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Wisconsinites To Join Broadway Cast Of ‘Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway’ Oct. 22

Oct. 13, 2010

David Gusloff, 21, of De Pere will perform with five Broadway stars at the Milwaukee Theatre 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, in the show “Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway.”

Gusloff is the winner of an online audition called “Singing with the Broadway Stars,” offered in connection with the show.

Nicollette Shirkey, 25, of Shorewood and Katherine Wetherbee, 19, of Milwaukee, were selected as runners-up. The three auditioned by uploading videos of themselves singing their own Broadway favorites to YouTube.

The singers were judged by a panel that included composer/lyricist Neil Berg, actress Rita Harvey and Brett Nichols, the show’s tour\production manager. “As soon as I saw David’s video, I thought we could have a winner,” Nichols said. “He was quite good.” Nichols has been helping judge the “Singing with the Broadway Stars” auditions for the past three years.

Gusloff sang “Wick,” from the musical “Secret Garden,” for his submission. You can view his winning audition here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWxP4sosv-U

A vocal performance major at St. Norbert’s College in DePere, Gusloff said, “I’m so excited. I began singing in grade school, and Broadway has grown on me since high school.” Gusloff belongs to the Knights on Broadway performance group at St. Norbert’s and says he would love a career in theater – either in administration or onstage. He is originally from Elmhurst, Ill.

Nicollette Shirkey, 26, of Shorewood, began singing in high school and has auditioned twice for “American Idol.”

“That was pretty nerve-wracking,” Shirkey said. Her taped audition for “Singing with the Broadway Stars,” however, was decidedly low-key. Skirkey, who works as a lease manager, said she “taped myself on a lunch break. It was kind of a last-minute thing; I uploaded it the last day.”

Her song choice, “I Got Rhythm” by George Gershwin was a throwback to her days at Mayville High School in Mayville, Wis. You can view her audition at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4-i8_RTAE8

Wetherbee, 19, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee graphic design student, sang “In My Life” from “Les Miserables.”

“I chose that one because I thought it was a very pretty song and one of my favorites. I really like a lot of Broadway musicals, including ‘Les Mis” and “Little Shop of Horrors. I’m really excited to get to sing with these Broadway stars because they have so much experience and they’ve been in all of these great shows.”

You can see Wetherbee’s video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9O8_xvygUE

Gusloff, Shirkey and Wetherbee will appear in numbers during The Milwaukee Theatre production of “Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway” featuring musical director and pianist Neil Berg, Carter Calvert (“Cats”), Rob Evan (“Jekyll & Hyde”), Robert DuSold (“Mamma Mia”), Sandra Joseph (“Phantom of the Opera”), and Ted Levy (“Black & Blue”). (Cast is subject to change.)

Berg is the composer/lyricist of the hit off-Broadway musical “The Prince and the Pauper.” He is currently writing the music for the Broadway-bound musical “Grumpy Old Men,” based on the hit film.

Carter Calvert has been in touring productions of “It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues,” toured Europe in “Smokey Joe's Café,” played Grizabella in the national tour of “Cats,” and appeared as the title role in “Always, Patsy Cline.”

Rob Evan starred in the original Broadway cast of “Jekyll & Hyde,” playing the title roles for three years in over 600 performances. Evan most recently starred in the all-new “Jekyll & Hyde: The Concert,” which toured around the world.

Robert DuSold recently played Harry Bright in the Las Vegas production of “Mamma Mia!” His Broadway and National Tour credits include “The Producers,” “Les Miserables,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats,” “Jekyll and Hyde,” “Chicago” and many other Broadway productions.

Sandra Joseph has performed on Broadway for over a decade as Christine Daae in “The Phantom of the Opera.” She has also performed with the New York City Opera as Flora in Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw.”

Ted Levy made his Broadway debut in “Black & Blue.” Levy most recently wrote and performed in the production “The Rhythm of a Life.”

Theatergoers who attend “Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway” will be treated to cake to celebrate the Milwaukee Theatre’s 101st anniversary and the next 100 years of entertainment at what is Wisconsin’s largest and most historic theater.

Tickets are $30 and $35 for “Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway” and can be purchased at the Milwaukee Theatre box office (500 W. Kilbourn Ave.), online at ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more by calling 414-908-6092. For more information, please visit www.milwaukeetheatre.com.

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