3 Peninsula women to sing with Broadway revue tonight

PORT ANGELES — The season-opening concert of the Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts tonight will have a hometown flavor, as three local women will share the stage with Broadway stars.

The women were selected in the “Singing with the Broadway Stars” contest, sponsored by the “Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway” revue.

Six stars

The winners will share the stage with the six Broadway performers for the show finale.

Selected for first place was Sarah Shea of Sequim. Runners up were Vicki Helwick of Port Angeles and Jenny Dreessen, a Port Angeles native now living in Seattle.

They recorded their auditions on video and then sent them to a YouTube site, where they were reviewed by judges in New York.

All three women have been active in local music groups and musical theater.

Sarah Shea

For her audition, Shea sang “Anyone Can Whistle,” the title song from a 1964 musical by Stephen Sondheim.

“It’s a song I’ve heard for years,” she said. “It’s poignant and beautiful.”

She has a degree in music from Eastern Washington University and sings locally in the Stardust Big Band and with the Rex Rice Quartet.

In February, she will star as Sally Bowles in the Olympic Theatre Arts production of “Cabaret.”

“I love musical theater. It’s my favorite genre,” she said.

Shea was a finalist in the KIRO-TV Seattle Stars competition in 2007 and took first place in a singing competition at Musicfest Northwest in Spokane in 2005.

She lives in Sequim where she works for an attorney.

Vicki Helwick

Helwick has been involved in music all her life, and for the past two years was the choir director at Stevens Middle School in Port Angeles.

She is now a substitute music teacher at Hamilton and Jefferson elementary schools, also in Port Angeles.

For her audition, she sang “Till There Was You,” from “The Music Man.”

“I sang it at my sister’s wedding,” she said. “It’s a beautiful song, and it suits my range.”

She has a music degree from California State University at Sacramento. In November, she will perform as the soloist in the Peninsula Singers’ presentation of Hayden’s “Lord Nelson Mass.”

“Singing is my passion,” she said. “This is not just a one-time thing. I will always sing.”

Jenny Dreessen

Dreessen heard about the chance to “sing with the stars” when she was visiting her mother in Port Angeles.

“It sounded like a lot of fun,” she said.

For her audition, she sang “Simple,” by Maury Yeston, from the musical “Nine.”

Dreessen began taking singing lessons in the eighth grade and continued through college.

She has been active in many Port Angeles Light Opera productions, including “The King and I” and “My Fair Lady,” in which she played the lead role of Eliza Doolittle.

She performed in the first PALOA production, “HMS Pinafore,” when she was 18.

She currently sings with community musical theater and singing groups in the Seattle area.

Most recently, she was in “The Baker’s Wife” with the Seattle Musical Theatre.

The three women will join the Broadway stars to sing “Seasons of Love,” from the musical “Rent.”

“Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway”will be staged at the Port Angeles High School auditorium, 7:30 p.m. today.

Broadway singers expected to perform are Rita Harvey, Robert DuSold, Carter Calvert, Lawrence Clayton and Grant Norman, accompanied on piano by Berg.

Tickets are $30 general, $28 for JFFA members, $29 students and seniors, $2 children 12 and younger.

Tickets are available at Port Book and News, 104 E. First St., in Sequim at Pacific Mist Books, 121 W. Washington, by phone at 360-457-5411 or online at www.nwperformingarts.com. Tickets will be sold at the door, if not sold out.

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