Next On Stage

Franco Tomaino Is Ready to Be the Next Elle Woods - Next on Stage

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We're down to our top 5 in the Next on Stage competition!

Contestant Franco Tomaino shares more about his charity, a story from his time playing Tevye, and which gender-swapped role he is ready to star in!

What charity did you pick and why?

I chose the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation because cystic fibrosis a disease that is very near to my heart. I first discovered the disease when watching a video on Claire Wineland's YouTube channel and she quickly became one of my favorite YouTubers because her story was so inspiring to me. Furthermore, this past year at school, my English teacher, Mr. Nicholas, who a lot of people knew and loved passed away from the disease. He was a huge supporter of arts and he even played roles in some of the plays. He was a great actor, but more importantly, he was a great man, teacher, and friend. Claire Wineland said "Death is inevitable, but living a life you're proud of is something you can control" and that is something I tell myself every day.

What is a fond memory you have from a past production?

My freshman year of high school we did Fiddler on the Roof and I played Tevye. After the last show some people from the cast and I went out to eat and while we were eating a man approached us and told us that he he was going to come see our production with his father who loved the show but unfortunately passed away the week before. He then went on to tell us that him and his family just came from the funeral and asked if I would sing the song "If I Were a Rich Man" for them because it was his fathers favorite song. I absolutely agreed and it was one of my favorite moments of all time. It really goes to show how musical theatre and music can bring people together.

What is your favorite musical and why?

My favorite musical is Legally Blonde. I loved the movie and when I saw the musical for the first time I was blown away. I don't know if it was the powerful female dominated cast or the amazing music and acting but I just love the whole show and message, and not to mention Laura Bell Bundy's iconic portrayal of Elle Woods. The whole show is amazing and I will be the first to let you know that one day I WILL star as Elle in a gender swapped version of it!

What have you been doing during quarantine?

During quarantine I have been eating A LOT and trying to do school work even though I end up watching real housewives when all is said and done. I've also been streaming Lady Gaga's new album Chromatica because I am a HUGE Gaga fan and this is her best era to date.

Give a shoutout!

I'd like to shout out my family for always letting me sing inside the house and not getting mad, my high school drama director Jeff Roets and choreographer Sarah Hayes for giving me pointers/suggestions to help make my performance even better as well as my cousins James, Liz, and Andy and Lauren Lesser and for approving my performances before I send them in. Also thanks to everyone who voted for me!

Want to see Franco in the final 3? Vote for him HERE!

Inspired by your favorite network TV singing contests, the site invited high school and college aged students to submit videos of themselves performing a song from the musical theatre canon to enter the competition.

Voting for the top 3 is now open! The nominees have submitted all new songs for you to listen to before casting your vote!

Voting for High School will close at 11:59 PM ET on Wednesday, June 24th. Voting for College will close on 11:59 PM ET on Thursday June 25th.

Then tune in for the results LIVE as the judges watch the performances and pick someone from the bottom three to be saved to compete for the top 3! Live shows will air Thursday at 8 PM (high school) and Friday at 8PM (college.)

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