Daniel Scofield claimed the grand prize of this this year’s Louisville’s Got Talent competition, capping the evening with an impressive tap dancing performance.
Dancing to choreography that resembled the dash and grace of Fred Astaire, Daniel captivated the audience as he shuffled, swung and jumped across the stage. He performed the classic, “Cheek to Cheek – the version sung by Anthony Strong – with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.
Daniel won $400 and professional talent coaching.
But he was the not the only talented performer who competed Sunday, February 26, the fourth year that CenterStage has presented the annual contest.
Never a dull moment, 20 diverse singers and dancers, chosen from 50 auditions, competing in two age groups – 6-12 and 13-18 – sang harmonies, solo covers and originals, and danced ballet and tap selections.
Jake Latts, a celebrated local actor fresh from his portrayal of Tevye in KCD’s production of Fiddler on the Roof, acted as presenter for the evening, while Keith Kaiser from WDRB emceed the event. Both entertained between acts, with Kaiser asking Latts, at the end of the night, “Of all the talents you’ve seen, name one talent you don’t have.”
While a panel of judges settled on its own favorites, everyone in the audience also had a hand in choosing a winner, using the ballots in their programs to vote for the People’s Choice Award.
They selected Annie Dauk, Haley Cohen and Ella Witt, who performed Flying Away from Fun Home, music by Jeanine Tesori and lyrics by Lisa Kron. Robust harmonies and overlapping lines from each singer intertwined to symbolized three different stages of a girl’s life: One spread her arms, standing on a chair pretending to flying; another solemnly sat; the third wrote a message to her father. The girls won $100 and a gift basket.
Lachley McCubbin won in the 6-12 age group. The first act of the night’s show, she blended acting and singing in “Naughty” from Matilda, music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. With control of voice and body language, sitting, standing upon and dancing around one prop – a wooden block with a big letter M – she adopted the role of the determined, lovably mischievous Matilda. Lachley took home a $200 for her performance.
Marita Gonzalez who performed her original composition, “Muddy Water,” won in the 13-18 age group. Gonzalez, with her solo guitar, was a natural on stage. Her calm demeanor and sincere confidence told the audience that this girl has a future ahead of her. She, too, claimed at $200 prize.
Louisville’s Got Talent raised… (amount of $$) … for CenterStage’s Acting Out touring theater troupe, which visits area schools and community centers to present educational and relevant musical theater to students at all grade levels. The total cash and prizes valued over $2,000.
CenterStage recongized this year’s judges: Robert Curran, Louisville Ballet artistic director; Ian Derrer, Kentucky Opera general director; Gabriel Lefkowitz, Louisville Orchestra concertmaster; Tamika McDonald, professional vocalist and actress; and Matt Wallace, Kentucky Shakespeare producing artistic director.
CenterStage also thanked its sponsors for their support: Bingham Greenbaum Doll, Northern Trust, Kate & Allan Latts, Max & Ellen Shapira, Najlas, Dancensation Studios, Kristen Dobrodziej, The Lapinski Family, Jake Latts, Ellen and Richard Miller, The Price Family, Judy Shapira, Susanna Westerfield, Leniham Sotheby’s Realty, Stuart and Colleen White, Jennifer and Dr. Jeff Tuvlin, Dr. Kenneth and Shelly Zegart, Elizabeth and Brandt Tilis, The Kamen Family and Cynthia M. Gonzalez
Finally, the company recognized last year’s winner, 7-year-old Vaughn Michael Ramirez and 2014’s winner, Kylie McGuffey.
Giving all the performers special recognition, Latts said. “Together we can make a difference. [We] extend gratitude to all who auditioned.”