Performing Arts: Washington ‘Idol’

by Editorial

Signature Theatre offers Washingtonians Idol-style stardom.

By Stephie Hass

Stardom at Open House Plaza (Photo courtesy Signature Theatre)

For any Hill staffer singing along to Jay-Z on the metro or lobbyist belting Adele in the shower, Signature Theatre now has an outlet for you. Now in its third year, the Signature Theatre Idol Competition is currently accepting audition tapes through July 16 to determine who has what it takes.

Signature’s arts staff will review the submissions and select six rising stars. Last year the competition received over 100 submissions.

The finalists will get the chance to compete in front of four celebrity judges during an all-day Open House event on Saturday, August 4. Slated to fill this year’s judges’ panel are Broadway’s Heidi Blickenstaff, BR549’s Chuck Mead, national radio personality Robert Aubry Davis and Signature’s artistic director, Eric Schaeffer. The winner will have the chance to perform at the “Broadway on the Plaza” Finale Concert at the Open House.

Last year’s winner, New Jersey native Chelsea Pedano, wowed judges with her rendition of “The Girl in 14-G.” She currently attends Berklee College of Music studying vocal performance. Gabriel Lopez, pictured below, won the competition in 2010 and went on to participate in Signature’s presentation of The Greenwood Tree” at the Kennedy Center’s 2010 Page-to-Stage Festival.

Gabriel Lopez, 2010 winner of Signature Idol, went on to perform in one of the theater's shows. (Photo courtesy Signature Theatre)

The rules of Signature Idol:

  • The deadline for video submissions is midnight, Monday, July 16.
  • Applicants can select any musical theater song; audition performances may be a cappella or with accompaniment. A pianist will be available.
  • Those interested can either upload a video to YouTube and send Signature the link at or submit a DVD/videotape to Signature Theatre, Attn: Signature Idol, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA, 22206.
  • You may not apply if you performed at a previous year’s “Signature Idol” competition.
  • No one who has been paid to perform on the Signature stage may audition.
  • Finalists must be available to attend a rehearsal and the Open House on August 4.
  • Finalists will be notified by email.

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