Students prepare to perform at Jimmy Awards, Corbin Bleu hosts

Monday, June 26, 2023
Students prepare to perform at Jimmy Awards, Corbin Bleu hosts
The Jimmy Awards honoring the best musical theater performers in the nation's high schools returns tonight and ABC 7 is proud to be a sponsor.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Jimmy Awards honoring the best musical theater performers in the nation's high schools returns tonight and ABC 7 is proud to be a sponsor.

The show is hosted by Corbin Bleu who found fame thanks to the original "High School Musical" movies, and the one-night-only event is held at the Minskoff Theater: home to Disney's "The Lion King."

The Jimmy Awards were named in honor of legendary theater owner Jimmy Nederlander who always kept an eye out for the next generation of talent. What makes this evening so fun is the chance to discover tomorrow's stars, stepping into the spotlight for the first time.

They are the best singers and brightest stars: chosen from among more than 140,000 high school students across the country.

"The energy from this young generation of theater artists, it's infectious. It's contagious," said Telly Leung, a coach.

Broadway Star Leung is helping the finalists get ready for tonight's big show.

"Every year I think they can't get more talent or more poised, and I can't continue to be as moved but tears roll down my eyes, and I just feel pure joy because I see raw talent being formed," said Charlotte St. Martin, the Broadway League President.

If the past is any guide, one of the the best places to catch a rising star is at the Jimmy Awards.

Five years ago, Andrew Barth Feldman from Long Island won as best actor. That led to a starring role on Broadway and to a new movie opposite Jennifer Lawrence.

Today's finalists are hoping to get a similar boost from the Jimmy Awards.

"I think that this is a big jump towards Broadway," said Calvin Lindo, a contestant.

Lindo, from Yonkers, got a glimpse of what's possible when he and the other contestants saw their names in lights on Broadway.

Monday evening they'll be back in Times Square at the Minskoff Theater for a show hosted by Corbin Bleu.

"The Jimmy Awards also provides scholarships to all of these students. We are going to see them here on Broadway at some point soon," Bleu said.

The Jimmy Awards show hosted by Corbin Blue will stream live on the Jimmy Awards YouTube Channel and its Facebook page.

Sandy Kenyon will host the intermission show when he'll be joined by past winners who have found success on Broadway and by the president of the Broadway League, Charlotte St. Martin. She's the head of the trade organization that puts on the show.

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