LSM Newswire

Monday, April 6, 2009

Le Spotlight is back!/Le Spotlight est de retour


Get ready for the city's most exciting night of musical theatre on Tuesday evening, May 5 at the Gesù in downtown Montreal. Le Spotlight: Montreal's Musical Theatre Challenge is the third edition of this celebration of local performing excellence, sponsored by the Centre for Education and Theatre in Montreal (CETM)


Ten Montrealers were selected during a round of preliminary auditions held recently at CETM. The judging panel included noted stage director Corey Castle, speech and accent coach Julia Lenardon, and drama educator Cathy Burns. "The quality of this year's talented contestants is positively amazing," said Stephen Pietrantoni of CETM. "Montreal has a lot to be proud of, and we will spend the evening celebrating that reality."

This year's Le Spotlight finalists are: Shayne Devouges, Katia DiPerna, Braulio Elicer, Lisa Ashley Gontovnick, Kayla Grunfeld, Shannon Hamilton, Coralie Heiler, Julie Lapierre, Stephanie Lessard and Heather White. Each will have just four minutes alone on stage to demonstrate acting, singing and movement skills before a panel of professional judges and a live audience. The winner will receive free tuition for a two-day musical theatre master class with Group Theatre Musical Montreal a guaranteed featured part in the Next Wave Festival of New Musicals coming to the McCord Museum and the Gesù in August.


Numerous special guests will add their own special lustre to this annual celebration of musical theatre in La Grande Métropole. Leading the way will be Montreal-based Broadway star Robert Marien, who will perform a specially-orchestrated medley of hit songs from musical theatre. Eighty-one year old local legend Geraldine Doucet will add her grace and experience to a quartet of Broadway Babies, and Tocadéo, (Montreal's answer to Il Divo), will be among the special performers to display their musical theatre artistry.

All performers will appear with a live 10-piece orchestra under the direction of Chris Barillaro. The show will be directed by Patrick Olafson and hosted by Le Spotlight creator, Stephen Pietrantoni. A partial list of judges for the finals includes radio personality and musical theatre enthusiast Sharman Yarnell of CJAD radio, Kevin John Saylor, Artistic Director of the Kateri Performing Arts centre in Kahnawake, and Sergine Dumais from the faculty at LAMDA, with three others to be revealed at a later time.


For the first time this year, those present in the audience will be given the opportunity to vote for their favorite performer. "We'll see if the judges and the public choose the same contestant," said Pietrantoni, "but it's the evaluation of the judges that will decide who we ultimately will see on stage in August."

Tickets are $25 (all taxes and facility fees included), and may be obtained at the Gesù box office (Tues. – Sat., noon to 6 p.m.). Student/senior rates are available.

Venue: Amphithéâtre du Gesù, - Centre de créativité, 1200 Bleury (between Ste-Catherine and René-Lévesque) Montreal. Metro: Place des Arts. buses: 15, 80 or 150.

More information about the competition is available from Le Spotlight's official website:

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