Show Tune Showdown (TM) 2023

In News by Susan Murphy

Show Tune Showdown will return to the Meridian Theatres at Centrepointe for its 16th edition on April 22, 2023. Stay tuned to TC’s social media as more information about this fabulous show becomes available. 

Show Tune Showdown™ combines musical theatre performances and team competition. It’s a unique blend of the best of Broadway, musical trivia similar to Name That Tune with loads of Broadway glitz thrown into the mix.

Three teams of four singers representing different arts organizations sing a selection of Broadway or off-Broadway show tunes in front of three local celebrity judges. The team garnering the most points receives the grand prize of $1,000 for their organization. Each team prepares two tunes to sing for the judges and audience and is awarded up to 10 points from each judge for their efforts.

But then they are challenged even further to get some additional points in the Showdown rounds, where the team that guesses a song from trivia clues has to sing it with no rehearsal, no safety net –and with just the sheet music and lyrics to help them. The three judges reach a consensus and will award a total of up to 10 points for each showdown performance. 

For Rounds 1 and 3, if none of the teams are able to guess the tune, the MC goes to a backup song and a new set of clues until the round is completed.

Round 2 is the audience showdown round. The MC will ask if anyone in the audience can guess the song. The audience member who correctly guesses the song is then invited to the stage to perform the song, and after the performance, awards the points (up to a total of 10 points) received from the judges to the team of the performer’s choice. 

Every year, Tone Cluster performs the show’s opening number. This year’s edition includes a closing number performed by the host choir along with the team performers in memory of the late great composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim.

With points earned for fabulous performances, knowledge of trivia, and from the kindness of strangers, it’s hard to know who will win this competition until just before the closing curtain. Throw in an opening and closing number by Tone Cluster, our amazing accompanist Tim Piper and our fabulous host Jesse Reynolds, Show Tune Showdown™ has all the ingredients for an unforgettable show.

Since 2005, Showtune Showdown™ has become one of Ottawa’s largest LGBTQIA2S+ -sponsored cultural event and a must-see for musical theatre lovers in Eastern Ontario and West Quebec. The Show Tune Showdown™ concept has been so successful it has spawned productions in Minneapolis, NYC, Kansas City, and was a blockbuster entertainment event at the GALA Choruses International Choral Festival in Denver, Colorado.

Arts organizations that have fielded teams for the past 15 editions of Show Tune Showdown™ have included:

  • Ain’t Seen Noth’in Yet (ASNY) Productions
  • Canadian Centennial Choir
  • Confidential Musical Theatre Project
  • Orpheus Musical Theatre Company
  • Ottawa School of Speech and Drama
  • Sheridan College Musical Theatre Program
  • Sock ‘n’ Buskin Theatre Company
  • Suzart Productions
  • Vanity Project Productions
  • Zucchini Grotto
  • Zucchini Productions

Past judges for Show Tune Showdown™ have included:

  • Julian Armour
  • Pierre Brault
  • Robyn Bresnahan
  • James Caswell
  • Gavin Crawford
  • China Doll
  • The Honourable Sheila Copps
  • Paul Dewar, M.P.
  • Kellylee Evans
  • Laurence Ewashko
  • Robert Filion
  • Mathieu Fleury
  • Heather Gibson
  • Joel Harden, M.P.P.
  • Jeff Leiper
  • Catherine McKenney
  • Lynn Miles
  • Alan Neal
  • Erica Peck
  • Ivan Pednault
  • Amanda Pfeffer
  • Kathleen Petty
  • Evan Solomon
  • Marg Stubington
  • Laurence Wall

Past Host:

Bob LeDrew (14 editions)

Past Host Bob LeDrew

Gallery photo credit: Mike Thompson