Show Tune Showdown draws in musical audiences – Metro US

Show Tune Showdown draws in musical audiences

I will admit that musical theatre is not usually my thing, but even I can concede that a good show tune, sung well and with conviction, rarely fails to entertain.

If I needed convincing, I need look no further than Show Tune Showdown, the annual fundraiser for Tone Cluster choir that — according to organizers — blends “Canadian Idol, Name That Tune and Family Feud, all with the glitter of Broadway thrown in.”

For the third year, three local theatre groups will compete in a battle of Broadway prowess, singing for celebrity judges and an audience, with the goal of winning $500 and the coveted title of Show Tune Showdown champion.

Returning champs Zucchini Grotto Theatre Company, will take on Sock ‘n’ Buskin Theatre Company, and Suzart Productions.

“We’re excited to be involved because it’s fun, a great challenge and we get bragging rights if we win. Or I should say when we win,” says Suzart’s executive producer, Elaine McCausland.

After stage-managing the Showdown last year, McCausland was eager to get Suzart involved in the competition, which she describes as a night of “friendly rivalry.”

Suzart’s mandate is to provide affordable family-friendly musical theatre, and involve youth as much as possible. There are actors from the ages of eight to 85 in the company, and the four members competing Saturday — Caroline Stevens, Paul Grant, Kathleen Arbour, and Kraig-Paul Proulx — are young and eager to take the title from their pals at Zucchini Grotto.

In order to do that they, and the other teams, must perform four songs for judges Kathleen Petty, James Caswell and Alex Munter, as well as show off their skills in the difficult Showdown round.

What makes it especially thrilling is that team members must perform a song cold, with no prep time, and if none are brave enough to give it shot, there are always eager audience members willing to fill in. The audience members can then award the points to any team.

Longtime showdown fan and theatre aficionado Jessica Ruano offers this advice to first-time audience members with a hunger to sing: “Study up on your show tune trivia because you might end up onstage delivering your own musical number.”

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