THE METROSTAR COMPETITION
…looking back and object lessons
I was honored to have been asked to be one of the permanent judges at the Metrostar Competition at the Metropolitan Room. Before I talk about my assessment of the competition and present lessons that can be learned from some of the performances, I should give you more information about the event, itself.
The competition was produced by Chris and Steve Mazzilli, owners of the Metropolitan Room, and put together by Lennie Watts, the club’s booking manager, who doubled as emcee. It was open to any performer who had not yet played a major engagement at the Metropolitan Room. Over one hundred artists applied. Before the competition began, Lennie whittled the number of contestants down to just over sixty, all vying for the grand prize: a week-long prime-time engagement at the Metropolitan Room, with the club providing an artistic team (music director, stage director, graphics designer), publicity, and a multi-track recording of the show. The first- and second-runners-up were to be invited to open for the winner, and they would receive demo recordings of their appearances.