Fans of elimination-based singing competitions will be thrilled to hear that Aqua Idol to benefit the Waterfront Playhouse has returned to Aqua Nightclub on Wednesday evenings. As always, the tirelessly talent scouting Lynda Frechette has assembled an insanely talented group of singers to entertain a packed house week in and week out. Each season of Aqua Idol benefits a different charity representing a wide variety of local philanthropic causes, including the Florida Keys SPCA, the Key West Realtors’ Association and the always highly anticipated Waterfront Playhouse. Because of its ties to the theater community and Frechette’s relentless search for and recruitment of local talent, the Waterfront’s Aqua Idol competitions are always a weekly highlight in the winter months.
This iteration of Aqua Idol began yesterday with 16 vocalists, one of whom will be eliminated each week. The starting lineup included both seasoned Aqua Idol veterans and newcomers alike — Bria Ansara, Charlii Clark, Saian Dashanimaer, Sarah Dorrance, Trey Forsyth, Luke Fox, Vera Grigorovich, Jon Hernandez, Herb Miller, Gayla Morgan, Sarah Perkins, Richard Quint, Mike Ridgewell, Calen David Tomaszewski, Maria “Mouka” Wallace, Stephanie Wise and Bob Wood. All of the performers have their own style and performance personality and the audiences will be dazzled by them all week after week.
Each week features a distinctive theme as well as a distinguished guest judge. Past themes have included songs from the ’80s, country hits, love ballads and show tunes. The show is emceed by the delightful Laurie Thibaud and regular weekly judges Tony Konrath and Lynda Frechette are joined each week by distinguished guest judges. Guest judges like Waterfront Playhouse Artistic Director Tom Thayer and Broadway star Terri White not only offer (occasionally tongue-in-cheek scathing) feedback to the contestants, but often delight the audience with a number or two.
Although it is free
to attend Aqua Idol, the contestants rely on donations from the audience to advance from week to week. Each week the contestant who gets the least money from the audience is eliminated. At the end the remaining three contestants duke it out for the title, although each of the three finalists receives a fantastic prize package assembled by Frechette herself with substantial donations from the community.
The show runs from 6:30-8 p.m. every Wednesday night but be warned that the room fills up fast, so the organizers recommend you get there by 6 p.m. at the latest to stake out a prime spot. If you can’t make it to Aqua Idol on Wednesday night but want to donate to the Waterfront Playhouse in honor of one of the contestants, you can do so online at www.waterfrontplayhouse.org/donateonline/. Online donations are taken into account when the judges evaluate which contestant is to be eliminated. Aqua Nightclub is located at 711 Duval St. ¦