2014 MetroStar Talent Challenge Extends Deadline thru 7/4; Guest Judges Announced

New York's Metropolitan Room is extending its deadline for applications for this year's 2014 "MetroStar Talent Challenge" to July 4.

"Many potential contestants have been waiting to clear their schedules for the summer," explains Joseph Macchia, a MetroStar producer who is in charge of artist relations. "We're giving some singers a few extra days to make sure they can commit to us."

The jury-and audience-voted, elimination-round singers competition runs for eight consecutive Mondays, from July 7 through August 25. All contestants must certify that they will be available to compete throughout the competition.

Open to solo singers and vocal duos of all ages, backgrounds and styles who have not played a major engagement at the Metropolitan Room, which is defined as a 4-show prime-time run of the same show in a fixed period.

This year's guest judges, who join the permanent jury after the contest's three weeks of trials include Bill Boggs, Carole J. Bufford, Eric Comstock, Barbara Fasano, Lauren Fox, Will Friedwald, Peter Haas, Kevin Scott Hall, David Kenney, Lina Koutrakos, Sharon McNight, Marieann Meringolo, Marissa Mulder, David Noh, T. Oliver Reid, Steve Ross, Stephen Sorokoff, KT Sullivan, Tom Toce, Amy Beth Williams, and Robert Windeler.

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. Tom Gamblin returns for his fourth season as the contest's onstage host. The contest's resident music director is Tracy Stark.

"MetroStar" offers a career-boosting package of prizes and professional encouragements, including a fully produced primetime Met Room engagement and live recording. The reigning MetroStar Lauren Stanford, the contest's sixth grand prize winner, is currently presenting the world premiere of "I'm a Stranger Here Myself," her solo cabaret debut, running through August 1.

To apply during the application extension, please contact the club for details. 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. For reservations call 212/206-0440 or to order online visit www.metropolitanroom.com.

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

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