The primary goal of theBestArts.com website is to provide greater exposure to the next generation of musical theatre songwriters, actors and dancers.
I don't accept placement fees of any type from artists or their representatives.
The website is designed and maintained by Kevin Ireland. Kevin and his partner of 27 years, Steve, live
in Atlanta, GA. You can learn more about us, our dogs Laszlo and Juno, and our cat Leia in our
personal videos on this site.
Since I started theBestArts in 2007, I've focused on the following areas:
College Cabaret Concerts: these very low-priced events (never more than $5 cover) are often the first NYC concerts for graduating seniors
from top musical theatre programs. All seniors are invited to perform in a program at a popular NYC venue with top Broadway alums from their program. The series began with
CMU in 2010, then featured CMU, CCM, Boston Conservatory and the University of Michigan in 2011. In 2012, I hosted CMU, CCM, Michigan and Penn State. I plan to continue the
series in 2013 and subsequent years.
Alumni performers at the college cabarets have included:
- Will Blum - BoCo in 2011 (Book of Mormon, Grease, Grease Nat'l Tour, Seussical Nat'l Tour)
- Caroline Bowman - PSU in 2012 (Wicked, Spamalot - Nat'l Tour, Grease - Int'l Tour, Fame - Int'l Tour)
- Todd Buonopane - Michigan in 2012 (Grease, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee)
- Andre Catrini - CCM in 2011, 2012 (Johnny Mercer Songwriter's Project, BMI Musical Theatre Workshop)
- Amanda Jane Cooper - CMU in 2010, 2011 (Wicked - Nat'l Tour)
- Nick Cosgrove - CMU in 2010, 2011 (Jersey Boys - Nat'l Tour, Encores! Where's Charley?)
- Scott Coulter - CCM in 2011, 2012 (MAC Award, Bistro Award, Nightlife Award in Outstanding Male Vocalist)
- Brandon Cutrell - CCM in 2011 (MAC Award: Best Male Debut; Mac Award, Bistro Award: Outstanding Male Vocalist)
- Nikki Renée Daniels - CCM in 2011, 2012 (Porgy and Bess, Anything Goes, Promises, Promises,
Les Misérables, Nine, Aida)
- Chris Dimond - CMU in 2011 (Homemade Fusion - songwriter)
- Delius Doherty - PSU in 2012 (Book of Mormon, The Greenwood Tree - NYMF)
- Sara Jean Ford - CMU in 2010, 2011 (Finian's Rainbow, The Fantasticks, Phantom of the Opera)
- Lora Lee Gayer - CMU in 2012 (Follies)
- Jonathan Reid Gealt - BoCo in 2011 (Forward - songwriter; Les Mis Nat'l Tour; Thirteen Stories Down, debut album)
- Alexa Green - CCM in 2011, 2012 (Company - Lincoln Center; Wicked - LA, San Fran;
Scrooge in the Musical - Nat'l Tour)
- Jessica Hendy - CCM in 2012 (Aida, Cats, Amour)
- Hunter Ryan Herdlicka - CMU in 2010, 2011, 2012 (A Little Night Music)
- Daisy Hobbs - CMU in 2010, 2011 - (Memphis National Tour)
- David Hull - Michigan in 2011 (Wicked)
- Marcus Paul James - PSU in 2012 (Rent, In the Heights)
- Matthew John Kacergis - BoCo in 2011 (A Walk on the Wild Side - Studio Cast Recording, Parade - Ford's Theatre)
- Andrew Kober - CMU in 2011, 2012 (Hair - Broadway, West End)
- Bryan Langlitz - Michigan in 2011 (Memphis)
- Nikka Graff Lanzarone - BoCo in 2011 (Chicago, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Hello Again - the Transport Group)
- Andrew Lippa - Michigan in 2012 (The Addams Family, The Wild Party, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, john&jen)
- Anne Markt - Michigan in 2011, 2012 (The Fantasticks, Hair - Nat'l Tour)
- Tyler Maynard - CCM in 2011 (The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, Mamma Mia!, Altar Boyz!)
- Danny McNie - CCM in 2011 (Music of Alan Menken - Int'l Tour;
Miss Saigon - Nat'l Tour)
- Trevor McQueen - CMU in 2010, 2011 (Annie Get Your Gun)
- Marla Mindelle - CCM in 2012 (Sister Act, South Pacific, The Drowsy Chaperone - Nat'l Tour)
- Walter Winston O'Neill in 2011 - Michigan (Wicked, A Tale of Two Cities)
- Kent Overshown - Michigan in 2011 (Memphis - Nat'l Tour)
- Billy Porter - CMU in 2012 (Smokey Joe's Cafe, Grease,
Five Guys Named Moe, Miss Saigon)
- Zak Resnick - CMU in 2010, 2011 (Mamma Mia!, bare, American Idol)
- Will Reynolds - CMU in 2010 (The Greenwood Tree - songwriter)
- Kirsten Scott - CMU in 2010 (Hairspray, Follies)
- Matthew Scott - CMU in 2010 (Sondheim on Sondheim, A Catered Affair, Jersey Boys)
- Skye Scott - CMU in 2010, 2011 (Jersey Boys - Nat'l Tour)
- AJ Shively - Michigan in 2011 (La Cage Aux Folles)
- Jason Michael Snow - BoCo in 2011 (The Book of Mormon, South Pacific)
- Derek St. Pierre - BoCo in 2011 (Rock of Ages)
- Matthew Stocke - CMU in 2012 (Rock of Ages, The Wedding Singer, The Boy from Oz, The Full Monty, Titanic)
- Gabrielle Stravelli - CCM in 2011 (Backstage/Bistro Award: Performer on the Rise)
- Maddy Trumble - Michigan in 2012 (Newsies, Mary Poppins - Nat'l Tour)
- Melvin Tunstall - CCM in 2011 (Rock of Ages)
- Alysha Umphress - BoCo in 2011 (Bring It On, On A Clear Day, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, American Idiot)
- Laurie Veldheer - PSU in 2012 (Newsies, Hairspray - Nat'l Tour)
- Tommar Wilson - CMU in 2010 (Hair, Lestat, Never Gonna Dance, Hairspray, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Music Man)
- Cortney Wolfson - Michigan in 2011 (Les Misérables, The Addams Family)
- Tony Yazbeck - CCM in 2012 (Chicago, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Gypsy, A Chorus Line, Never Gonna Dance,
Broadway Tour Benefits in Atlanta: In 2010 and 2011, I produced benefit cabaret concerts with Broadway national touring casts from:
- Mary Poppins
- Phantom of the Opera
We've raised over $50,000 for non-profit groups like Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Synchronicity Theatre, Jerusalem House
(AIDS/HIV Housing), AID Atlanta and Joining Hearts.
Support for musical theatre songwriters: I edit videos for many rising songwriters, including:
- Burkell and Loesel
- Jonathan Reid Gealt
- Adam Gwon
- Kooman and Dimond
- Ryan Scott Oliver
- Pasek and Paul
- ...and more
I donate web development services to Cutting-Edge Composers. I've also worked closely with Jason Robert Brown on his singing contests.
theBestArts website: I feature thousands of videos from hundreds of musical theatre singer/actors, dancers and songwriters.
theBestArts FB page: I provide free promotion for hundreds of musical theatre singer/actors, dancers and songwriters on a regular basis.
Here are some of the comments I've received:
Scott Alan (songwriter/singer)
KEYS, DREAMING WIDE AWAKE
theBestArts is a wonderful and concise gathering of what makes Theater exciting and new -
from the great emerging talents of tomorrow to the best of what theater has to offer today.
Tony Bisbano (composer/orchestrator)
theBestArts is a wonderful tool for musicians who share common interests to network and view each
others' work. I have personally been able to network and develop professional and personal relationships
with other musicians in my field.
Jason Robert Brown (songwriter/singer)
SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD; 1999 Tony Award for PARADE, Best Musical Score; THE LAST FIVE YEARS;
2003 Tony Award Nominee for URBAN COWBOY, Best Musical Score; 13
theBestArts.com performs the thankless and ever-more-necessary job of sifting through the
endless miasma of Internet chaff and finding the work of talented young people that are valuable
and special and would otherwise all too easily be lost or ignored.
Sam Carner (songwriter)
In this moment, when so much of the energy and excitement of musical theatre seems to be not only outside of Broadway, but even outside of New York,
Kevin Ireland has a better sense of the whole picture than anyone else I know.
Jim Caruso (producer/host)
BROADWAY AT BIRDLAND, CAST PARTY
I'm a fan of theBestArts because it showcases and celebrates the theatrical community in a positive manner.
It's a well-designed and easy-to-navigate site where I always find a budding performer or
songwriter I hadn't heard before!
Andre Catrini (songwriter, CCM student)
A LITTLE SELF INDULGENT MUSIC, THE CASE, "WHISPER, LOVE"
theBestArts is a wonderful forum for musical theatre artists to share their work.
It has helped showcase my own material as well as familiarize me with so many of the
fantastic emerging talents that are around today.
Bobby Cronin (songwriter/singer)
THE BEATEN PATH, PERSONALS, FROM THIS DAY FORWARD: A SCHWARTZ JOURNEY, A CHRISTMAS CAROL,
THAT'S ANDY, 'TIL DEATH DO US PART
theBestArts has helped my career immensely due to its commitment to showcasing young and rising talent.
My songs are being performed all over the country now and I know that it is in large part due to the
support of theBestArts.
Jonathan Reid Gealt (songwriter/actor/singer)
LES MIS National Tour
Kevin Ireland has created a one stop source for up and coming composers and performers
that has helped bring attention to people who might not have had the capabilities to do it themselves.
He has selflessly devoted himself to helping the continued growth and development of Musical Theater
in a time when it's hard to get anyone interested in the arts! And it's working.
What Kevin has done with theBestArts is invaluable!
Adam Gwon (songwriter)
ORDINARY DAYS, BERNICE BOBS HER HAIR, ETHAN FROME
theBestArts is not only a highly organized, incredibly comprehensive showcase of the next
generation of theater artists. It creates online what we artists strive to build in our offline lives:
a real sense of community where we can share and support each others' work.
Brandon Ivie (theatre director/producer)
theBestArts is an amazing resource for songwriters, performers, producers and anyone who
appreciates the arts. It has helped immensely in the national (and international)
spread of some of the most talented young artists in this country.
Not only is it entertainment, but its a way for artists to connect and share their work.
Personally, it has helped my company's concert series gain national exposure it never
would have received otherwise. I am a proud and dedicated fan of the site and hope it is around for years to come.
Paul Loesel (songwriter/Broadway pianist)
SIX OF ONE, LOVE SONGS AND OTHER CRAP, ELLA MINNOW PEA
One of the best places to be seen and heard as an artist, and in my case, a songwriter, is at theBestArts.
A theatre community like no other!
Brian Lowdermilk (songwriter)
HENRY & MUDGE, THE UNAUTHORIZED AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF SAMANTHA BROWN, THE WOMAN UPSTAIRS, WRONG NUMBER
We're proud to be included on theBestArts - the most exhaustive listing of young Broadway talent
Jordan Mann (songwriter)
JAWBREAKER, PUMP UP THE VOLUME, TRAILS
theBestArts is an invaluable resource for emerging professionals in the music theatre business.
Kevin's website gives writers and artists much needed exposure, and provides a community for artists to
find each other for collaborative projects.
Laura Pietropinto (Broadway director/producer)
NEXT TO NORMAL
theBestArts is a wonderful resource for people to discover up-and-coming artists.
With an eye for budding talent, Kevin Ireland has provided a vehicle for artists who might otherwise not
get the publicity they deserve. It is an invaluable tool for directors, producers, and casting directors
to use to discover new artists.
Will Reynolds (songwriter/singer/actor)
THE GREENWOOD TREE, THE SIXTH BOROUGH, ON THE CONTRARY!
MAMMA MIA! National Tour, ORDINARY DAYS, BIG RIVER
theBestArts.com is an incredible outlet for emerging theatre artists, a fantastic place for our
voices to be heard. I'm so grateful for the added exposure it brings to my own work, and so pleased
to be able to explore the work of my contemporaries in one amazing place!
Arbender Robinson (Broadway actor/singer/dancer)
RAGTIME, HAIR, THE LITTLE MERMAID, HAIRSPRAY
theBestArts is truly an amazing resource that not only connects theater professionals, fans, and
patrons but also helps to cultivate, inspire, motivate, and create the performers of tomorrow.
One location where we can see dreams come true, where we can see hard work and dedication pay off,
a place where we can indirectly find new role models to help inspire people of all ages, creed,
racial background, sex, and social status. Having been featured on the site, it has encouraged me to work
harder and always strive to be a great role model for those I know and some I may never meet.
The internet is a medium that crosses all boundaries and borders.
theBestArts site does this and goes one step further by then connecting the world with music, arts,
theater and dance. The resource and the effect is limitless.
Natalie Weiss (Broadway actor/singer and vocal coach)
EVERYDAY RAPTURE, WICKED National Tour
theBestArts is a very useful site that showcases young fresh talent.
Kevin is great at keeping tabs on where all the performers are at in their careers.
Sam Willmott (songwriter)
STANDARDIZED TESTING - THE MUSICAL!!!!
TheBestArts is, bar none, the most cohesive, most well-organized, and most exciting online musical
theatre resource out there. If you're not careful, you'll find yourself spending hours delving into the
vast collection of videos... reveling in the great performances of the past, or drawing inspiration from
today's talent. At the heart of it, Kevin is incredibly supportive of every actor, dancer or writer
involved with the site. His dedication and encouragement and tireless cheerleading mean a great
deal to a whole bunch of otherwise struggling artists.
I'd love to hear from you. Please let me know what you like - or don't like - about the website or my YouTube
channels. I also welcome suggestions for new pages - or additions to existing pages. Send me an