The Arts Aloud Theater Group helped celebrate the best and brightest of Southern California’s youth on Saturday, August 6, during its 2016 Talent Show production.  Over twenty teens performed to a sold-out crowd at the Bristol Auditorium in Bellflower.  In addition to receiving cash prizes for individual offerings of poetry, music, theatre, and dance, cast members were able to spotlight specific causes close to their hearts.  

A diverse group of esteemed artists participated in the event as presenters and judges.  Special guests included Lainie Kazan (MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING), Dyan Cannon (HEAVEN CAN WAIT), Jason Earles (HANNAH MONTANA), Ilene Graff (MR. BELVEDERE), Eric Millegan (BONES), Antonio Jaramillo (SHADES OF BLUE), Ben Lanzarone (GREASE), J.M. Longoria (MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN), and Leo Howard (KICKIN’ IT).  The panel’s collective body of work has amassed multiple nominations and wins for the Emmy®, Grammy®, Oscar®, Tony®, People’s Choice®, Teen Choice®, and Golden Globe® awards. 

Three-time Emmy®-winning entertainment journalist George Pennacchio (ABC7 EYEWITNESS NEWS) served as the program’s master of ceremonies. 

During the deliberation period, audience members were treated to performances by violinist Taylor Zinn (SOUTH COAST YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA) and Pedro Fregoso, a young mariachi performer who sang and played the trumpet.  Singers Joe Manuel and Rebeca King concluded with a rousing finale that featured the entire cast.  The closing number incorporated selections from Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Godspell, and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.  

First, second, and third place awards were presented to the highest-placing acts in two age divisions (13-15 & 16-18). Cash prizes and matching charitable contributions were underwritten by the Wells Fargo Foundation.  A male and female participant each received the Rob Fukuzaki Sportsmanship Award, named after KABC’s distinguished sportscaster, Rob Fukuzaki.  Fukuzaki’s Heads Up Youth Foundation funded both sportsmanship awards.

Selected Charities

(Those underlined are the winning charities) 

Arts Aloud Theater Group

Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation

100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Colombia Mission (Calvary Chapel Downey)

Dizzy Feet Foundation

Life Ministry (Calvary Chapel Downey)

Los Angeles Mission

Long Beach Rescue Mission

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Muscular Dystrophy Association


Polaris Performing Arts Academy

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Surfrider Foundation

World Vision

         Proceeds from the event support the Arts Aloud Theater Group’s youth education and outreach initiatives.  Sponsors of the 2016 Arts Aloud Talent Show include Wells Fargo, SWEET! Hollywood, Pink’s Hot Dogs, and US Bank.  

Cast and crew (pictured with Jason Earles and Leo Howard)

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