Stage And Screen Star Judges Join LA's Next Great Stage Star

Stage And Screen Star Judges Join LA's Next Great Stage StarOn August 27th, the Debbie Reynolds Main Stage at the historic El Portal Theater will host the 12th annual LA's Next Great Stage Star® following a six week competition. Executive Producer and Creator Michael Sterling, along with his Co-Executive Producer and Co-Sponsor Barbara Van Orden, are proud to offer this annual opportunity to talented individuals seeking to spotlight their abilities. Presented by Princess Cruises LA's Next Great Stage Star® is the only competition of its kind in the Western United States. Jennifer Lin serves as Musical Director with Jeffrey Scott Parsons as Choreographer and Justin Michael Wilcox as the event's Host.

LA's Next Great Stage Star® began in 2006 as a showcase for Broadway musical theatre vocalists (18 - 32 in age). However, for the first time, this year's 12th annual event features competition in dance, acting and vocal categories. Since its beginning, 22 former contestants have made their Broadway and/or off-Broadway debuts, while another 50% (of the overall 228 contestants to date) are working professionally in musical theatre across the country, in Vegas productions and/or in lavish productions; at local and international theme parks, on board luxury liners cruising around the world, as well as landing roles in both TV
commercials and episodic television.

The annual 6 week long production of LA's Next Great Stage Star® launched on Monday, July 23rd for the lucky few talented individuals selected from a long a grueling audition process. This year's contestants include: Monica Allan, Sarah Busic, Robert Collins, Branden Holzer, Drew Lake, Kristina Meyering, Nicole Abarca Powell, Jordan Schneider, Karlee Squires and Brooke Van Grinsven. All contestants compete at each competition with no eliminations until the Finale on Augusts 27th, 2018. The culmination of votes by judges and the audience members leading up to the Finale will determine the selection of the five top finalists, though the judges may be given an option to save an eliminated contestant.

This year's first place winner will receive a $2,500 cash prize, with the 2nd place winner receiving $1,250. Both will be provided with professional franchised Equity theatre agency representation; and paid headlining engagements at Sterling's Upstairs at The Federal in the North Hollywood Arts District.

WHO: Among the patrons scheduled to attend along with Executive Producer and Creator Michael Sterling and Co-Executive Producer/Co-Sponsor Barbara Van Orden are Carolyn Hennessy, Jeremy Miller, Lee Pursell, Geoffrey Mark and Kate Linder.

JUDGES: In addition to Broadway and screen star special guest judges such as Academy Award Winner George Chakiris, multi-million selling recording artist Sam Harris, Emmy Award Winner Michael Learned, Tony Award Winner John Lloyd Young, an impressive judging panel of professionals has been assembled....including Casting Directors Robby Armitage, Michael Donovan, Tal Fox, Beth Lipari and Jeremy Rich. Talent Agents Anthony Boyer, Jodie Bowman, Steven Dry, Nicole Dernersesian, Todd Eskin, Ronni Hart, Natalie Kollar, Victoria Morris; Producer/Director/Choreographers: Kevin Bailey, Eileen Barnett, Cate Caplin, Kay Cole, David Engel, Andy Ferrara, Joshua Finkel, Richard Hochberg, Bruce Kimmel, James Mellon, Barry Pearl and Lewis Wilkenfeld.

WHEN: The Finale - August 27 Monday, August 27, 2018 7:00 PM Doors Open; 7:30 PM Competition begins

WHERE: The Debbie Reynolds Main Stage at the historic El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601

TICKETS: $35 for all center section seating; $30 for all side section seating.
Direct ticket purchases will go through the El Portal's ticket system by calling
El Portal Ticket Services/Box Office: 818-508-4200
Box Office Hours: Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm
Tickets may also be purchased by visiting the El Portal website at


The El Portal Theatre is a historic landmark in the San Fernando Valley located in the heart of North Hollywood just minutes from Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Disney, ABC, CBS-Radford and NBC. The theatre, originally built as a vaudeville house in 1926, sits across from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Art Institute of California - Hollywood, and the new Laemmle 7 Screen Theaters. The art deco marquee is visible to thousands of cars that travel on Lankershim Boulevard daily. In the mid 2000's the long awaited redevelopment of North Hollywood came to fruition with the grand openings of restaurants, upscale shops and a charming, urbanesque environment. Since its first opening in 1926 -- first for Vaudeville, then Silent Movies, and then Academy Award winning films, as the primo movie house in the valley -- the theatre has weathered the Jazz Age, the Depression, 4 wars, and finally the great earthquake of 1994.

In the past fourteen years many celebrities have graced the stages of El Portal including Jason Alexander, Paul Rodriguez, Fritz Coleman, Joanne Worley, Joseph Bologna, Renee Taylor, Rip Taylor, Adam Corolla, Ileana Douglas, Debbie Reynolds, Bea Arthur and Billy Goldenberg, Kitty Carlisle Hart's 96th Birthday Tour, Charles Nelson Reilly, Ed Begley, Jr. and his world-premiere musical Cesar and Ruben, Hal Linden, Carol Lawrence, Donna McKechnie, David Faustino, Sally Struthers, Maripat Donovan, Kathleen Chalfant, Carol Channing, a world premiere play with James Denton, and The Manhattan Transfer to name just a few. Hit shows include the ten time Ovation nominated Smokey Joe's Café; Debbie Reynolds in three sold-out visits, the energetic world renowned Groovaloos; A Conversation with Edith Head; Robert Wuhl in Assume the Position; Ray Bradbury's Falling Upward, The Kid From Brooklyn (the Danny Kaye musical), and the longest running show in El Portal history, The Marvelous Wonderettes, which played to sold-out houses for 19 months and continued its success off-Broadway for almost two years. The most exciting holiday production at the El Portal in 2010 was the British Panto "Cinderella"; produced by The Nigel Lythgoe Family followed by "Snow White" and "Cinderella" in 2011. In 2012, the legendary Smokey Robinson premiered his poetry and spoken word piece, "Words" to sold out houses.

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