As previously reported, NBC and "Smash" (the new series about the creation of a Broadway musical) are lending financial support to all programming on the third and final day of the festival, which unites over 3,000 students, teachers and leaders Jan. 13-15 to celebrate musical theatre for young audiences.
James (Shrek, The Sweet Smell of Success, Titanic) portrays "Frank" on "Smash." Interestingly, his character is not part of the theatre world, but in the series his wife (played by Debra Messing) is part of a Tony-nominated songwriting team. Borle (Legally Blonde, Angels in America, Peter and the Starcatcher) portrays composer Tom Levitt, one-half of the Tony-nominated songwriting team at work on the new musical Marilyn. Newcomer Cepero is cast as Levitt's assistant, Ellis.
Also participating in the Junior Theater Festival are "Smash" executive producers Meron and Zadan, who produced "Chicago" and "Hairspray" on screen, as well as Broadway revivals of Promises, Promises and How to Succeed in Business...
Annie authors Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin have been announced as the recipients of the 2012 Junior Theater Festival Award. Annie JR was the first Broadway musical to be adapted for MTI's Broadway JR series in 1998.
The Junior Theater Festival is co-presented by iTheatrics (which develops the Broadway JR Collection) and Atlanta's Theater of the Stars. Theatrical licensing organization Music Theatre International, which created and licenses the Broadway JR collection, and Disney Musicals sponsor the weekend. Click here for further information on the Junior Theater Festival.