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Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus

The singing competition returns for a second season.

Give My Regards - August 2, 2022 - 54 Below - by Thomas Salus

It may have been the "ding" of a text or the "buzz" of an incoming email. It could have happened at a rehearsal or out on a date. It could have also been ignored completely, as a scam. For six up-and-coming performers, that notification was hopefully a life-changing moment offered up by Scott Coulter and his production company Spot-On Entertainment.

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus
Scott Coulter

As mentioned at the start of the second annual Give My Regards: A Competition Like No Other, hosted at 54 Below on August 2nd, there were over 1,000 video applications received when the competition opened early this year. By late spring, the list was whittled down to 60 contestants, then 20 contestants, and then the final six were announced just a little over a month ago - Tove Holm (Falkenburg, Sweden), Bryson Jacobi Jackson (McKinney, Texas), Matthew Skrovan (Ithaca, New York), Hannah Verdi (Hayden, Idaho), Karen Wilkinson (London, UK), and Samuel Wright (North Andover, Massachusetts). The amazing facts shared by Mr. Coulter included that 54 Below, possibly the best cabaret venue, was each of the performer's debut in New York City. For four of them, it was the first time they have ever been to NYC. And for Ms. Holm and Wilkinson, this was their first time in the United States.

This reporter had the privilege of spending some time in the green room with the contestants before the show. It was a great opportunity to learn what they were thinking and observe how they were handling being the center of attention for the evening. There clearly were nerves, there was balled-up excitement, there was a sense of being overwhelmed, and there was a huge sense of camaraderie amongst the group. While it did feel a little competitive, that was overshadowed by each contestant truly wanting to see their new best friends all succeed.

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus
Tove Holm

Scott Coulter, when asked, was just super excited to see this competition come together once again. One can argue that, while this competition is not played out on a television set or a streaming service, it is certainly gaining worldwide traction. Listening to how some of this year's finalists got involved, one learned that it was through their network of friends, as well as some of last year's participants who encouraged them to submit a video. There was already mention of the third annual competition, so more good things are coming.

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus
Matthew Skrovan

Concerning this year's competition, in true cabaret fashion, Mr. Coulter was the emcee for the evening, helping to bring laughter to the crowd with quick wit and a growing anticipation for each performance. The famed John Boswell was the Musical Director for the evening, a treat for any seasoned Broadway or cabaret performer. Each contestant was given the opportunity to perform one song of their choice: the selections represented a cross-section of songs from different shows, like "Words Fail" (Dear Evan Hansen) - Wright, "Sarah" (The Civil War) - Jackson, "Over the Rainbow" (Wizard of Oz) - Skrovan, "Heart of Stone" (Six) - Holm, "Out of the Blue" (The Wild Party) - Verdi, and "When the Music Played" (Dr. Zhivago) - Wilkinson. In addition to these songs, the show included performances from veteran Broadway actors and Celebrity personalities Kelli Rabke, Jessica Hendy, Melvin Tunstall III, Zina Goldrich, and Clinton Kelly of the TV programs What Not to Wear and The Chew, as well as Coulter, himself. Some of these celebrated artists did double duty by acting as competition judges.

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus
Hannah Verdi

The best way to sum up each of the contestant's performances is by paraphrasing what Mr. Kelly said before he and Ms. Goldrich performed the song "Taylor, the Latte Boy" (Goldrich/Heisler), a very entertaining song and favorite of cabaret performers. Kelly commented (explicative excluded) how was he supposed to follow that!!!! Honestly, the judges for the evening, most likely, had the hardest time making their selection. There was no score or ranking revealed but the evening's top spot went to Mr. Bryson Jacobi Jackson. After accepting the victory with sheer joy and extreme humbleness, Jackson finished off the night with "That Old Black Magic", leaving the crowd standing on their feet with applause as Bryson was bestowed with many hugs and congratulations from the other contestants.

As mentioned at the start of this review, Mr. Coulter commented that he hopes to positively impact the future of each young artist. He shared that last year's winner, Chelle Denton, had performed fabulously with the Pacific Symphony and has gone on to book additional performances with other symphonies. Each of the evening's contestants has a bright future and an opportunity to achieve their dreams.

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus
Bryson Jacobi Jackson

So, if you submit a video for the third annual Give My Regards: A Competition Like No Other, make sure to check what that ding or the buzz on your phone is about: you could be standing on the stage of a premiere New York City cabaret venue in about a year's time, with your future as a cabaret and concert performer right before you.

Visit the 54 Below website HERE.

Visit the Spot-On Entertainment website HERE.

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus
Kelli Rabke
Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus
Melvin Tunstall III

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus
Clinton Kelly

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus
Zina Goldrich

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus
Jessica Hendy
Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus
John Boswell

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus

Review: SCOTT COULTER'S GIVE MY REGARDS: A COMPETITION LIKE NO OTHER at 54 Below by Thomas Salus Thomas Salus is a New Jersey/New York-based photographer specializing in theater and sports photography. For close to ten years, Tom has been providing his photo talents to community and larger regional theaters, supporting their productions, and highlighting the performers through his images. In addition to theater, he works with area professional, college, and high schools sport teams to capture the action on their stages. Tom has worked with New York-based Cabaret artists, freelanced for local newspapers, and worked with organizations like Little League International. Tom's photography started when he and his wife Kelly were raising their four children and capturing moments of their theater and sports accomplishments. Tom is excited to be working with Broadway World as a contributing photographer and getting the opportunity to photograph some of the most amazing talent in that artistic community. Thomas Salus can be found on Instagram HERE and at his website HERE.


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