17 January 2013 8:48 AM, PST | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

Los Angeles is playing host to a high-stakes singing competition, but its contestants aren’t belting out the latest pop hits. Instead, L.A.’s Next Great Stage Star’s 20 contenders apply their vocals to Broadway show tunes and the American songbook every Sunday for the next month at North Hollywood supper club Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal. “We took ‘American Idol’ as the foundation for this but centered it in a different direction,” said Michael Sterling, a jack-of-all-trades theater professional who’s been the executive producer of the show since it began seven years ago. Instead of weekly eliminations, all of the contestants remain in the running until the final round, Feb. 10, when the group is whittled down to five finalists and, eventually, one winner. That winner will go home with a $1,000 cash prize, a paid headlining concert, and representation—but for everyone, the weekly feedback from the »

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