One of the things so many have been yearning for during the last year is a sense of the familiar — the comfort of things that have been happening year after year and can be counted on to deliver fun and enjoyment. So, when the annual Night of the Stars talent show series that happens in cities all over the state had to be put on hold in 2021, Lakewood decided to step up.
“Getting back to normal will take time, and the technology we have been able to install in our theater is helping us stay connected in a different yet wonderful way,” said Nathalie Renfroe, cultural programs coordinator, in an email interview. “Connection and participation through this hybrid (in-person/virtual) model is helping us find this balance that will serve our community.”
The resulting event is the Lakewood Rising Stars Talent Show, which will be held on Saturday, March 13. The city is accepting audition videos through Friday, Feb. 26. The contest is open to any who wish to participate, not only Lakewood residents. Selected contestants will perform live on stage at the Lakewood Cultural Center on the 13th.
Solo and group auditions will be accepted in two groups: for children under 18 and for adults. There is a $5 fee per entry, and contestants can submit a two- to four-minute audition video in the following categories: voice (includes singers performing to a recorded track), music (includes any instrument or combination of instrument and voice) and variety (includes dance, comedy, spoken word, martial arts and other movement).
“Performances we have seen over the years range from comedians, ventriloquists, martial artists, hula-hoopers, Irish step dancers, drum kit soloists and even sand animation,” Renfroe wrote. “This is the first time we have extended the age category to include adults, so I am excited to see who participates.”
Contestants’ performances will be rated on four criteria (presentation, showmanship, level of skill and overall performance) on a scale of 0-5 points in each category for a total of 20 points. Gift card prizes will be awarded to the top three highest overall scores from all participants.
Due to COVID restrictions, there will be limited theater seating for those hoping to catch the performances in person, but the Lakewood Cultural Center theater is equipped with cameras to offer the performance live through a private livestream link.
“The hope is that contestants are able to share the talent they are passionate about and to share a fun and meaningful experience with others,” Renfroe wrote. “Audience members always are excited to cheer their person on stage, watch all the wonderful talent that is presented and to see who will win first place.”
Those wishing to watch the contest can purchase limited theater seating or livestream options. For information and to submit an entry, visit www.Lakewood.org/TalentShow.
Love reigns at Cherry Creek North
With Valentine’s Day just a few short days away and many indoor date options not safe during the pandemic, Cherry Creek North is turning on its love light to create some perfectly seasonal ambiance and activity options.
Love Cherry Creek North will be running throughout February and will feature more than 600,000 twinkling lights lighting the areas 16 blocks. Those in search of a romantic dinner or drink will have options that include rooftops, firepits, domes and tents (in addition to delivery and to-go options). Many shops, including Le Creuset Boutique and The Brass Bed, will be offering special discounts to fit with the holiday.
For more information about the event, visit www.cherrycreeknorth.com/post/love-cherry-creek-north.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Tibet House US Benefit Concert
The Tibet House US Benefit Concert is reaching its 34th iteration this year, and the pandemic won’t stop musicians, artists and supporters from rallying to the cause. The virtual event will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, and will combine live and pre-recorded segments on the Mandolin streaming service.
In addition to artistic director and famed composer Philip Glass, the event will feature artists like Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Phoebe Bridgers, Brittany Howard, Valerie June and Angélique Kidjo. The livestream will kick off with a message from the 14th Dalai Lama.
Tickets for the show can be purchased at https://boxoffice.mandolin.com.
Streaming style - KGNU Community Radio’s live Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is one of the KGNU Community Radio’s biggest annual fundraisers, so even though the party can’t be in person the year, the station and Colorado Friends of Cajun-Zydeco Music and Dance have a found virtual way to celebrate.
The organizations are hosting a free Virtual Mardi Gras and Live Broadcast at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13. The event will feature more than three hours of music with live DJs, a live costume contest with prizes, dance lessons, tarot card readings and more, according to provided information.
To attend, visit KGNU.org to RSVP.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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