Over 300 people filled the beautiful Aventura Arts & Cultural Center on a balmy Sunday afternoon—eager to hear the young singers about to take the stage for the 2nd annual AT&T YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE. This would be the second year that the Aventura Marketing Council created this special family event that drew rave reviews and standing ovations last year.
Creative Director Ran Oz, CooLAM Dance Studio Productions, had spent months rehearsing with the ‘young stars,’ ranging in age from 8 – 15 years old—and now—the curtain was about to open.
Noted pianist Kiki Sanchez entertained the audience prior to the show, and as the theatre went dark, the theme from Rocky filled the room. Aventura Marketing Council Chairman Cliff Schulman of Weiss Serota Helfman, and Event Chairman, and the stunningly gorgeous model Jessica Rafalowski by his side, entered from the back of the theatre as the spotlight followed their path to the stage.
The first act was a surprise treat for the audience, as singer/songwriter Chloe Dolandis, sang her original “New Suit” from her CD, accompanied by singers from the 2010 Showcase. Dolandis and Rafalowski then took over as Emcees for the rest of the evening, with a special tribute to their friend, Doris Porter, who passed away recently and was such an important part of their careers, as well as last year’s showcase.
As each young singer took the stage, the audience response grew more and more enthusiastic. From opera to salsa, the stage was filled with song and dance, provided by choreographer Sonic from CooLAM Dance Studios, and dancers from Artistic Explosion and even some of the 2010 showcase singers, proving their multi-talents.
Surprising the audience was Ran Oz, a former Israeli Idol contestant, with some of his 2010 singers in “I’ll Be There”….their message of support and friendship for the 2011 young singers.
Dr. Wilbert “Tee” Holloway, Area Director for Corporate and External Affairs with AT&T, said, “Performers have connected us all with the artists in our souls, and AT&T is honored to be the title sponsor once again of the YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE.” He added a special message to the young singers, “Bravo….your dreams make our lives better.”
Thirteen people became “Friends of the Young Stars,” helping to assure the success of the event, while Aventura Vice Mayor Billy Joel was recognized for his unwavering support of this annual event, benefiting the Aventura Marketing Council Education Fund at The Miami Foundation.
Herb and Gloria Barker of Barker Animation Art Gallery gifted each of the 2011 singers with a trophy and a $350 certificate to select a piece of Disney artwork from their gallery. Pascal Cohen, known internationally for creating the “chocolate caviar,” had his Savarin Restaurant located in the Bal Harbour Shops provide an exquisite VIP Reception complete with gourmet appetizers and desserts, drawing “oohs” and “ahhs” from the guests who recognized the top-calibre ingredients and amazingly delicious creations.
The Grand Finale featured the 2011 and 2010 young stars, joined by the Emcees, dancers and sponsors in an enthusiastic rendition of “What A Feeling.” The energy, the laughter, the camaraderie that permeated the entire theatre was palpable….another great success for the AT&T YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE!
The 2011 AT&T YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE was drawing to a close, but within 24 hours, plans were already underway for the 2012 show scheduled for Sunday, December 2nd at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center.
For more information on the AT&T YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE, call the Aventura Marketing Council (305) 932.5334 or visit aventuramarketingcouncil.com.