metropolitanroom.com

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