Tuesday, July 3, 2018

"7 Days With the Most Talented Theater Teens in the Country: Inside the Jimmy Awards"

Vulture:

Participating students are flown to New York for a week; they stay in the dorms at New York University, and rehearse every day in the Tisch building. The show itself takes place at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre, where the nominees perform in group numbers throughout the first act — half of them in featured medleys, half of them in a larger production number. During the intermission, a judging panel of respected theater artists select eight finalists to present solos. From these solo performances two winners — one male-identifying actor and one female-identifying actor — are determined.

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Each group performs a ten-minute medley, with everyone dressed in their costumes from their respective award-winning roles, during which the nominees get to re-create their performances for about a minute or so. Here’s the kicker, though: Throughout each section of the medleys, the other nominees dance and sing backup for each other. This means you are getting Dolly Gallagher Levi doing Fosse isolations to “All That Jazz.” This means you are getting the Phantom of the Opera gleefully bouncing with his hands on his knees for “Luck Be a Lady.” The Jimmys medleys are musical-theater crossover heaven

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I received the golden ticket to a week of Jimmys glory, and kept a diary of the experience.

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EVENING: The second group of boys enter the rehearsal studio. You have never seen so many scarves in the month of June. Reboot Smash so these boys can costume Debra Messing. I soon understand why: this group is SING. ING. And they need to PROTECT. THE. LARYNX. AT. ALL. COSTS.

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She muses, “I have to sing it powerful. My vibrato, I just let it run, because that’s where the vulnerability comes in — when I let my vibrato run free.” No quote has ever meant enough to me to tattoo on my body until I heard “I let my vibrato run free.”