New stars light up the night at STC event

The Sheboygan Theatre Company presented the first-ever “Sheboygan’s Next Star,” Saturday, June 11. This event served as a fundraiser for the theatre company and was their way to promote performing arts and artists in Sheboygan.

The night was a success and with 17 contestants competing for several prizes. There was a combination of younger and older contestants. Also, the range in acts varied quite a bit from Irish dancing to an electric guitar playing, rocker. In the end there could only be one winner in each category – acting, dancing and singing.

The night was hosted by Mike Roehl, with his humor and charm. Looking sharp in his three-piece suit, donated by Du Bois Formalwear, he introduced every act, briefly interviewed the performers and also awarded door prizes to the audience.

The three judges were prominent Sheboygan area community members: Randy Schwoerer, Laura Kohler and Ralph Maffongelli. Each judge was able to comment on the performances and then would provide a score.

The audience was also able to contribute to the winner with all of their votes constituting one-fourth of the vote, essentially making them a fourth judge.

In acting, Amanda Ellis, 26, took the prize. Ellis presented the well-known monologue from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “To Be or Not To Be.” With a total score of 38 out of a possible 40, Ellis was awarded the $200 cash prize and two tickets to the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre’s 2011/12 Season.

In dancing, 17-year-old Betsy Klauck won the top prize with her jazz dance choreographed to Annie Lennox’s “Sweet Dreams are Made of These.” The dance race was a very tight one, with no dancer getting a score under 35 out of 40. But the recent Etude graduate won with the highest score of the night with 39 out of 40. Klauck received the $200 cash prize and a gift certificate donated by Danceworks in Milwaukee. The certificate allows her to take six classes of her choice with the well-known dance company/school.

Finally, in the largest category, Patricia Lutze, 20, took the top prize in singing. There was a wide range in genres for this category and it was rather close competition throughout. Lutze was the second to last singer of the night when she appeared on the stage to sing “As if We Never Said Goodbye” from Sunset Boulevard. Lutze was the only contestant to receive perfect tens from the three judges. A student at Lakeland College, Lutze, received a $200 cash prize and a chance to record a single and music video. The recording time was donated by Rock Garden Studios in Appleton.

The event was possible with the help of a lot of area people, businesses and organizations. The event was mainly sponsored by a grant received from the Kohler Foundation, Inc. Other businesses that contributed were: Taylor Drive Dental Care, Gibbsville Cheese Co., Legend Larry’s, Odyssey Fun Center, Pizza Ranch, Wolf Pack Adventures, Kohler Waters Spa and Movers & Shakers.

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