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5 Broadway Stars Tell Us About Their Experiences at the Jimmy Awards

Hear from Andrew Barth Feldman, Stephanie Styles, and more.

The 2019 Jimmy Awards — honoring the best high school musical-theater students across the country — are being held on Monday, June 24 at the Minskoff Theatre. While the yearly celebration only crowns a pair of winners, even the runners-up get their chance in the spotlight, and often go on to exciting stage careers. We looked back on the talent roster of the past several Jimmys to hear from the participants who are currently getting to live out their Broadway dreams.


(© Tricia Baron)

Name: Andrew Barth Feldman

Current Broadway Show: Dear Evan Hansen

1. What year were you nominated and what role were you nominated for?
I won the Jimmys in 2018 for Frank William Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me If You Can

2. What medley did you perform and what solo did you perform?
My medley song was "Goodbye" from Catch Me If You Can and my solo song was "I Love Betsy" from Honeymoon in Vegas.

3. What was the best piece of advice you received during your week at the Jimmy Awards?
My coach was Adam Kantor and he is the reason I ended up doing "Betsy." I thought there was no way I could be a finalist or even compete without a ballad, but he convinced me that "Betsy" was the perfect choice for me. He was right! I was also trying to show off vocally during "Betsy" by adding a few little riffs and variations in there, but he finally told me (essentially), "You don't need it. They'll hear your voice. Just tell the story." That is the piece of advice that has stuck with me more than anything else.


(© David Gordon)

Name: Stephanie Styles

Current Broadway Show: Kiss Me, Kate

1. What year were you nominated and what role were you nominated for?
2010 for Janet Van Graaff in The Drowsy Chaperone

2. What medley did you perform and what solo did you perform?
"Show Off" from The Drowsy Chaperone and "The Beauty Is" from The Light in the Piazza

3. What was the best piece of advice you received during your week at the Jimmy Awards?
The way Kiesha Lalama runs a room is something I'll always remember. Her rehearsals are focused, rigorous, beyond professional, yet always completely celebratory and full of joy. She made you want to be the best version of yourself. And she showed you how much work it would take but how magical it can be when your dreams come true.


(© Seth Walters)

Name: Ryan McCartan

Past Broadway Show: Wicked

1. What year were you nominated and what role were you nominated for?
2011, J. Pierrepont Finch, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

2. What medley did you perform and what solo did you perform?
"I Believe In You" from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (medley), and Jason Robert Brown's "Someone to Fall Back On" (solo)

3. What was the best piece of advice you received during your week at the Jimmy Awards?
During our rehearsals for our solo pieces, Van told me to make my performance more specific by choosing someone important to me and singing the song to them. I was in a complicated relationship at the time, and "Someone to Fall Back On" is all about not being perfect at love but trying your best...When I thought about the person I was with, and how badly I wanted to say all of that to them, it really locked the piece in for me.


(© Janie Willison)

Name: Jai'Len Josey

Current Off-Broadway Show: The Secret Life of Bees

1. What year were you nominated and what role were you nominated for?
I participated in the 2014 Jimmys as Effie from Dreamgirls.

2. What medley did you perform and what solo did you perform?
"Raise the Roof" from The Wild Party; "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls.

3. What was the best piece of advice you received during your week at the Jimmy Awards?
Dancing is not my strong suit. I recall Kiesha Lalama encouraging and inspiring me to dance with my heart. Today, I'm still dancing with my heart. It's something that carry into every part of my life. I give everything that I do my heart


(© Jeremy Daniel)

Name: Reneé Rapp

Current Broadway Show: Mean Girls

1. What year were you nominated and what role were you nominated for?
2018, Sandra in Big Fish

2. What medley did you perform and what solo did you perform?
"I Don't Need a Roof" from Big Fish for medley and "All Falls Down" from Chaplain the Musical for solo.

3. What was the best piece of advice you received during your week at the Jimmy Awards?
Lisa Brescia, my coach at the Jimmys, told me I needed to step into the happiness of my songs instead of weighing on the negative. With this advice she completely changed my thought process with my material acting wise and it was as well amazing life advice.

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