May 25th, 2012Press Release from Allentown Brew Works

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                            23 May 2012


It’s Showtime! High school junior/senior scholarship competition

Allentown, PA—Star of the Day’s Spotlight Cabaret and Piano Bar, the Lehigh Valley’s only showcase of its kind, will be held at 8pm on June 7th  on the third floor of Allentown Brew Works’. $10 cash admission. Doors open at 6:30 PM for dinner service. Food service will be suspended from 8:00 to 9:00 pm during the competition.

The following is the lineup for the June 7th “It’s Showtime!” high school vocal competition.

Arissa Lahr – a junior at Nazareth High School who is highly involved in musical theater and community service.  This summer, she is traveling to Ethiopia to volunteer.  If she wins the junior scholarship she will put it toward her future college education where she plans to major in International Studies.

Emma Parrish – a top 25 student at Nazareth High School where she is involved in theater, chorale, French club, and junior executive council.  Outside school, she participates in youth group, Girl Scouts, and Youth Choir.  She has also participated in ‘All Shook Up’ at Pennsylvania Playhouse.

Vanessa Ruggiero – a 2012 Freddy nominee for Best Featured Dancer in ‘Singin’ in the Rain’. She once lived in England and trained at the Royal Academy of Ballet, now a junior at Nazareth Area High School. She is an active member in the theater troupe, dance, and Noteworthy.  Most recently she wrapped up a production of ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ at Pennsylvania Playhouse.  She hopes to start  her own theater company some day.

Ryan Skerchak – a 2012 Freddy nominee for Best Actor in a Musical for ‘Singin’ in the Rain’.  He is a graduating senior at Nazareth Area High School.  He has been in over 20 productions regionally and is a member of ‘The Dream Kids.’

Kayleigh Downey – a talented junior from Bethlehem Catholic High School.  She has performed on and off the stage at Pennsylvania Playhouse as well as Bethlehem Catholic where she also choreographed ‘March of the Winkies’ in the 2012 Freddy nominated production of ‘The Wizard of Oz.’

Zoe Briggs – a graduating senior from Moravian Academy’s Upper School.  Recently, she played Aldonza in the 2012 Freddy nominated musical ‘Man of La Mancha.’

Robert Gallagher – a former star athlete turned to singing, acting, and painting. A Parkland High School graduating senior who has been singing since he was able to talk.  A member of the All-State chorus and a Scholastic Gold Winner for Drawing in the Eastern Central Scholastic Art Awards Competition.

Thomas Kennebeck – will be graduating from Notre Dame High School this spring where he is actively involved in theater and choir.  He has received a 2012 Freddy nomination for his portrayal of Laurie in Notre Dame High School’s production of ‘Little Women’.

Grace Martin – a graduating senior honors student from Lehigh Performing Arts High School where she studied voice. She is highly involved in the community as a volunteer for Monagacci Environmental Cleanup, Spirit of Bethlehem, and Traditions of Hanover.  She is also a member of the Lehigh Valley Sweet Adelines and studies voice with Ellen Ditmer.

Lana Brucker – a national honors society member and graduationg senior from Lehigh Valley Performing Arts High School where she studies theater.  She is a member of the student council, International Thespian Society, and BBYO.  She has performed professionally as Joanie Cunningham in ‘Happy Days’ at Pines Dinner Theatre.

Jenna Sopko – studies voice in the Lehigh Valley and is a junior at Phillipsburg High School where she was a cast member in the 2012 Freddy nominated ‘Legally Blonde.’ She is involved in student council and is an Ambassador for Dreams for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She also dances and enjoys Broadway musicals.

Alan Mendez – a junior at Salisbury High School where he just organized a cabaret benefit for his school, a member of advanced chorus and rebuttalist for the school’s award winning debate team.  He has appeared in ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ at Pennsylvania Playhouse and ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’ with Muhlenberg Summer Theatre.  He is also the frontman of the modern rock band Identity Crisis.  He is also the co-founder and president of the Salisbury Student Coalition for Change and an alumnus of Bel Conto Children’s Chorus and first graduating class at PBS Productions U.

In addition to the high school competition, the following featured performers will also be offering entertainment.

Kirsten Rani Almeida
Janis Greim
Christine Hjorth
Stephen Molloy
Vince Rostkowski

Special guest vocalist and competition judge Bart Schatto will also perform.

Nate Diehl will accompany the featured performers and open piano bar participants with his talented fingers on the keyboard.


Competition judges:

Stan Dunn: an opera vocalist who has worked with Placido Domingo, Marni Nixon, and Baayork Lee in venues such as The Washington Opera/Kennedy Center, Arena Stage & Paper Mill Playhouse.

Grete Miller: an actress and filmmaker in NYC who is a graduate of AMDA and the New School. Grete is an accomplished screenwriter, film director, and actress. She has worked in association with some of the film industry’s greats including Shimon Dotan, MM Serra, Flavia Fontes, and Melissa Friedling.

Bart Schatto: an actor who has appeared on Broadway as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, in the original company of Civil War on Broadway and around the country, at the Paper Mill Playhouse and is a featured singer with the Tran-Siberian Orchestra.

Due to the nature of the program, it is recommended to reserve seating ahead of time by visiting this site:

Star of the Day’s Spotlight Cabaret and Piano Bar is held every first Thursday (July 2012 performance may be held in an alternate location to be announced). The Allentown Brew Works is located at 812 Hamilton Street in Allentown. Free parking is available on all surrounding streets, including Hamilton, 8th and 9th, anytime after 6pm. There is also a free parking lot available off of 8th Street between Hamilton and Linden Streets (behind the PPL Plaza); the entrance to the Brew Works is less than 50 yards from that lot.

For more information, please visit All media are invited to join us, please contact Kirsten Rani Almeida at moc.oohaynull@sdorpyadehtforats to make arrangements or to schedule interviews with anyone involved. Contact Michael Fegley at moc.skrowwerbehtnull@ekim or 610.433.7777 to schedule interviews with the management of the Allentown Brew Works.


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