Connecticut Public Television Holds Town Hall Meeting at Star Plaza to Announce Creation of Local ‘Supergroup’

Connecticut Public Television Holds Town Hall Meeting at Star Plaza to Announce Creation of Local ‘Supergroup’
By: Dan Petreikis Last Updated: May 10, 2016

Have you ever dreamed of being a star, of being onstage in front of hundreds of people? Have you ever hoped to be discovered? For local Lake and Porter county residents, this could be your chance!

Gathering under the spotlights on the stage of Merrillville’s Star Plaza Theater, Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) and Star Productions, LLC held a recent Town Hall event to announce a new project: the creation of a supergroup. Over the next few weeks, the project, Harmonies for Healing:Under the Streetlamp, will scour Lake and Porter counties, looking for super-talented people of all ages from 15 on up. The participants will perform onstage with nationally-renowned singing group Under the Streetlamp in a special live concert this August at the Star Plaza.

Known for their tight harmonies and sharp choreography, Under the Streetlamp is comprised of leading cast members of the Tony Award-winning sensation Jersey Boys, singing songs from the American Radio Songbook, featuring Doo-Wop, Motown and old time rock & roll hits from the ‘50s through the ‘70s.

Jim Rubino – owner of Rubino’s Music in Merrillville, in business for 42 years, was anxious to see what the event was about.

“They’ve been keeping this under wraps,” said Rubino. “I’m very interested to hear what they have planned.”

Rubino, Chad Clifford, owner of Front Porch Music in Valparaiso and lead singer of local band The Crawpuppies, and numerous other prominent members of the music scene attended the Town Hall meeting for the exciting reveal.

Michael Ingersoll and Chris Jones of Under the Streetlamp joined Star Productions, LLC President and CEO, Charlie Blum, and CPTV Executive Producer and Creative Director Wendy Lambert on stage to formally announce the collaborative effort.

“We’re hoping to provide a platform to give people an opportunity that they may not have otherwise had,” said Ingersoll.

“We’re looking to spotlight this community,” said Blum. “This is the perfect area because of the diversity of the area. When I visit local high school productions and local venues, I see such great performances, such tremendous talent right here in northwest Indiana that would go unnoticed, but we were able to make this connection, this bridge with CPTV, to be able to give these people that exposure. We have the perfect opportunity – we have the theater, the PBS exposure and experience, and we also have the help and exposure of being able to collaborate with a nationally renowned singing group.”

“I have heard some kids here… I close my eyes and I’m blown away,” said Blum. “These kids could be on Broadway.”

“Charlie has produced two PBS national productions already,” said Wendy Lambert, series creator and executive producer. “He has worked with CPTV before and he is responsible for helping make this a reality,” said Lambert.

“Music has the power of healing, of bringing people together. It’s a common thread, so we came up with the idea to form a deeper connection with a community and to document the process from beginning to end. This project will have a life unto itself, which we hope will effect a very positive change that will continue long after this particular project is finished,” Lambert added.

Lambert believes that Lake and Porter counties are representative of other local communities across the America, and hope to create a format here that will continue on to feature other communities throughout the nation.

“We hope that this helps to launch someone’s career,” said Salli Frattini, who is known for her work with MTV and also has worked as Executive Producer of two Super Bowl halftime shows.

The Harmonies for Healing: Under the Streetlamp docu-series will be comprised of three parts. The first part will focus on the audition and selection process, which will be held at the Star Plaza Theater in Merrillville during the week of June 20, 2016. The second part will follow the participants’ journey through the collaborative process as they move toward the final phase, which will feature those talents’ performance with musical group Under the Streetlamp as a collaborative supergroup to be featured live in concert at the Star Plaza Theater on Saturday, August 13, 2016.

For more information, or if you or someone you know would be interested in signing up and taking part in this exciting opportunity, visit for your chance to get discovered!