Lilla Crawford, Montego Glover, Telly Leung and More Celebrate High School Theatre as Jimmy Award Winners Are Announced on Broadway

By Michael Gioia
02 Jul 2013

Lilla Crawford
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
The medleys continued through the first act of the evening and included performances of "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" from South Pacific, "Astonishing" from Little Women, "Bring Him Home" and "On My Own" from Les Misérables, "Run Freedom Run" from Urinetown, "Moments in the Woods" and "On the Steps of the Palace" from Into the Woods, "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" from Anything Goes, "Three Bedroom House" and "Let Me Walk Among You" from Bat Boy, "All That Jazz" from Chicago, "Holding Out For a Hero" from Footloose, "So Much Better" from Legally Blonde and many more.

A highlight of the evening featured five young Bakers from different productions of Into the Woods performing a medley of Stephen Sondheim's "No More" and "It Takes Two" (which was changed to "It Takes Five").

"I'm so proud of them," coach and mentor Telly Leung, of Broadway's Godspell, told at the Jimmy Awards after party at John's Pizzeria in Times Square. "When I'm done with the two days that I coach them, I feel like, 'Good. Broadway's in good hands.' They're put into this pressure-cooker environment to rehearse all of this material in five days, and it's a competition, [but on] day one, I tell them, 'This is not a competition. The best part of being here is that you're going to meet your future castmates… This is your future family. If you can take your material and elevate it to a new level, you've won.'"

"They were so good," added Annie's Lilla Crawford, who chatted with the students June 27, following their visit to Annie. "I came out saying, 'Oh my gosh, these kids are talented!'"

Montego Glover
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The students — already winners from their hometown regional competitions, sponsored by professional theatre organizations in cities across America — were then narrowed down to six finalists (judges could not decide on three females and added a seventh finalist for the second time in Jimmy Awards history). They were Michael Burrell (Baker in Into the Woods from Mission Viejo, CA); Jillian Caillouette (Jo in Little Women from Norwich, CT); Austin Crute (Scarecrow in The Wiz from Atlanta, GA); Martha Hellerman (Wendla in Spring Awakening from Madison, WI); Eva Maria Noblezada (Ariel in Footloose from Charlotte, NC); Sarah Lynn Marion (Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly! from Fullerton, CA); and Taylor Varga (J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed… from Norwich, CT).

"It was a little tough back there! We were debating… It was hard to get down to three [choices for each category], and we couldn't get down to three women, so we opted for four," admitted judge Scandalios, who is chairman of The Broadway League and executive VP of The Nederlander Organization. "What's always amazing to me is that no matter what you're going through, you come and you see these kids, and you re-inspire yourself to love what you do."