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Show Tune Showdown shines spotlight on local arts groups

<p>What kind of event can bring together local arts groups to perform lively songs in an event that will appeal to everyone? That’s the question Rob Bowman asked himself a few years ago when he set out on a quest to raise funds for his choir, Tone Cluster.</p>

Competitors sing songs from Broadway musicals



submitted photos


Members of the Orpheus Musical Theatre Society will show their Broadway musical style when they compete at the Show Tune Showdown tomorrow, with the hopes of retaining their winning title from the first year of the event.





What kind of event can bring together local arts groups to perform lively songs in an event that will appeal to everyone?


That’s the question Rob Bowman asked himself a few years ago when he set out on a quest to raise funds for his choir, Tone Cluster.


The answer he came up with was Show Tune Showdown, a game-show style singing competition that finds three teams performing in front of celebrity judges, in order to capture the coveted title of Show Tune Showdown Champion.


“Our first event in 2005 was such a success that we knew we had to do this again,” says Bowman. “It’s a great way to celebrate the talents of these arts groups and raise some money.”


This year performers from Zucchini Grotto Theatre Company, the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama (OSSD) and Orpheus Musical Theatre Society will battle it out on the big Bronson Centre stage.


Orpheus was declared the winner the first year, which guaranteed them an invite to this year’s competition. Gordon Guest, a performer with Orpheus and a member of the group’s board of directors, says his team is doing all they can to retain the title.


“Basically it’s practice, practice, practice. Zucchini and OSSD are some pretty stiff competition, but it will be a fun night no matter what,” says Guest.








Competitors sing four songs, all of which must be from Broadway musicals. Judges award the teams points based on their performances, and their ability to connect with the audience.


Judges at this year’s event are jazz singer Kellylee Evans, CBC Radio host Kathleen Petty, and Julian Armour, artistic director of the Ottawa Chamber Music Society.


Bowman says he picked these particular judges because of their expertise and also because of their winning personalities.


“It’s all very friendly judging so we won’t have any Simon Cowell’s there,” he says with a laugh.


Singer Kellylee Evans says she’s excited to be on the other side of the stage for once.


“These are all great singers, so I know it will sound good. I’ll be looking more at who seems to shine best on stage,” she says.


But there’s more than just singing talent on display. Teams will also be tested on their ability to name a show tune, based on clues given by the MC. If they can’t do it, audience members are asked to jump in and steal the points, which they can then award to a team of their choice.




  • Show Tune Showdown 2007 is at the Bronson Centre, Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 and tickets are $15.



 
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