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'Main Street Idol' shines spotlight on local talent.

Talent shows have been around as long as any of us can remember. In grade school, budding saxophonists and songsters, dancers and drummers paraded onto the stage in the hopes their talent would shine through their anxiety to impress their peers.

On television, Ted Mack’s “The Original Amateur Hour” gave performers such as Gladys Knight and Pat Boone their first taste of success as viewers sent in postcards or phoned in their favorites.  Later on, mallet-wielding celebrity judges such as Joan Rivers would sometimes boot off “The Gong Show” contestants who failed to entertain even before they finished their number. On “Star Search,” hosted by Ed McMahon, the studio audience voted for the best singers, dancers and comedians, which included comedians Adam Sandler and Dave Chappelle and singers Beyonce and Christine Aguilera.

Those shows were the warm up act to “American Idol,” which began its 10th season on Wednesday with new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler joining Randy Jackson.

Back home, local youngsters will be competing in Lake Country’s version of the show. “Main Street Idol” kicks off Friday night as 9- to 13-year-old performers will be in the spotlight at Theatre on Main, 25 S. Main St. in Oconomowoc. Saturday night, kids 14 to 18 will be singing their hearts out. Both shows start at 7 p.m.

While “American Idol” takes months to drain the talent pool, “Main Street Idol” will conclude the following week. Semi-finals are Friday, Jan. 28 with the exciting finale on Saturday, both at 7 p.m.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for all shows.

Tickets for the shows are $10 and may be purchased by calling the box office at (262) 560-0564, at Books & Company, Fox Bros. Oconomowoc Piggly Wiggly.

For more information, call (262) 853-7628 or visit

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