On May 21st, hopeful performers took turns belting their hearts out before a  panel of judges at Riverbend Community Center to compete in the first phase of the 2011 STARS OF TOMORROW Competition. One duet and eleven other performers ranging in age from thirteen to sixty-one will now advance to the Semi-Finals to be held at Alton Little Theater Showplace on Saturday, June 11th at 7pm. Coordinator, Lee Cox, said that the turn-out for auditions was lighter than expected at auditions but a total of twelve acts scored in the high 200 range (out of a perfect 300) in musicality, interpretation, vocal quality, and performance strength. Contestants represent seven local municipalities and sang selections from several music genres - "which should make for a great show", says Cox. Audience members will vote on June 11th and have 50% weight in advancing performers to the STARS OF TOMORROW finals on June 18th. The ALT Theater seats 230 and the reservation line (462-6562) will start taking reservations on May 23rd. Cox adds that ticket give-a-ways to the July production of HAIRSPRAY and summer refreshments will add to the plan to provide "the coolest entertainment on two hot summer nights". Tickets for the fundraisers are $10 and the proceeds will be split between the Riverbend Community Center and Alton Little Theater's summer projects. The local singing sensation of "Audri&Aaron" will perform at the Final Competition on June 18th during vote tabulation. Cox thinks the audience will enjoy this duo and enjoy seeing who takes home the grand prize of $500 in each of the two categories: "Under Eighteen" and " Eighteen and Older" . Cox says that she is glad to play cheerleader for all the performers and has no voting privileges because, " she loves all the performers and thinks that each one of them deserves the opportunities that come with this showcase production." Last year's Semi-Finalists performed at FIRST NIGHT RIVERBEND and the ALT patron party for additional stipends. Cox says that the growth of the "kids" is amazing; indeed," five of the twelve Semi-Finalists auditioned or made it to a phase of competition last year and each one of them took coaching, listened to the judges, practiced and have come back stronger. "This is part of the value of Community Theater; we train people and hone their talent!" The Final competition
will require each performer to sing two selections, one from their favorite style and one from a "Showtune"; this allows the judges and the audience to really gage range and versatility. Cox really hopes that Community members will get involved and support this summer program by buying tickets."This year we have a slightly smaller number of contestants and this means that we can't count on families to fill the seats - we need the community to have some fun and help
us launch the career of great performers and  the next potential "Star"! Please call Lee Cox at 618-531-377 for photo opportunities on June 10th and/ or interviews.

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