Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Monday night was MAGICAL, to say the least. Before we get to that, let's talk about our day at the Minskoff. The day began with a bus ride to the Minskoff where the nominees jumped right into rehearsal as the orchestra warmed up below. For most, this included their very first steps on a Broadway stage - it's a feeling that can't be described. After lunch with press-expert-extraordinaire Chris Boneau of Boneau/Bryan-Brown it was off to more rehearsal before the big night. Dinner included the awarding of several awards including Best Ensemble, Rising Star, the Spirit of the Jimmys, 6 Special Recognition Awards and the presentation of Carnegie Mellon University's 6-week Pre-College Summer Program. After smiles and congratulations were shared, the participants headed to the red carpet for group photos and a visit from event host, the one-and-only Zachary Levi! Oh, and did we mention Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber stopped by?!

Before long it was time for "places," and the energy in the wings was palpable. It seemed like just a moment later and it was time to announce the FINALISTS:
Kailey Boyle, Tommy Awards
Cameron Chang, The San Diego Ben Vereen Awards
Amina Faye, Blumey Awards        
John Fredrickson, DSM High School Musical Theatre Awards
Lauren Johnson, Nebraska High School Theatre Awards    
Devin Moore, Gene Kelly Awards     
Marnie Quick, Gene Kelly Awards
Josh Strobl, Jerry Herman Awards

One-by-one, they sang for the captivated audience before it was time to head downstairs. There, they boarded the lift and [literally] rose up to greet the audience one last time before the winners were announced...Amina Faye and Josh Strobl!!!

Congratulations to every single one of our talented nominees. You should all be exceptionally proud of your accomplishments over these past 10 days. We know we'll see many of you back on Broadway soon! Until next year...


Monday, June 27, 2016

It's a "medley" of enthusiasm at NYU!

It's the day of the show and everyone is ready to go...thanks to a full day of rehearsal yesterday.  First stop of the morning - opening, and the group nailed it. Then, it was off to run through medleys in advance of the arrival of judges later today. We met everyone from Mama Morton to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Needless to say, the studio was jumpin' all day long. Then it was off to lunch before welcoming our NYU judges to check out our amazing Production Group and the work they've accomplished this week, including the solo selections on which they've worked so diligently. The evening brought out our Minskoff judges to check out the beautiful, and often hilarious, medleys and solos of the Medley Group. Now it's time. Bring on the Minskoff tonight!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Time to shake off the nerves!

What better way to start a morning than with a full run of everyone's solo selections?!  That's exactly what we did yesterday morning and into the afternoon. Each nominee had the chance to perform center stage for their peers, staff and special guest, Christopher Wheeldon - the Tony Award-winning choreographer from AN AMERICAN IN PARIS! Van helped each participant through the audition process they'll be looking forward to with the judges on Sunday, offering up tips and tricks sure to get their best result. It was a long day, but a very helpful one! The night closed out with rehearsal for the opening and closing number. Just wait until these performances hit the stage on Monday at the Minskoff!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

I'm ready for my close-up!

Yesterday morning started with a group rehearsal to prepare for the arrival of PRESS! Select members of the press visited with the nominees to view the magic-in-the-making.  Everyone dazzled as the opening number started to really come together!  From there, it was off to the final coaching session, when the participants say "goodbye" to the industry professionals who have taken them so far and given them so much in such a short time.

Lunch brought a visit from Ryan Scott Oliver - composer and lyricist extraordinaire. Ryan talked about his journey from MFA student at NYU to award-winning writer and gave the group priceless advice on how to prepare for a life in the biz. He also echoed the sentiment heard several times so far this week: "Be nice to everyone!"

Friday, June 24, 2016

Practice Makes Perfect...

Yesterday was coaching session #2 and the solos are sounding GOOD! In addition to coaching, the production group was visited by the Dance Captain of ON YOUR FEET for a masterclass in how to "turn the beat around!" Then it was off to the DRESS PARADE, when all nominees put on their Sunday best for approval by the creative team.  Everyone looked like a million bucks!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Rhythm is Gonna Getcha...and it did!

Yesterday began as usual with a relaxing and enlightening morning of yoga. From there, the participants warmed up vocally (a must!), and ran through opening and closing music. Then, it was off to their first coaching session.  Coaching sessions offer the unique opportunity to work with a performing arts professional at the top of their game. Coaches take time with each nominee to deconstruct their performance and make it the very best it can be.

The group was "on their feet" most of the evening - first with a dinner outing at Sardi's, a fun-filled group photo at Duffy Square and a performance of Broadway's ON YOUR FEET. Following the show, the cast returned to the stage for a Q & A. It was unforgettable, to say the least. Complete with a participant/cast member rap and beat box duo, the cast gave the group advice, tips and tricks for how to make in the biz. A wonderful time was had by all!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Day 3 - Music and music and music, oh my!

What a day! Not only were the medley and production groups announced, but the nominees had a special visit from Bianca Marroquin! off the press - the Broadway production of CHICAGO just announced that Bianca will return to the ranks of this legendary Broadway hit as Roxie Hart.
"The actress' return will make Broadway history, marking the first time two Mexican-born actors will lead a Broadway musical. MarroquĂ­n will join current Billy Flynn, Jaime Camil, for 24 performances only."

What a wonderful chance for our participants to meet such an incredible performer of both the stage and screen!

In addition, rehearsals for the opening number and vocals were in full force.