Joel Grey, Stephen Schwartz and More Set to Judge SHOWSEARCH, 3/23
The Los Angeles based Festival of New American Musicals was formed specifically to cultivate new American musicals and nurture America's musical youth. SHOWSEARCH, the Festival's nation-wide search for the best ten minute musical written by 16-to-25-year-olds, will take place March 23rd in Los Angeles at the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, in cooperation with the LAUSD.
SHOWSEARCH will present the Top Six Musicals, which will be judged based on originality, musicality, lyric writing and storytelling. Anticipated judges include Oscar and Tony award-winning actor Joel Grey, Marissa Jaret Winokur (actress, Hairspray), Chris Herzberger (Executive of Live Theatricals at Universal Pictures), Dr. Steven McCarthy (Arts Coordinator, LAUSD), and Courtney Harper (Artistic Associate and Outreach & Education Manager, Pasadena Playhouse). The event is being filmed and documented by award-winning documentary producer-director, Alex Rotaru.
The Top Six Finalists for the 16-18 year-old category are: Garrison Hall and Alexa Russo of Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (California) for their entry TODAY'S THE DAY; Alex Smith and Daniel Farenbach of Las Vegas Academy of the Arts (Nevada) and Danya Smith and Amanda Baschnagel previously of Las Vegas Academy of the Arts and currently at Boise State University (Idaho), for JOHNNY THE PAPERBOY; and Alex Karukas of Thousand Oaks High School (California) for OCCUPY! THE MUSICAL.
In the 19-25 age group the finalists are: Bob Kelly and Kelly Pomeroy of St. Olaf College (Minnesota) for their entry, NORA, I ADORE YA; Jacob Tischler and Benjamin Viertel of Carnegie Mellon (Pittsburgh, PA) for INEXPERIENCED LOVE; and, finally, Oliver Houser of Hunter College (New York) and James Zebooker of the University of Massachussets for PRE-SCHOOL.
Sheri Henderson, Assistant Principal of Instruction and Curriculum Administrator for the Theater Academy and Grand Avenue Partnership Contact for Theater and Dance at Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, said, "This is a wonderful opportunity to share the exceptional high school environment R.C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts provides, as well as to showcase some of the young talent destined to surprise, delight, and move America's theatergoing audiences in future years."
Producer Hunter Bird noted, "Kids who want to create-who decide that instead of starting their rock band they're going to write their musical-those kids have nowhere to go. With SHOWSEARCH we're opening the door for them for the first time."
Co-Executive Producers Bob Klein, Marcia Seligson & Linda Shusett added: "American musical theatre today is back in the mainstream of our popular culture. We're working to keep it there by creating opportunities to find and support the next generation of composers, lyricists and book writers, as well as audiences."
SHOWSEARCH Mentors include: Jeff Marx (Avenue Q), David Zippel (City of Angels), John Bucchino (Catered Affair), Michelle Brourman (Dangerous Beauty), David Shire (Starting Here, Starting Now), and Ryan Scott Oliver (Darling, Jasper in Deadland, Mrs. Sharp).
The SHOWSEARCH "New Faces" Participants will include Eric Millegan (www.ericmillegan.net) who, in addition to his critically acclaimed starring and recurring role on the hit television series Bones has performed in Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway and Michael Scott Allen (www.michaelscottallen.com) will who attended the same theater conservatory as SHOWSEARCH supporter Jason Alexander, and appears in the upcoming features Dark Freed and The Wine of Summer.
Darren Criss of Glee and Broadway fame said, "I'd like to congratulate all the SHOWSEARCH Finalists. I wish all the finalists the best of luck as they perform their productions live in Los Angeles at the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts on March 23rd." (See Darren's video shout out to contestants at: http://youtu.be/B1rjW7a9P8w.)