Talent sought to take Strand stage with Ruben

Ruben Studdard: Won the "big one" in 2003.Ruben Studdard: Won the "big one" in 2003.Don't worry: Simon Cowell won't be on hand to critique your skills or lack thereof. But, if you think you've got the vocal chops to take the stage with Ruben Studdard, your big break may be here.

The Strand Theatre will host a "Community Idol" contest today as a prelude to the upcoming run of "Ain't Misbehavin,' " the touring revue starring Studdard, who won the "big one" back in 2003. The show is coming to the Strand for four shows (April 10-12). Aspiring singers ages 17 to 25 can enter the competition if they are either Boston residents or students living here. Auditions will be held on Tuesday, March 24, from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Strand, 243 Columbia Road.

Winners will perform during intermission of one of the "Ain't Misbehavin' " shows. Audition spots are limited and are on a "first come, first served" basis. Singers will need to perform a two-minute acapella selection of their choosing. All soloist contestants will audition in groups of ten. For more information on the Community Idol contest call: 1-866-586-3050.

The grand prize winner will sing at intermission at the opening night performance, receive four tickets to the performance and attend the cast party. The winners will be announced the week of March 30th at spectrumboston.org - which will also include videos of selected auditions.

The "Ain't Misbehavin'" shows are being billed as a blockbuster opportunity for the Strand, which is just wrapping up a multi-year, $6 million renovation project. The city-owned facility hopes to prove that it can manage marquee shows and acts and keep them coming back regularly.

Approximately 500 youth and families will be able to attend the Strand Theater performances of "Ain't Misbehavin' " during its run, thanks to support provided by the Paul A. Kaplan Ticket Access Fund. Visit citicenter.org for more details about these performances.

SpectrumBoston - which is spearheading the Community Idol contest - includes partners like the Boston Public Library, Citi Performing Arts Center, City of Boston: Arts, Tourism, Special Events, and Film, The Museum of African American History, and WGBH.