THE SCREENING ROOM: Highlights from the Davenport Songwriting Contest, Featuring Hannah Elless, Ben Fankhauser and More

By Michael Gioia
and Carey Purcell
February 7, 2014

The first annual Davenport Songwriting Contest, presented by Broadway producer Ken Davenport, was held Jan. 30 at the Davenport Theatre. Here are highlights from the evening. 



The contest, hosted by Sheri Sanders ("Rock The Audition"), featured ten songs competing for the title of Best Song and a $500 grand prize. Songwriter Madeline Myers, whose song "I Could Be a Hero" was performed by Ben Fankhauser, took home the top prize, and all finalists received a cash prize of $50.

Singers included Hannah Elless (Somewhere In Time, Godspell), Fankhauser (Newsies), Craig Waletzko (Guys & Dolls, Young Frankenstein) and Mary Kate Morrissey (Hair).

The winner was chosen by the audience and a panel of celebrity guest judges, including Natalie Weiss (Everyday Rapture), Ryan Silverman (Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera) and Ryan Scott Oliver (Jasper In Deadland).

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"We're The Only Real Actors In This Show" (by Ted Kopulos), performed by Craig Waletzko and Gary De Mattei:

"Scared of Falling" (by Kevin J. Watson), performed by Meghan Shanahan and Kevin J. Watson:

"Our Little Swedish Home" (by Zak Sandler and Greg Edwards), performed by Chris Critelli and Brennan Caldwell:

"Just Between Us" (by David Reiffel and Michael Wartofsky), performed by Erica Spyres:

"I Could Be A Hero" (by Madeline Myers), performed by Ben Fankhauser:

"Horizontal Light" (by Andrew J. Hanley), performed by Natalie Berk:

"Hero" (By Joseph Shrand), performed by Becca Shrand:

"Cracked and Broken" (by Dave Ogrin and R.C. Staab), performed by Lauren Ford:

"Could It Be Me" (by Kevin M. Cotter & Diane Uniman), performed by Hannah Elless: