LA¬'s Next Great Stage Star Kicks Off 1/8


LA's Next Great Stage Star™ 2012 bows to the New Year beginning Sunday, January 8th at Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's, the most critically acclaimed, award-winning supper club of its kind in Los Angeles.  The 6th anniversary presentation of this distinguished musical theatre talent competition, shines the spotlight on twenty contestants between the ages of 18 and 32 during six intense weeks of competition which concludes Sunday, February 12, 2012. The annual event continues to be Executive Produced by Michael Sterling with Associate Producer Tony Monsour of Michael Sterling & Associates (, and judged by an elite panel of Los Angeles musical theatre industry professionals.  James Lent returns as Musical Director for his third year.  Award-winning Choreographer Tania Possick returns for her second year;  Nick Sartoris (Sound and Lighting) returns for his fifth year, and Larry George (Additional Lighting and Production Assistance) joins the creative team for his first year.

Selected through an audition process held in mid-December, 2011, Stage Star 2012 contestants include: Lauren Leigh Barker, James Blashaw, Taylor Courtney, Chelsea Emma Franko, Melody Goodell, Demaree Hill, Tyler Hodges, Justine Huxley, David Laffey, Katrina Lauren McGraw, Brett McMahon, Harrison Meloeny, Tyson Pyles, Monica Quinn, Scott Reardon, Tyler Scheef, Caroline St. Louis, Adrienne Storrs, Jessie Withers, and Josie Yount.

This year's unprecedented panel of seventeen judges include Casting Directors: Michael Donovan (Michael Donovan Casting); Daniel Solis (Disney Entertainment Casting). Producers/Directors/Writers: Roger Bean (Creator/Writer/Director The Marvelous Wonderettes, Life Could be a Dream, Summer of Love); Stephanie Coltrin (Artistic Director - Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities); T.J. Dawson (Exeuctive Producer/3D Theatricals/Fullerton, CA); David Elzer (Producer - The Marvelous Wonderettes, Life Could be a Dream; Having it All); Steven Glaudini (Artistic Director/Producer - Musical Theatre West/Long Beach, CA, Director - Moonlight Amphitheatre, Vista, CA; Richard Israel (Artistic Director West Coast Ensemble,  Director - Gypsy, Having it All); Bruce Kimmel (Creator/Writer/Producer/Director - Out of the Box web TV Series, Kritzerland Records, The Brain from Planet X, The First Nudie Musical); John LaLonde (Artistic Director/Candlelight Pavilion, Claremont, CA);  Robert Marra (Director - Sweet Charity, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Chess and Oklahoma/Musical Theatre of Los Angeles; Dan Mojica (Director/Choreographer,  Associate Director/Choreographer - Disney's Beauty and The Beast National and International Tours); Calvin Remsberg (Vocal Coach and Director Into the Woods, Broadway Rocks Anaheim – Heritage Forum; Sweeney Todd/Musical Theatre West/Long Beach, CA);  Equity Department Theatre Agents: Jodie Bowman and Jacole Kitchen (Kazarian, Spencer, Ruskin & Associates); Steven Dry (Schiowitz/Connor/Ankrum/Wolf, Inc., and theatre, film, and television agent Dave Secor (The Daniel Hoff Agency).  

The Barbara Van Orden Grant:  For the first time in its six (6) year history, The Barbara Van Orden Grant was established to assist production of LA's Next Great Stage Star™ 2012.  "A longtime nightclub star, actress, businesswoman, producer, author, former print and commercial model, and live arts enthusiast, Ms. Van Orden's Grant is a vital contribution to the success of this year's competition," says Executive Producer Michael Sterling.  "Her passion for and generosity toward the performing arts is warmly acknowledged by a myriad of artists, performers and creative producers and directors throughout Los Angeles.  She is a friend to many and we, in particular, are honored to have her among us this season."   

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