Friday, October 23, 2009

Singing with the Broadway Stars - Central Illinois Favorites Selected

Thanks to all of you who submitted video auditions and/or voted for the local favorites in the “Singing with the Broadway Stars” contest. We are pleased to announce that Mark McCue and Natalie Randall has been selected as the local favorites and will sing solos in the finale of tomorrow evening’s Neil Berg’s 101 Years of Broadway. Tickets are available at the Ticket Office 217.206.6160. Ask for the “Friends and Family” discount to receive 15% off the price of your tickets.

Below is biographic information on our ten local singers who will participate in the performance. For more information about the Broadway Stars they will be joining with, click here.

For more information, visit our website.

Kristy Crouse is 24 years old and has been singing her entire life from solos, choirs, to karaoke. She graduated with a B.A. in Human Service from Millikin University. She currently work at Bard Optical but counseling and singing are her passions. She has been in plenty of performances in High School, College and in her spare time. In high school, she performed as the Nightingale in Once Upon a Mattress. Recently, she performed in the choir for Guys and Dolls at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in 2009.

Jacob Deters is a 19-year-old, Lincoln Land Community College freshman where he is currently studying music. He is a recent graduate of Sacred Heart-Griffin, where he was in many school productions. Some of his favorite roles include, Fyedka in Fiddler on the Roof at the Muni, Judea in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Springfield Theatre Centre, Ugly in Honk, and Michael in SH-G's Back to the 80s. Jacob would like to thank his parents, Ron and Sherri, his brother Chad, and all his friends for all their love and support.

Clayton Joyner is a 2008 graduate of Sacred Heart-Griffin and currently a sophomore theater major at Illinois State University. She played Kim in Miss Saigon at the Muni and many other roles dating back to her early childhood. At the age of 12, she appeared in New York City at the Apollo Theater.

Madison Kauffman is a senior at Springfield High School, and she hopes to major in Musical Theater Performance and minor in Theater Wig and Make-Up Design. She has performed in over a dozen shows at the Springfield Theatre Centre and other venues earning several notable awards for performance. She most recently appeared as Belle in Beauty and the Beast for the Springfield Theatre Centre. She would like to thank her mom and sisters, Leigh Ann and Ed Smith and Judy McEvoy.

Mark McCue currently sells medical and laboratory supplies for McKesson Medical-Surgical. Most recently the community may have seen him in the concert production of Kismet, in the Roxy Group productions of Halloween Dreams and Christmas Wishes and as Chris in Miss Saigon at the Muni. He would like to send his love out to his wife Allison, his children Molly (8), Cooper (5), and Tate (1), and to his parents Mac and Flo McCue in Riverton.

Hailey McNamara is a sophomore at Williamsville High School. She has performed at Muni, Springfield Theatre Centre, and Lincoln Community Theatre. She played Mary Lenox in Muni's The Secret Garden, Sphrintze in Muni's Fiddler on the Roof, and the witch in Springfield Theatre Centre's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Her parents are Mike and Barbara McNamara, and my brother is Jake.

Natalie Randall recently graduated from LLCC with an Associate in Fine Arts. She currently teaches music and drama at Washington Middle School at an after school program. She has been in numerous productions around town and some regional theatres: Effie White in Dreamgirls (Springfield Theatre Centre), a Dynamite Girl in Hairspray (Little Theatre On The Square), Dorcas/Gemina/Auntie Chole in Dessa Rose (Springfield Theatre Centre) and Taylor McKessie in High School Musical (Muni and Jacksonville Theatre Guild) and High School Musical 2 (Sangamon Auditorium). Her family includes her parents Nathaniel and Tinnie, her sisters Lillian and Rachel, and her grandmother Leona Cole.

DJ Shultz works at Western Oaks Church as Director of Music and Worship. He appeared as the title role in Joseph and Amazing Color Dreamcoat at the Muni, in Pirates of Penzance at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, and was Music Director of Muni's All Shook Up. He is married to Karen Shultz and has a daughter named Kinsley Shultz and a soon-to-be-born son named Kreyton Shultz.

Holly Thompson is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Currently in her 5th year teaching in the Department of Human Development Counseling, she coordinates the community counseling specialization. In her youth, Holly was very active in the Peoria area community theater scene. She participated in productions such as Big River, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Eastlight Community Theater, The King and I at Cornstock Theater, and The Sound of Music at Peoria Players.

Emily Wheeler is a freshman at Glenwood High School, where she performs in the Show Choir, GTU (vocal Jazz) and the Marching Band. She has been singing her whole life, but was most recently featured in Bye Bye Birdie as Alice at Glenwood Middle School. You may have seen her as Mrs. Bucket in Springfield Theatre Centre's Willy Wonka, Jr. She would like to thank her choral director, Jeff Gemar, and her Parents Tammy and Brad Wheeler for their help, time and support throughout this whole process.

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