Auditions for LA'S NEXT GREAT STAGE STAR Set for 12/15

Auditions for LA'S NEXT GREAT STAGE STAR Set for 12/15

Sterling's Upstairs at The Federal, the most critically acclaimed, award-winning supper club of its kind in the greater Los Angeles area, has set Sunday, December 15, 2013 as auditions for the 8th consecutive year of LA's Next Great Stage Star®, it was announced today by Executive Producer Michael Sterling of Michael Sterling & Associates in Los Angeles, CA. "Our annual auditions in search of 10 men and 10 women between within the ages of 18 and 28, is highly anticipated by the hierarchy of those in the business of presenting Los Angeles Broadway musical theatre. We couldn't be more grateful to our professional colleagues and select corporate entities for their consistent support of Stage Star since its inception eight years ago."

For her third year - actress, concert headliner, businesswoman and arts philanthropist Barbara Van Orden joins Sterling as Producer by gifting LA's Next Great Stage Star® with the Barbara Van Orden Grant which provides invaluable financial assistance for production of the annual competition.

Los Angeles musical theatre and television performer/writer/director/producer Peter Welkin returns for year two as Associate Producer, with the incomparable James Lent set as Musical Director for his fifth consecutive season.

Interested talent may call Michael Sterling & Associates at (818) 623-7300, Ext. 2 to request an audition appointment. Auditions are by appointment only and will be scheduled between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. at the Performing Arts Center ( located at 7735 North Sepulveda Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91406. A musical accompanist will be provided.

Having premiered in late 2006 with its first winner (Merissa Haddad) chosen in early 2007, LA's Next Great Stage Star® is the only known such competition on the west coast and will be presented at Sterling's Upstairs at The Federal in North Hollywood's trendy NoHo Arts District. The Federal, part of the Knitting Factory Entertainment Corporation, Sterling's Upstairs is dedicated to presenting the best of Broadway performers in concert; as well as nightclub artists dedicated to the Great American Songbook. LA's Next Great Stage Star® 2014 will be presented as a series of six Sunday matinees: beginning January 5 and continuing on January 12, 19, 26; and February 9 with its much anticipated finale to be presented February 16. The reality competition will be presented to a live audience of 100 each Sunday.

Patterned after "an audition process", LA's Next Great Stage Star® is geared to discovering new talent for the musical theatre stage. As has become the standard, 20 contestants will be selected from auditions to compete for the 2014 title, a $1000 cash award, a headlining engagement at Sterling's Upstairs during the New Year, and other valuable prizes. Contestants selected from auditions to compete in the competition are subject to a one time entry fee of $400.

This year's competition will once again be judged by a live audience and an overall panel of LA musical theatre's most creative forces. Judges will give a live critique to each contestant at every competition. Audience members and Judges will also vote on vocal and acting ability, stage presence and personality.

Judges last season for LA's Next Great Stage Star® 2013 included: Mark Simon/Center Theatre Group Casting (Ahmanson Theater and Mark Taper Forum); Michael Donovan/Michael Donovan Casting - Theatre, Film, Television, Commercials; David Elzer - Producer/Sister Act, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Life Could be a Dream; 2912 LA Ovation Award winning Director Michael Matthews (The Color Purple); Resident Director/Celebration Theatre - Hollywood); David Galligan - Director and LA Stage Alliance Lifetime Ovation Award Winner and Director of S.T.A.G.E (Southland Theater Artists Goodwill Event) annual AIDS fundraising benefits in Los Angeles); Director Cate Caplin (Over 150 production in theatres and performance venues in Los Angeles, Edinburgh Arts Festival, Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Opera House and others); Matthew Neves - Artistic Director/Performance Riverside at the Landis Performing Arts Center; Robert Marra/Director - A Chorus Line, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - San Diego Music Theatre; Dan Mojica/Associate Director/Choreographer - Disney's Beauty and The Beast - National and International Tours; Creator/Writer/Director Roger Bean - The Marvelous Wonderettes, Life Could be a Dream; Executive Producer/Director; T.J. Dawson - 2013 LA Ovation Award winning 3-D Theatricals/Fullerton and Redondo Beach, CA; West Coast Ensemble/Artistic Director Richard Israel - Kiss Me Kate/Cabrillo Music Theatre, Avenue Q/Doma Musical Theatre; Calvin Remsberg - Vocal Coach and Director - Into the Woods, Bare a Rock Opera, Sweeney Todd/Musical Theatre West/Long Beach, CA; Producer/Director/Composer/Author Bruce Kimmel of Kritzerland Records; Equity Department Theatre Agents: Jodie Bowman - Brady, Brannon and Rich; Sasha Passero - Kazarian, Spencer & Associates; Dave Secor - Daniel Hoff Agency; and Steven Dry - Connor, Ankrum & Associates; and Mark WilLiam Smith - Equity Theatre Department Head - The Savage Agency, Los Angeles; Carol Weiss - Owner Stage 9 Talent (Theatre, Film, Television) in Hollywood.

Contestants will compete at each competition with no eliminations until the Finale on February 16, 2014. Following the final sing by all 20 contestants on February 16, the Finale will determine the selection of one winner and four top finalists. Additionally, the winner of LA's Next Great Stage Star® 2014 and its four runners-up will also be awarded audition opportunities by LA based producers, directors and casting directors. To date, Lewis Wilkenfeld/Artistic Producer/Director Cabrillo Music Theatre in Thousand Oaks, CA; Julia Flores/Casting (McCoy/Rigby of La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada, CA, and the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, CA); Glenn Casale/Artistic Director Sacramento Music Circus in Sacramento, CA, and Steven Glaudini/Artistic Director Moonlight Amphitheater in Vista, CA) have participated with the competition since 2010.

As a direct result of LA's Next Great Stage Star®, more than 50 of the annual competition's overall 140 contestants have been cast in top regional theatre shows, Broadway national tours, Las Vegas productions, and network television shows; while 8 have already made their Broadway and Off-Broadway debuts. An average of 50 percent of "all" contestants in each year's edition of Stage Star are signed by the competition's musical theatre agent/judges.

Sterling's Upstairs, housed at The Federal located at 5303 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601, is produced by Michael Sterling of Michael Sterling & Associates (MSA), the Studio City-based entertainment public relations company. Known for its creative menus of California chic, gastro pub cuisine, The Federal's creative California chic, gastro pub cuisine, coupled with its vintage 1926 interior fused with contemporary design sensibilities, is one of the most successful dining and entertainment destinations in Los Angeles.

Since 1980, Sterling has represented such stellar clients as Elizabeth Taylor, Lance Armstrong, Scott Hamilton, Dorothy Hamill, David Copperfield, Joan Collins, Alan Thicke, Carol Lawrence, David Brenner, Andy Gibb, and Robert Goulet. Aside from his celebrity clientele, he has represented various national theatre and arena tours, Los Angeles theatre productions, Emmy Award-winning television specials, celebrity books, albums and CD's. Sterling is also a critically-acclaimed director of musical theatre in Los Angeles, and has produced various theatrical events and productions throughout Southern California.

In September, 2009, Sterling joined Broadway and BWW TV to produce television coverage of select Los Angeles theatre and red carpet opening night events for which he also serves as host. In 2010, Sterling and actor/director Paul Stroili joined forces to co-host and co-produce the highly successful, weekly radio series State of the Arts presented by Breakdown Services and Performing Arts Live on the Network. Since its May 31 debut, State of the Arts continues to review Los Angeles theatre and interviewed innumerable Tony, Oscar, Emmy and Grammy Award winners and nominees and performers.

Musical Direction for the competition will be provided by James Lent. Mr. Lent not only received a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Yale University; but has appeared in concert with symphony orchestras throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is currently on staff at AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy) College and Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Hollywood; as well as UCLA music programs. Mr. Lent also serves as a Musical Director for many Los Angeles musical theatre productions and solo concerts.

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