Teens Bring Down the House at St. Louis Teen Talent Showcase Finals

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On Friday, May 6th, twelve metro area high schools brought the crowd to their feet at The Fabulous Fox Theatre as they poured their hearts and souls out on stage at the St. Louis Teen Talent Showcase Finals. Thirty-four students competed for thousands in personal scholarships and cash for their schools' performing arts programs. The distinguished panel of performing arts professionals that had the difficult job of judging the groups consisted of a primetime TV star (Phyllis Smith, "The Office"), Broadway producer (Mike Isaacson, of Fox Theatricals NYC & The Muny), a casting director (Megan Larche of Megan Larch Casting & Fox Theatricals NYC), a theatrical director (Steven Woolf of The Rep), a dance choreographer/director (Michael Uthoff of Dance St. Louis) and a professional coach (Betsy Capes of Capes Coaching, NYC).

Technical ability, stage presence, interpretation, originality and content were all taken into consideration to choose the following students for the top honors: 1st place ($5000 scholarship and $2000 school cash prize) went to Micah Manaitai Garrido of Crossroads College Prep who performed an electric ukulele solo of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." 2nd place ($3500 scholarship and $2000 school cash prize) went to Hazelwood East's Intisar Faulkner, Vesta Greene, Sabrina Harris and Ashle Rene Pegues for performing an original contemporary dance to Nina Simone's "Four Women." 3rd place ($2000 scholarship and $2000 school cash prize) went to Grace Seidel of Villa Duchesne for her humorous rendition of "Alto's Lament." (Pictures available upon request.)

Two special awards went to Lilly Karrer of Kirkwood High School (Camp Broadway scholarship) and Micah Manaitai Garrido of Crossroads College Prep ($1000 "I" Award for most Imaginative, Inspired and Inventive act). Special thanks to John Russell, Rex & Jeanne Sinquefield, Ameren, Harry & Sally Johnston, James & Catherine Berges and Terry & Sally Schnuck for funding the awards. A list of additional prize winners can be found at the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation website. The group of twelve finalists will also have the opportunity to perform at a variety of events around the metro area over the upcoming year, giving them great additions to their professional resume.

Tony Parise (Broadway actor/director), Gerri Stretz (Professional Dance Center, Fox Tellerettes) and Yvonne Meyer Hare (Professional Dance Center) choreographed the Broadway-style event which included performances by the Fox Tellerettes, the Fabulous Fox Quintet, O'Fallon Township High School Marching Band, the Ritenour Rhythmettes and emcee Ben Nordstrom (Kevin Kline Award winner) kept the program running smoothly with humor and song.

The Finals were videotaped by The Nine Network for a special St. Louis Teen Talent Showcase program to be aired on Monday, May 23 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 28 at 3:30 p.m. This special presentation will increase the awareness of our Showcase and the talented teens in our metro area, hopefully inspiring other communities to do the same. The success of this year's event has secured a 2nd Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Showcase at The Fox on April 27, 2012. So teens...start practicing! We can't wait to see what you have in store for us next year.

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