AURORA -- Singer-songwriter Lisa McClowry, whose distinctive voice has been heard in major motion pictures as well as on worldwide radio and in TV jingles, will join Paramount Theatre Artistic Director Jim Corti as a celebrity judge in the Fifth Annual Aurora Public Library Teen Talent Show and Competition at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd., in downtown Aurora. The competition is free and open to the public.
McClowry is a national recording artist with six solo albums and appearances on more than 25 CDs. She recently was nominated for "Female Vocalist of the Year" in the Inspirational Country Music Awards. Her experience in dramatic and musical theater includes performances through The Players Workshop of Second City. Many years of high energy improv shows at the Redhead Piano Bar Chicago has made McClowry a well-rounded fulltime entertainer.
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McClowry co-wrote and performed "Through the Eyes of a Child" for the motion picture, "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle." She performed the theme song "Bridge to the Stars," with Tracey Amos for "The Wild Thornberrys" soundtrack, and was selected to sing the voice of the princess in "Rugrats in Paris: The Movie."
McClowry says she is most proud of the work she does for Special Talents America. She hosts the competition, coordinates the productions and mentors special-needs performers. She also enjoys expressing her creativity on canvas, painting abstract art for commercial and residential clients. Her life philosophy is expressed through her apparel line, "Beautiful Mess," named after one of her songs.
Corti is a veteran Broadway actor and dancer with credits including the New York cast of "Ragtime," "A Chorus Line" and "Candide," as well as the national tours of "Urinetown," "Cabaret," and Bob Fosse's "Dancin'."
In addition to launching the Paramount Theatre's inaugural Broadway Series, Corti directed and choreographed the Paramount's very first self-produced Broadway show, "My Fair Lady," which played to rave reviews.
Highlights from his body of work of more than three decades include: being the only director in Chicago to have two productions at the same time in The Chicago Tribune's list of 10 Best Shows in 2009; and being the sole honoree to garner Jeff Awards as an actor (in Marriott's "Grand Hotel"), a choreographer (in Drury Lane's "Singin' in the Rain") and director (in Northlight's "Blues in the Night" and Drury Lane's "Sweet Charity.")
Emcee Special K, aka Scott Corchin, a 103.5 KISS-FM disc jockey who has emceed the talent show for three years, keeps the show moving at a quick pace by interjecting contests and ticket giveaways. Corchin has been named "the most-listened-to nighttime personality" on Chicago's "most-listened-to music station."
Starting his career as a professional dancer, a live event DJ and emcee, Corchin became one of the top 25 men on the first season of FOX's hit show, "So You Think You Can Dance." He also has been named one of the best live entertainers in the nation four times by DJ Times magazine. He has hosted events all over the world, including the Ambassadors Ball for NATO in Brussels, Belgium. He is a syndicated radio personality for Clear Channel Communications.
This year, the talent show will showcase a rapper, two bands, a violinist, clarinetist, Michael Jackson-style dancer, Broadway belter, folk singer and more! The contestants, all young performers ages 12 to 18, will cover everything from Van Halen to Vivaldi to Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Last year's Teen Talent Show and Competition winner, Kristin Rios of North Aurora, will take the stage to perform during the judges' deliberations. Rios is a sophomore at Aurora Central Catholic High School.
Rios plays three instruments: guitar, ukulele and piano. For last year's competition, she accompanied herself on guitar to the song "Payphone" by Maroon 5. She has been competing in talent shows since she was 9 years old.
There are 14 contestants in this year's show. In order of their auditions, they are:
• Soloist Devin "DeVaughn" Sims of Aurora, a seventh grader at Thayer J. Hill Middle School in Naperville.
• The band, "Iron Legion": Ryan Lantz and Tyler Daniels of Aurora, both seniors at Metea Valley High School, and Joshua Irby of Aurora, a senior at Waubonsie Valley High School.
• Soloist Kennedy Hayes, a junior at Waubonsie Valley High School.
• Soloist Alyssa Filicicchio of Aurora, an eighth grader at Murphy Junior High School in Plainfield.
• Soloist/guitarist Shannon R. Scott of Aurora, a sophomore at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Institute in Aurora.
• Violinist Ariel Jones of Aurora, an eighth grader at Bednarcik Junior High School in Aurora.
• Rapper Angel Vasquez of Aurora, a Waubonsee Community College freshman.
• The band, "Artic Rush": Jose Rodriguez and David A. Tejeda of Aurora, both eighth graders at Cowherd Middle School; Pahola Soriano of Aurora, a freshman at East Aurora High School; and Ivan Rios of Aurora, an eighth grader at Jefferson Middle School.
• Dancer Christopher Jones of Plainfield, a seventh grader at Heritage Grove Middle School in Plainfield.
• Soloist Ive Torres of Aurora, an eighth grader at St. Rita of Cascia School in Aurora.
• Interpretive dancers "Teen Top Angels": Ruby Garcia and Celeste Aguirre of Aurora. Both are freshmen at West Aurora High School.
• Singer/guitarist Jake Julian of Aurora, a freshman at Waubonsie Valley High School.
• Clarinet player/singer/dancer Ameea Love Moore of Aurora, an eighth grader at Jewel Middle School in North Aurora.
• Singer Baili Martin of Aurora, a freshman at Bradley University in Peoria.
The winner will receive a trophy. The performers, returning winner, hosts, judges and teen volunteers all are donating their time and talents to this community event.