MetroStar Talent Challenge: July 6 – August 24

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Eighth Annual
 MetroStar Talent Challenge
Running July 6 to August 24

Tom Gamblin Returns as Host

Applications are now being accepted through July 1.

MetroStar-Talent-Challenge-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212The 8th annual MetroStar Talent Challenge gets under way on Monday, July 6 at 7 pm.  The summer tradition, in which singers of different ages, styles and backgrounds are challenged to raise their standards and push themselves artistically, MetroStar runs eight consecutive Mondays through August 24 at the Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street. Applications are now being accepted through July 1.

Open to solo singers and vocal duos who have not played a major engagement at the Metropolitan Room, MetroStar has launched the careers of several standouts in cabaret and jazz.  Past winners, in chronological order since 2008, have included Anne Steele, Liz Lark Brown, T. Oliver ReidMarissa MulderBillie Roe, and Lauren Stanford.  Kristoffer Lowe, the 2014 MetroStar, premieres his new show at the Metropolitan Room on Tuesday September 22 at 7pm.

For the second year in a row, the contest’s permanent judges include the MAC, Nightlife, and Bistro Award-winning singer and director Gretchen Reinhagen and Joseph Macchia (the Metropolitan Room’s booking manager and prolific producer of cabaret shows).  Returning as jury chairman is the cabaret journalist Roy Sander, who has performed this role since the contest’s inception.

The actor and singer Tom Gamblin returns to host the eight-week competition for his fourth stint in that role. Tracy Stark serves as the contest’s resident music director. Last year the jury and audience-voted, elimination-round competition added new competitive features such as jury saves, a mentor to work with the singers during the contest, and a mystery judge.

After the contest’s three weeks of trials (July 6, 13, 20) the permanent judges are joined by different weekly guest judges drawn from the media, theater and cabaret.  The contest’s co-producers are Met Room owner Bernie Furshpan, Macchia and Beck Lee.

MetroStar offers a career-boosting package of prizes and professional encouragements, including a Met Room-produced prime-time engagement and, this year for the first time, a six-camera sizzle reel that chronicles the odyssey of the winner from start to finish.

“One of the things we hear time and again, is how much this contest has helped singers grow,” says Furshpan, who joined the Metropolitan Room founders Chris and Steve Mazzilli as managing partner in 2011. “Now that we have a state-of-the-art, television studio recording system in the club, we can literally chronicle every second of the competition and show the growth process of the winner and the runner-ups.

  This will become an amazing tool for promotion of the contest’s stand-out performers.

Singers who progress to the contest’s final rounds will have performed seven different songs, including a song in a genre chosen by the judges, a song by a particular artist or songwriter (also chosen by the judges) and a song do-over in which the singer is asked for a dramatic re-interpretation or improvement.  The competition also will introduce saves for eliminated singers who make a unique impact on either the judges or the audience.

To apply, performers must submit an application accompanied by a CD (by mail or special delivery), or and mp3 recording and/or link if applying by e-mail.
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For details and downloadable application form, visit 

The 2015 MetroStar Talent Challenge, the 8th annual edition, takes place on eight consecutive Mondays from July 6 to August 24.  All shows are all at 7pm; the cover charge for all shows is , with a two-drink minimum.
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 The Nightlife, MAC and Bistro Award-winning Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street, has been keeping kids off the streets and adults from spending too much time watching television since 2006.  For reservations call 212-206-0440 or to order online visit