NEW CASTLE SHOW Performers prepare for Stars of Tomorrow
This year's show will involve a diverse group, the director says.
By STEPHANIE UJHELYI
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- The future of local entertainment is the focus of the latest stage production at the New Castle Playhouse.
Youth performers will sing, dance, juggle and exhibit their particular talent during Saturday's 11th annual Stars of Tomorrow show.
Retired radio personality Dale Brenner of New Castle will emcee the event, which includes 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. performances.
According to Director Vaughn Hudspath, this event has developed into an exhibition of local talent from every school in Lawrence County as well as Mercer and Beaver counties, and eastern Ohio.
"We will also be showcasing young people who attend the new performing arts school in Beaver County. The Lincoln Park Performing Arts Academy will have several performers from their school," Hudspath added.
More than 100 entertainers auditioned for the variety show. The best made the bill.
Jennifer Roe is the assistant director and choreographer. She describes the experience as memorable. "Each year this event becomes something very special. Whether you know the performers or not, the one thing you can expect is that they are the best of the best."
Among the memorable performers will be the NCP Mini Stars, a group of 30 young people directed by Hudspath who travel around the area performing. The troupe, whose members are between 8 and 18 years of age, will present their traveling show "Rock the Jukebox," which features 11-year-old Rosie Jo Neddy of Canfield, best known for her work with Easy Street Productions. Recently, the Mini Stars performed at Youngstown's Chevrolet Centre with "American Idol" finalist Kevin Covias.
Not a competition
Hudspath assures that it is not a competition but instead a variety show. However, the participating senior with the highest SAT score receives a scholarship.
& quot;This is a unique production because it puts the emphasis on the youth performing arts -- singing, dancing, instrumentalists," he said. "Big numbers open and close the show, and the musical support is provided by an all-star orchestra consisting of all high school performers. A lot of kids say it creates camaraderie, allows them to perform with others side by side."
Maura Fornataro is the music director, while Dr. Thomas Zumpella will conduct his 11th All-Star Jazz Band.
John Holt, executive director of the Youngstown Playhouse, will help with introductions.
Hudspath has been directing the show for 11 years and says that this show really could top them all.
"I don't know if it's because we have such a diverse group of young people ranging from musicians and vocalists to dancers. We even have a group of three young people who are exceptional jugglers. We just have it all this year. I wouldn't miss this for the world. & quot;