May 25, 2017

‘Singing with the Stars’ brings community leaders to stage

by Vincent Rhomberg

When local celebrities start singing, you know it’s time for the McLeod Summer Playhouse fundraiser “Singing with the Stars,” happening this year at 7 p.m., June 2, at McLeod Theater. 

Now in its 12th year, “Singing with the Stars,” billed as a “no talent necessary” talent competition, is a Friends of McLeod Summer Playhouse (MSP) event. It features local community leaders sharing their talents in competition for the title “MSP Idol of the Year.” 

This year’s contestants are: Global Gourmet proprietress Andrea Barclay; former Carbondale school principal Linda Flowers, local realtor (and former child star) Robert Foster; Jackson County Treasurer Sharon Harris-Johnson; Interim Associate Chancellor for Diversity Elizabeth Lewin; Arthur Agency president Dennis Poshard, and Southern Illinois Healthcare Brain and Spine Institute neurosurgeon Dr. Eugenio Vargas. 

The event sports celebrity judges as well, under the direction of returning emcee, Mike Kasser of SIH. Judges are: last year’s winner Jan Payne of Payne Gartner and Associates; Dr. Kurt Martin of the Center for Medical Arts, and Caleb Nehring from the American Cancer Society. Jenna Mee Dosch is accompanist for the singers. 

Audience votes determine the winner of this competition. In the spirit of long-standing political tradition, votes are available for purchase at $1 each. Cash, and checks made out to the SIU Foundation, are acceptable payment and there is no limit to the number of votes bought. The funds are tax deductible. 

Tickets are $35, and include wine, soft drinks and appetizers from Hunan Restaurant with desserts from Lipe Orchards. Tickets are available online or at 618/453-6000.