The stars will be out at the Alcazar Theatre as the Rotary Club of Carpinteria presents its 11th annual Carpinteria Talent Showcase on Saturday, March 14, at 7 p.m. Attendees can walk the red carpet at the preshow reception for appetizers and drinks at 6 p.m., then catch a vibrant variety show of live music, dance and more to support music education in Carpinteria’s schools.
Not only is this the hottest night to catch your favorite local performers, with special guest local news reporter John Palminteri as the master of ceremonies, but 100 percent of the show’s proceeds support music programs in the Carpinteria Unified School District. In its first 10 years, the showcase raised over $100,000 through ticket sales, sponsorships and donations. Some of the fundraiser’s accomplishments this year included providing $5,500 in college scholarships, transporting 500 students to the symphony, purchasing new instruments and sending kids to summer music camp.
The fun-filled evening is a staple in Carpinteria for bringing out all the world-class acts living in our community. There may be unexpected surprises as Carpinterians take the stage and astonish the audience with their hidden talents.
The Pipe & Drums Corp will open the show as they march down the aisles with bagpipes and drums, proudly clad in their kilts. This volunteer element of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department was formed in 2007 for members of all experience levels. Best piper Alan Wood instructs the players how to master the great highland bagpipe, and best drummer Peter Limonick keeps the rhythm of the players’ Scottish snare, tenor and bass drums.
Award-winning a capella chorus Carpe Diem may be Santa Barbara-based, but the group is returning to their roots in Carpinteria at this year’s showcase. The team of talented women came together in 2011 to sing a vast repertoire of jazz, pop, showtunes and more. In 2017, Carpe Diem brought home the gold against teams more than double their size at the International Harmony Classic Competition and claimed the title of International Small Chorus Champions at the Sweet Adelines International Competition in 2016. These songstresses are sure to enchant you with their harmonies and melodies.
Wordsmith Jena Jenkins will take the audience on a trip through their imagination with her captivating tales. This “verbal communication specialist” uses the power of story to bring people together with her verse and prose. You might have seen her at the Island Brewing Company for her quarterly storytelling hour, “Stories on Tap.” Jenkins will entrance the Alcazar audience with her tale, “The Religion of Jena.”
Debuting at this year’s performance are young pianists Rhyan and Zeyn Shweyk, the SB Piano Boys. The Shweyks, ages 14 and 15 respectively, have played classical piano and composed music for the majority of their lives, but they are no stranger to the spotlight. The dynamic duo has performed for hundreds of audiences since they were 9 years old, aspiring to illuminate the beauty and benefits of classical music to all who listen. When they’re not wowing crowds as the two tickle the ivories of one piano, their passion is teaching kids how to play music. For their Alcazar premier, they will be playing a fun, four-handed piece, “Libertango,” by Astor Piazzolla.
Dazzling the audience once again is the Curtis Studio of Dance’s Competition Corps. These girls have each danced at the studio from eight to 13 years, studying disciplines such as ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and more. This troupe is a staple of the showcase, having danced to hits in past years like “Money” from “Cabaret” or the sizzling swing classic “Fever.” The group loves coming back year after year to bring their sharp moves and style to the stage. After the showcase, they will be hitting the road with their routine at a competition in Long Beach.
One of Carpinteria’s rising stars, singer and songwriter Xenia Flores, will be gracing the showcase’s stage for her 11th year. This Carp-native has been singing, writing and playing music since the age of 13, and is a self-taught guitarist. As the talent show has grown and expanded, Flores has developed her dreamy indie and folk-inspired style. Her honest lyrical storytelling and bright voice have been compared to the likes of Dolores O’Riordan, Stevie Nicks and Natalie Merchant. Not only is Flores a one-of-a-kind act with her unique sound, but she sets herself apart from contemporary artists with her ability to perform in many musical stylings.
The showcase sells out every year, and this year is anticipated to be no exception. Any tickets still available are $25 per person and can be purchased through the Alcazar Theatre’s website at thealcazar.org, or contacting local Rotarians, like Barry Enticknap at BarryCarpRotary@gmail.com.