January 22, 2013
Top-5 Finisher Andrew Nazarro sang with the audience in Ain’t That Peculiar
While at the fourth preliminary competition (Saturday, Jan. 12), I kept thinking that I was actually at the finals — I mean, the show was that polished! Unsurprisingly, the finals completely sold out well ahead of the event (get your sleeping bag ready for next year).
What makes the FutureStars production so unique and successful, in my opinion, is the growing group of skilled and committed PTG alumni and U-M performing arts students who return each year to continue nurturing the show. It’s almost an understatement to call them a “dream team.” Cast members have an unbeatable opportunity to experiment with musical styles, collaborate with other talented students, and develop their skills with coaching from the directors. And we in the audience get to eat it all up.
The competition aspect of the show seems completely beside the point to me.
Although I’ll admit to enjoying the entertaining and supportive celebrity judges. There is little doubt in my mind, however, that main draw of this event is that it’s the premiere cultivator of and showcase for HS talent in our community. The way the cast and crew worked together to put on this show leaves me — yet again — humbled.
(My apologies for the terse captions. It’s killing me not to say more, but I’m guessing that folks would prefer to see these photos now, rather than in July.)
Claire Crause momentarily holds the mike for Colin Darnton in The Walk. | Olivia Roumel — Glitter and Gold
Top-5 finishers Nick Barvinok and Andrew Krenz (who is who?) dance to Bridge to Canada.
Becca Shipan — Dark Side | FutureStars winner Eliza Stein — Cry Me Out
“Spice Girls” Maddie Polovick, Diana Chen, Molly Cocco, Jassadi Moore, Sophie Bolz (with host Mackenzie O’Conner) enjoyed the judges’ comments after their performance of Wannabe.
Rising Stars — Footloose
Gabe Novak — The A Team
Keaira Banks, Emmalee Mills, and Tasha Thomas — Bleeding Love
Top-5 finisher Hank Miller — Dancing Shoes
Karina Stribley — The Great Escape | Hell on Heels: Alexandra Howell, Hannah Hesseltine, and Adrianna Ellis (with host Ryan Kielczewski)
Styles Unknown (Duane Redmond, Nick Washington, Sena Adjei, and Darius Sanderford) mischievously pranked the audience several times in Battle Mix.
Levi Brown — Give Me Love
Christian Boyd and Claire Crause — Dancing
Michael Sherman and Cole Taylor (also a host) — I Can Change
Thanks to Michael Shapiro, Isaac Scobey-Thal, Drew Polovick, David VanVelden, and Jordan McKay’s electrifying performance of What Makes You Beautiful, I now have an appreciation of One Direction.
Kelsey Detering was fierce in Mercy. | George Lu, silky smooth, in A Change is Gonna Come.
Top-5 finisher Sina Webster — 1+1
Remington Reakhof and Olivia Roumel gave me chills in Barton Hollow.
2012 FutureStars winner Tionna Griffin performed while the judges deliberated.
2013 FutureStars winner Eliza Stein with judges and friends: (l-r)
Jeremy Gallon, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Cameron Gordon, Eliza Stein, Devin Gardner, Matthew Altruda, Dan Henig. Plus, who’s that cute kid in the foreground?
The FutureStars and RisingStars directors: Conor Guzman, Alex Kip, Ashley Park*, Schuyler Robinson*, Elizabeth Evans, Alex Prakken, Billy Harrington*, Robert Ariza, Hannah Pearlman*, Dorothy Yarrington*, and Isabelle McCalla (*=FutureStars alumni)
The rock-steady FutureStars band: Joe Dart, Mike Harrington, Brad Linden, Brian Young, and Billy Harrington (with director Ashley Park).