Monday, 23 May 2011

Le Spotllight could be Montreal's Canadian Idol

Canadian Idol may be long gone, but CTV could do a lot worse than considering a partnership with the city’s most exciting night of musical theatre. Le Spotlight: Montreal’s Musical Theatre Challenge will mark its fifth edition of celebrating local performing excellence on Wed. June 1 (8 p.m.) at Le Gesu (1200 Bleury).

Sponsored by the Centre for Education and Theatre in Montreal (CETM), nine Montreal-area performers were selected during a round of preliminary auditions held recently at CETM: Émilie Allard, Shoshanna Bell, Luc-Jean Gagnon, Lisa Ashley Gontovnick, Maggie Owen, Eva Petris, Sophie Protopoulos, Alisha Ruiss and Dane Stewart. Each will have four minutes alone on stage to demonstrate acting, singing and movement skills before a panel of professional judges and a live audience.

New this year will be additional performances by the finalists in group numbers during the second half of the show. This year’s winner will be featured in the Next Wave Festival of New Musicals coming to the Pierre-Dupuy Auditorium, the CETM Studio and Espace Libre in August. All performers will appear with a live 10-piece orchestra under the direction of Chris Barillaro. The show will be directed by Le Spotlight founder Stephen Pietrantoni and hosted by the 2009 Le Spotlight winner Braulio Elicer.

A partial list of judges for the finals includes musical director John Gilbert, choreographer Lorna Wayne and Montreal’s legendary Geraldine Doucet, with two others to be revealed soon. Again this year, those present in the audience will be given the opportunity to vote for their favourite performer. Tickets are $30 (all taxes and facility fees included), and may be obtained at the Gèsu box office (514-861-4036). Student/senior rates are available. For more information about the competition go to Le Spotlight’s official website.

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