More than 30 acts have already signed up to audition for the second Suburban Chicago's Got Talent, a summer-long competition presented by the Daily Herald, produced by the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre and sponsored by the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce.
Singers make up most of the 32 acts that had registered by Friday morning. But the list also includes a couple comedians, a classical guitarist, a pianist, a dancer and a few bands.
Online sign-ups for the competition were launched on May 10, with 300 appointment spots available for the general audition -- meaning there is still plenty of room for talented suburbanites to try out. The auditions run 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, June 6 to 8, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights.
The top prize of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent is an expenses-paid trip to audition for the NBC hit TV show "America's Got Talent." There is also going to be a Fan Favorite prize that will be determined by audiences voting online after the Top 15 and Top 10 performances at dailyherald.com.
All kinds of amateur acts are welcome -- as long as they are safe and family-friendly.
"Like last year, we're not going to accept people who have professional representation or management already," said Charlie Beck, executive director of the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre and a Suburban Chicago's Got Talent judge. "We're looking for people that are on their way up in the business and who are looking to get a start."
Beck also boasted that this year's competition offers "more opportunities for people to be showcased and seen" since it has been expanded to give the Top 30 finalists a chance to perform (15 each over two dates at 7 p.m. on June 23 and July 7).
The Top 15 acts then perform at 7 p.m. July 21, with the Top 10 performing 7 p.m. Aug. 4. Another Top 10 show where the winner is announced is scheduled for Aug. 10 at the Taste of Arlington Heights.
Last year's competition featured acts that included comedians, yo-yo tricksters and instrumentalists, though the majority of auditioning acts were singers. Suburban Chicago's Got Talent judge and Metropolis Performing Arts music director Micky York enjoys the singers, but also appreciates the variety that comes from other acts.
"I love singers and music is what I do," said York. "I want something that's maybe not death-defying, but something you don't see every day."
For more Suburban Chicago's Got Talent details -- or to sign up to participate -- visit metropolisarts.com/scgtauditions.