The “Jimmy” Awards Finalists Take to the Stage Today

News   The “Jimmy” Awards Finalists Take to the Stage Today
 
High school students from across America are competing on the stage of Broadway's Minskoff Theatre.
Jimmy Award Competitors in the Opening Number
Jimmy Award Competitors in the Opening Number

Sixty-four high school students from across the country take to the stage at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre's June 27 for the finals of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, also known as the Jimmy Awards. The awards are named in honor of legendary Broadway producer/theatre owner James M. Nederlander.

The event, which features more nominees than last year and boasts an “enhanced format,” is hosted by Zachary Levi, star of the Broadway revival of She Loves Me. Celebrity judges Eden Espinosa, Gavin Creel, Jose Llana, Michael McElroy, Howard McGillin and Karen Olivo are also on hand to share their wisdom with the young finalists competing in the two-hour finale.

Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, recently said of Levi, “Having such a talented performer sharing the stage with this year’s nominees will be something they will always remember!”

In 2015 the Broadway League Foundation took over the Jimmy Awards and continue to oversee programming. The event sees more than 50,000 students from over 1,000 high schools throughout the country compete for a chance to travel to Manhattan, where they are housed in the NYU dorms and given the opportunity to rehearse with theatre professionals in the lead up to the finals.

About the awards, St. Martin said in an earlier press statement, “What we have is a real life Glee happening in communities all over the country! We couldn’t have enjoyed the first year of presenting the Jimmy Awards more… unless we had more kids competing.”

Here are the 2016 finalists who came out on top in 32 regional competitions.

City & State Theatre/Organization Regional Awards Program Best Actor Nominee Best Actress Nominee
Albuquerque, NM Popejoy Hall Popejoy Awards Devon McCleskey Joliana Davidson
Atlanta, GA Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards Will Davis Shelbea Owen
Buffalo, NY Shea's Performing Arts Center The Kenny Awards Joseph Russi  Rachel Kauderer
Charlotte, NC Blumenthal Performing Arts The Blumey Awards Justin Rivers Amina Faye
Chicago, IL Broadway In Chicago Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards Jack Cahill-Lemme Cecilia Trippiedi
Cleveland, OH Playhouse Square Playhouse Square Dazzle Awards J.R. Heckman Kate Klika
Dallas, TX Dallas Summer Musicals DSM High School Musical Theatre Awards John Fredrickson Kaiden Lynn Maines
Denver, CO Denver Center for the Performing Arts The Bobby G Awards Curtis J. Salinger Charlotte Movizzo
Des Moines, IA Des Moines Performing Arts Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards Demarius Fisher Poni Lejukole
Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center Triangle Rising Stars Jacob Bush Ainsley Seiger
East Lansing, MI Wharton Center for Performing Arts Sutton Foster Ovation Awards Logan Dolence Stacey Coleman
Houston, TX Theatre Under The Stars Tommy Tune Awards Muhammad Yunus Noelle Flores
Kansas City, MO Starlight Theatre Blue Star Awards Lucas Lowry Alison Ann Gillespie
San Antonio, TX ACE Theatrical Group, LLC/Las Casas Foundation Joci Awards Travis Anderson Madeline Barbara Burrow
La Mirada, CA McCoy Rigby Entertainment MACY Awards Adrian Villegas Amanda Dayhoff
Las Vegas, NV The Smith Center for the Performing Arts Nevada High School Musical Theater Awards Deimoni Brewington Mariah Martin
Logan, UT MagicSpace/Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards Angel Martinez Hannah Romney
Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Pantages/Nederlander The Jerry Herman Awards Josh Strobl Emma Griffone
Madison, WI Overture Center for the Arts Tommy Awards Travis Ulrich Kailey Boyle
Memphis, TN The Orpheum Theatre The Orpheum High School Musical Theatre Awards Spencer Germany Grace Martin
New York, NY Disney Theatrical Group/Camp Broadway The Roger Rees Awards Zander Pacella Sophia Condon
Omaha, NE Omaha Performing Arts Nebraska High School Theatre Awards Matthew Hakel Lauren Johnson
Orlando, FL Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Applause Awards Tony Moreno Emma Heistand
Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh CLO Gene Kelly Awards Devin Moore Marnie Quick
Rochester, NY Rochester Broadway Theatre League Stars of Tomorrow Mark Mitrano Abigail DeWitte
San Antonio, TX ACE Theatrical Group, LLC/Las Casas Foundation Joci Awards Travis Anderson Madeline Barbara Burrow
San Diego, CA Broadway/San Diego - Nederlander The San Diego Ben Vereen Awards Cameron Chang Jazley Genovese
San Jose, CA Broadway San Jose The Rita Moreno Awards Frank Demma Samantha Gorjanc
Seattle, WA The 5th Avenue Theatre The 5th Avenue Awards Hayden Call Brooke Moltrum
Tampa, FL Straz Center for the Performing Arts Broadway Star of the Future Blake Lafita Francesca Iacovacci
Tempe, AZ ASU Gammage ASU Gammage High School Theater Awards Noah Andrew King Holly Payne
Tucson, AZ Broadway in Tucson Southern Arizona Ben Vereen Awards Daniel Rosenberg Sarah Chico


Read Playbill.com's exclusive story in which 2015 Jimmy Award nominees asked their Broadway idols for life advice. See the personal responses from Sydney Lucas, Kelli O'Hara and more

The Jimmy Awards aim to raise the profile of musical theatre in schools, recognize dedicated teachers and inspire the next generation of performers and enthusiasts. Student performers qualify to compete in the national program by winning top honors at regional high school musical theatre awards competitions. Since its inception in 2009, the NHSMTA has enabled over $1,000,000 in university and conservatory scholarships to be awarded to talented students at the national and local level—several of whom have already been cast in Broadway, touring and West End productions.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting NHSMTA.COM or TICKETMASTER.COM and range from $39-$89. Premium seats are $250.

(Updated June 27, 2016)

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