Semi-Final Contestants Announced. Who Will Be The Next Broadway Star?
The Next Broadway Star contestants show what passion along with talent can do in making Broadway dreams come true.
The Next Broadway Star contestants show what passion along with talent can do in making Broadway dreams come true.
Bianca’s performances always put a smile on everybody’s face including the judges. She sang “Love is All” written by Yanni who wrote this song for Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world. Bianca did justice to the song by singing it with much energy and passion. A little birdie tells us that her father made the track from scratch for this competition because the karaoke version is not available in the market. We are blown away by the talent and dedication she and her family bring to this competition.
Bianca, 18, recently graduated from high school and is starting college this Fall at American Musical and Dramatic Arts Academy for musical theatre. Bianca was discovered by Anumita Mukherjee, Director and Producer of Next Broadway Star, during one of her powerful underground performances at Grand Central Station in New York.
Bianca always knew she wanted to be a star on Broadway. It all started at a very young age when her father, the musician of the family, heard her singing the theme song of a popular Hispanic soap opera called “Nus Clasita”. Her father recognized her potential and decided to train her to be a professional singer.
Bianca soon began performing in public places including the local family Church, parties, and in her father’s band to get the much needed exposure and experience.
Bianca’s mother also plays a huge role in her life. She works as an accountant to support and provide for her family. Despite financial difficulties, she enrolled Bianca in piano, violin, dancing, and recorder classes.
Her hard work paid-off when Bianca was accepted to The Professional Performing Arts High School after a few auditions. The school honed Bianca’s musical skills and gave her the tools necessary to succeed in the world of performing arts.
To see Bianca’s progression in the competition please click on the links below:
Binaca’s performance at the kick-off of Next Broadway Star: http://www.broadway.tv/blog/next-broadway-star/next-broadway-star-quarterfinalist-bianca-espinal/
Bianca’s audition for Next Broadway Star: http://www.broadway.tv/blog/broadway-blog/next-broadway-star-bianca-espinal/
Whitney showed her country roots when she sang “Sin Wagon” by Dixie Chicks. She transformed from an elegant Broadway singer in the kick-off to a country chick in the quarterfinals. The judges were once again blown by her masterful performance. Whitney is the total package and she has what it takes to win Next Broadway Star. Let’s see if she can live up to the expectations in the semifinals.
Whitney Winfield is a 21 year old senior at Pace University, where she is pursuing her B.F.A. in musical theatre. She is the youngest of four children, and the only one to pursue a career in performing arts. A Naples, Florida native, Whitney began performing at the age of 8 and has continuously pursued this career ever since. She left home at age 15 to attend Interlochen Arts Academy, a prestigious boarding high school for the study of the arts in Interlochen, Michigan, to focus on Theater. Graduating with highest academic and theatrical honors, Whitney moved to New York City to further her education at Pace. She has been involved in student and faculty productions there, as well as professional projects and regional theatres outside of school.
Whitney loves to bake and was so influenced by her passion for cupcakes, that she got a job at Baked By Melissa, the “mini stuffed cupcakes” store. She is heavily influenced by fashion, music, movies and other forms of popular culture. Her mother and father have been the most supportive parents of anyone she knows and have done and still do everything in their power to assist Whitney in achieving her goals- and for that she is forever grateful. Thanks to all in her life who nurture her mind and spirit.
Favorite credits include: Regional: No, No Nanette (Nanette), Chicago (June/Ens.), Rent (Maureen), My Fair Lady (First Maid/Ens.), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie), The Who’s Tommy (Ens.); Educational: The Who’s Tommy (Mrs. Walker), Beauty and the Beast (Belle), City of Angels (Alaura Kingsley), All Shook Up (Miss Sandra), The Illusion (Melibea), A Year With Frog and Toad (Lady Bird 1).
To see Whitney’s progression in the competition please click on the links below:
Whitney’s performance at the kick-off of Next Broadway Star:http://www.broadway.tv/blog/next-broadway-star/next-broadway-star-quarterfinalist-whitney-winfield/
Whitney’s audition for Next Broadway Star: http://www.broadway.tv/blog/broadway-blog/next-broadway-star-whitney-winfield/
Mario worked the space and the crowd like no other contestant in the quarterfinals. His growth in this competition is something everybody has noted including the judges. He went from the bottom two in the kick-off to the top three in the quarterfinals. We wish him all the best in the semifinals.
Mario is a New York City native whose passion lies with entertainment. He has “an intensity on par with the bright lights and big sounds of the city he was born and raised in.”
Born to a Colombian father doctor and a Puerto Rican mother, Mario was raised in a setting that encouraged his love of the arts despite his late father’s original desire for him to pursue a career in the sciences. His private schooling at the Saint David’s School in New York City served to further motivate him to work hard towards a career in entertainment.
Over the years, Mario has been heavily involved with theater and he spent his high school years taking classes, scriptwriting, and doing open mics to further his skills. By the time he reached college, he decided that his goal to pursue entertainment would be best served by a complete immersion in the craft. He subsequently left college and started focusing on developing projects to cultivate new skills and start his resume building.
Mario soon became a Brand Ambassador at the Samsung Experience in New York’s Time Warner Center in midtown Manhattan for three years. He also won the AX Idol singing challenge in 2010. Currently, he is spending his days pursuing his goal to be an entertainment professional, and hopes that his recent experiences coupled with involvement in the competition will guide him towards living the life he’s always worked towards…
…A life devoted to entertainment.
Highlights include: “Final Fantasy vs Kaiju Big Battel” (2005; fan film), Anime News Network (2007-2008; news webisodes), “Doujinopolis” (2009; web series), AX Idol Singing Winner (2010), numerous promotional spots for FUNimation Entertainment and Aniplex of America. (2009-current)
To see Mario’s progression in the competition please click on the links below:
Mario’s performance at the kick-off of Next Broadway Star:http://www.broadway.tv/blog/broadway-blog/next-broadway-star-quarterfinalist-mario-bueno/
Mario’s audition for Next Broadway Star: http://www.broadway.tv/blog/next-broadway-star/next-broadway-star-mario-bueno/
The girl from next door is here to rock the Broadway world. Don’t be fooled by her good girl looks because she knocked the socks off the judges by her performance. Duncan said she is the “surprise” package and challenged her to move away from the good girl image. Let’s see if Mariana can do just that in the semifinals!
Mariana is a Musical Theater major at the Boston Conservatory. She has been studying Musical Theater for the past six years. She attended New World School of The Arts High School one of the most prestigious performing arts high schools in the U.S. Mariana has performed in high school and college shows such asPippin, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Life After High School, Very Good Eddie, 100 Years of Broadway, Comedy of Errors and Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Mariana has performed as a soloist in numerous local events in Miami and currently records commercial jingles for many clients ranging from radio stations to local businesses. Besides her vocal and acting training, Mariana also performs classical ballet, modern, tap, jazz, hip-hop and Latin rhythms.
She lives in Miami, Florida and is fluent in Spanish.
To see Mariana’s progression in the competition please click on the links below:
Mariana’s performance at the kick-off of Next Broadway Star:http://www.broadway.tv/blog/next-broadway-star/next-broadway-star-quarterfinalist-mariana-leon/
Mariana’s audition for Next Broadway Star: http://www.broadway.tv/blog/broadway-events/next-broadway-star-mariana-leon/
David Michaels popularity is evident among the voters as he received the highest number of votes leading up to the quarterfinals. He is the front runner in the competition along with fellow contestant Whitney Winfield.
David was born to sing and act. At the age of 15, he began a quest to fulfill his dream to be on Broadway. David soon became a local star in his home state of Connecticut, performing in numerous plays across the region. Two years ago, he decided to up the ante and move to the big city. David has now performed in leading roles in venues across the nation, including a national tour of Oklahoma! He is about to make his Fringe Festival debut as “Fantasy Man,” where his wardrobe will consist only of flesh-colored briefs. David has received tremendous acclaim for his musical theater performances: “Here is a talent with enough charisma to light up the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.” (Joanne Greco Rochman, as published in The Valley Gazette.)
David Michaels has extensive experience in acting, singing, and musical theatre. David honed his craft in acting and singing at the Connecticut School of Performing Arts as well as AMDA (American Musical Dramatic Academy). Performance credits include: Cassanova Was a Woman (FRINGE FESTIVAL), Oklahoma! (NATIONAL TOUR), The Full Monty, Grease, American Buffalo, The Zoo Story, Ancestral Voices, Kiss Me Kate, Guys & Dolls, Bat Boy, Blood Brothers, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Forest, True Love (Voiceover).
To see David’s progression in the competition please click on the links below:
David’s performance at the kick-off of Next Broadway Star:http://www.broadway.tv/blog/next-broadway-star/next-broadway-star-quarterfinalist-david-michaels/
David’s audition for Next Broadway Star: http://www.broadway.tv/blog/broadway-blog/next-broadway-star-david-michaels/
Ithaca College should be proud of its senior year student Ned, who is a brilliant performer with a very very sweet voice. The judges loved his performance but thought he needs to “sexify” his appearance to compete with the glammed up ladies in the competition. We think Ned is hot but let’s see if he can change the judges opinion regarding this matter in the semifinals.
Ned is thrilled to be a part of Next Broadway Star. Originally from Portland, Maine, Ned is currently entering his senior year pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College. He is so excited to be making his NYC theatre debut as part of this competition. Hopefully this will be the first of many great opportunities as he prepares to pursue his dream of being an actor in the entertainment industry, be it theatre, television, or film.
Ned’s credits include: A Year with Frog and Toad (Maine State), All Shook Up (Hackmatack), Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It (Ithaca Shakespeare Co.), Observe the Sons of Ulster…, Playboy of the Western World, The Cripple of Inishmaan (On the Verge Theatre Co.)
Not a stranger to the competition show circuit, Ned was unceremoniously voted off of America’s Got Talent by judges Sharon Osbourne, Piers Morgan, and Howie Mandel in the Los Angeles first round of this most recent season. On that show, he showcased his other passion, Staged Combat. Ned runs a vampire slayer action comedy web series entitled “The Hunted: Expulsion” which is a spinoff of the world’s longest running web series “The Hunted” based out of LA. Ned sends love to all of his friends, to Priya who keeps him sane in this crazy world, and to his entire family, especially his older brother Will who is off galavanting somewhere around the world; Stay Safe.
To see Ned’s progression in the competition please click on the links below:
Ned’s performance at the kick-off of Next Broadway Star: http://www.broadway.tv/blog/next-broadway-star/next-broadway-star-quarterfinalist-ned-donovan/
Ned’s audition for Next Broadway Star: http://www.broadway.tv/blog/broadway-blog/next-broadway-star-ned-donovan/
Collette is one of the most experienced contestants in Next Broadway Star. Her style, maturity, and performance speaks volumes about her “spitfire” personality that that lights up a room. The judges raved about her performance and wanted her to really get down and dirty like a true rocker. Let’s see if she can get her ‘hair down’ for the semifinals.
Collette moved to NYC on a Greyhound Bus to pursue musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. While she enjoyed school, she found another type of education: singing in clubs with some of the world’s top session players. This set the stage to form what was later to become her first band: edibleRed. Later signing to Select Records, edibleRed went on to enjoy international success on MTV “Buzzworthy”, “Sucker Free” on MTV Canada, Radio 1 inHolland, FUSE, and VH1.com and on the hit TV show Cash Cab.
Collette branched out on her own as a radio DJ interviewing Coolio, Joan Collins and the cast of MTV’s “The Buried Life”. In addition, she worked as a session singer appearing on various commercials and the Martha Stewart Christmas Special. www.myspace.com/ediblered
See Collette’s progression in the competition at the links below:
Collette’s performance at the kick-off of Next Broadway Star: http://www.broadway.tv/blog/next-broadway-star/next-broadway-star-quarterfinalist-collette-mclafferty/
Collette’s audition for Next Broadway Star: http://www.broadway.tv/blog/next-broadway-star/next-broadway-star-collette-mclafferty/
If you are an ardent fan of Broadway, then you must not miss the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction on Sunday, September 25 from 10am to 7pm at 44th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, and will stretch across Broadway into Times Square.
So what happens at a Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction? Fans can take photos with their favorite Broadway star, and also buy coveted cast recordings, signed show posters and Playbills, rare costumes sketches or special gift for a theatre-lover. All proceeds from the event are donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fight AIDS.
This year hit Broadway shows including The Addams Family, Anything Goes, The Book of Mormon, Follies, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, The Phantom of the Opera, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Rock of Ages, Sister Act, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Wicked and Cirque Du Soleil’s Zarkana are participating and will have tables at the Flea Market.
Fans can get ahead of the game and start bidding online for a VIP experience at the Flea market & Grand Auction. The pass allows them to skip lines and meet with the participating Broadway stars with a personal celebrity liaison.
Stars that are attending this year are Montego Glover, Jackie Joffman, Beth Leavel, Telly Leung, Marin Mazzie and Ron Raines.
For more information regarding the Flea Market & Grand Auction and Broadway Stars attending the event please visit http://www.broadwaycares.org/fleamarket2011
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (September 9, 2011) - Next Broadway Star was held on Monday, August 29, 2011 at the Times Square McDonald’s . Broadway.tv joined forces with McDonald’s 42nd Street store, in hosting the biggest talent competition Broadway has ever seen.
The competition was hosted by Television/Stage star Jonathan D. Lovitz, the popular Host of the hit television series Set up Squad. Judges for the Next Broadway Star included:
Highlights of the Next Broadway Star kick-off were stars of four hit Broadway shows Book of Mormon, Hair, Jersey Boys, and La Cage Aux Folles and over a dozen celebrities:
VIP guests attending the kick-off included: Annmaria Mazzini -Star of The Paul Taylor Dance Company; Brandon Pope - Musician/Composer/Model; Patrick Hazlewood -Supermodel/Entrepreneur; Fiona Kuchina - Supermodel/Actress/Entrepreneur, No Love In The City; Luis Perrusquia-Dos - Supermodel/Actor
The competition will take place once a month over a four month period. The next round will be held on Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 at the McDonald’s 42nd Street store, where the upper levels of the location will be transformed into a theater.
Ten out of the sixteen Next Broadway Star contestants that performed at the kick-off moved to the quarterfinals. Each of the contestants were handpicked from around the country and carefully screened by the Broadway.tv team from the thousands of talented potential Broadway actors/singers through an auditioning process that took more than five months.
Next Broadway Star received huge response from the press including: Broadway.tv, Broadwayworld.com, New York Observer, New York Daily News, NaplesNews.com, Queer New York. The top photo worldwide agencies sent photographers to cover this event including WireImage, Getty Images, and New York Daily News.
About Next Broadway Star:
Next Broadway Star competition aims to provide a break for candidates that aspire to make it big on Broadway but don’t have the means and the exposure do so. Voice alone doesn’t guarantee you a spot in the competition, the candidate needs to have the total package which includes voice, energy and ability to connect to the song and the audience. The ultimate winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 dollars, and the chance to audition with the most prestigious casting directors and producers on Broadway. The viewers can vote for their favorite contestants online via Facebook and Broadway.tv.
Broadway.tv (BTV) is the world’s number one video-specific site for Broadway plays and musical theatre. We have recently expanded our coverage to the West End, and our site now contains exclusive features from London. With a million viewers per day, we have secured interviews with the best and brightest on Broadway, including Hugh Jackman, Robin Williams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Mark Wahlberg, Ben Stiller, Jerry Seinfeld, Matthew Bourne, Jude Law, Angela Lansbury, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock and many more notable celebrities.
For more press information, contact Matt Flynn or Christopher Vicini at james@jamesgrantPR.com or (917) 626-1300. Visit Broadway.tv for more information about the competition and the contestants.
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