Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti is set to host the 10th Annual Jimmy Awards. The ceremony, set for Monday, June 25 at 7:30 PM, will be held at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre. Presented by the Broadway League Foundation in honor of Broadway producer/theatre owner James M. Nederlander, the Jimmy Awards celebrates performances from theatre students in high schools from all over the country.
Laura Benanti, who recently starred on Broadway in the play Meteor Shower, won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Gypsy Rose Lee in the 2008 revival of Gypsy, opposite Patti LuPone. She has also been nominated for her work in She Loves Me (2016), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (2011), Into the Woods (2002), and Swing! (2000). Other Broadway appearances include The Sound of Music, The Wedding Singer, and Nine. Television audiences will recognize her from her roles on Supergirl and The Detour. She also portrayed the Baroness in The Sound of Music – Live!
80 participants from 40 regional high school programs from around the United States will participate in the ceremony. Vying for the Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress, the Jimmy Awards recognize the accomplishments in high school theatre. Additionally, the Wells Fargo sponsored Inspiring Teacher Award will be presented to two teachers for the inspiration they provided that led their students to win the Jimmy Awards in 2017. The evening will also feature solo and ensemble performances.
The National High School Musical Theatre Awards were founded in 2009 by Nederlander Alliances, Pittsburgh CLO, and the Broadway Education Alliance. The program, which endeavors to “raise the profile of musical theatre in schools, recognize dedicated teachers, and inspire the next generation of theatre performers and enthusiasts,” has provided a wide-range of learning opportunities and scholarship monies for budding thespians.
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Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.