Scott Siegel’s 11th Annual Edition of Broadway’s Rising Stars concert showcased twenty-one future stars of the Great White Way at Town Hall
by Linda Amiel Burns
If July 10’s fabulous concert of Scott Siegel’s Broadway Rising Stars, is any indication on the state of up-and-coming talent, then we know that Broadway will be alive and well for generations to come. For the past eleven years, this event has showcased and launched the careers of many young talents who are currently working in shows on Broadway and in touring companies around the country. Rising Stars has an unequaled record for giving future stars their first big break. Scott auditioned graduates of many theater schools and this cast was chosen from ten different performing arts institutions including American Musical Dramatic Academy (AMDA), Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (CCM), Cap 21, Circle in the Square, Marymount Manhattan College, The New School, NYU’s Steinhardt Dept of Music & Performing Arts, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and other acclaimed institutions. The talent came from all over the USA and from countries as diverse as Norway, Belgium, and Israel.
Scott Siegel is the creator of this exciting Broadway showcase and also served as writer and host of the evening. When introducing each singer, he told a little about them, how they began, and what started their interest in musical theater. Scott Coulter deftly directed the show with great choreography from Vilbecke Dahle. The music director for the past 10 years was John Fisher with Jerry DeVore on bass and Zak Eldridge on drums.
I liked that the Program had a color photo of each member of the cast and a bio of all they have accomplished so far. The show opened with all the “Rising Stars” on stage dressed beautifully and taking turns singing and harmonizing on “This is the Moment” from Jekyll and Hyde that perfectly expressed what these young performers were feeling. These “kids” have been training for years at different schools, their families have supported their dreams both emotionally and financially, and this was their ‘big chance” to shine. Each in their own way certainly did just that and came through in more ways than they could have hoped for. Once up on stage, their years of training paid off as many of their voices were spectacular and thrilling. They all knew how to act out the songs, not just sing them. I loved the choices of material as each displayed their individuality, and their youthful enthusiasm was infectious. Each performer earned the thunderous applause they received and some even standing ovations!
The group numbers were particularly dazzling as the first act closed with a medley from Hair, a show that opened 50 years ago, and the cast was dressed in hippie garb as they sang, “Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In” which was staged to perfection. The group number for the finale was from Dear Evan Hanson, a show that is current and just won the Tony Award. The song “You Will Be Found” expressed how each singer “found” themselves through the art of musical theater and being a part of this community and looking ahead to an exciting future.
These are the 2017 “Rising Stars” and I would be remiss not to list each of them as it is hoped that you will be seeing them on Broadway some day!
This year’s Broadway Rising Stars are:
Annette Berning: AMDA, “You There In The Back Row” (13 Days to Broadway) from Norway.
Sarah Burke: AMDA, “It’s a Privilege to Pee” (Urinetown)
Willie Demyan: AMDA, “Flight” (Craig Cornelia)
Elisa Galindez: CAP 21, “I Think I May Want to Remember Today (Starting Here, Starting Now)
Liron Gavri: Lipper’s Musical Theatre Academy (Israel), “I Don’t Want To Know (Dear World)
Mia Gerachis: Tisch – New Studio on Broadway, “Maybe This Time” (Cabaret)
Dan Gettler: CCM, “I Am What I Am” (Les Cage Aux Folles)
Tyler Jensen: University of Northern Colorado “Why, God, Why” (Miss Saigon)
Andy Kear: SUNY/Cortland, “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ The Boat” (Guys & Dolls)
Naree Ketudat: NYU’s Steinhardt, “If My Friends Could See Me Now” (Sweet Charity)
Lauren Kolas: CAP 21 “Someone Like You” (Jekyll & Hyde)
Katelyn Malloy: AMDA “Part of Your World” (The Little Mermaid)
Anthony Massa: Macaulay Honors College of CUNY, “If I Can’t Love Her” (Beauty & The Beast)
Ryan McConville: Wagner College “Purpose” (Avenue Q)
Lieselotte Nickmans: AMDA “Being Alive” (Company)
Sophie Rapiejko: Marymount, “Astonishing” (Little Women)
Matt Ross: NYU’s Steinhardt, “Pink Fish” (Alan Menken)
Ruby Shadley: AMDA, “Climb Every Mountain” (The Sound of Music)
Shauna Topian: CCM, “Defying Gravity” (Wicked)
Brooke Wetterhahn: Tisch – New Studio on Broadway, “Before The Parade Passes By” (Hello, Dolly)
Nazarria Workman: AMDA, “Home” (The Wiz)
For all the events that Scott Siegel is producing: contact him at
Photo: Maryann Lopinto