Nick Jonas Hosts MTI Broadway Junior at Shubert Theatre

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Nick Jonas Hosts MTI Broadway Junior at Shubert Theatre

By Molly Horan

May 29, 2012


Nick Jonas
As an audience full of students, parents, teachers, and theater professionals waited for the The Shubert Foundation/ MTI Broadway Junior Student Share Celebration to begin on Tuesday, a collection of songs from Broadway Junior shows played over
the speakers.

Suddenly a group of students erupted with cheers and shouts, and everyone began to turn towards them, sure that their excitement meant the celebration's host, Nick Jonas, had arrived. But it wasn't a celebrity sighting that got those kids excited. A song from the show they were putting on had just come on, and as their shouts died down, they began to sing along, some even adding in a little choreography from their seats.

That's the kind of excitement and passion every group of students showed as they performed a number from their Broadway Junior shows.

Middle school students from public schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx took the stage at the Shubert Theatre on Tuesday and made their debut on a Broadway stage. The Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway Junior program allows students in middle schools across the city the opportunity to perform in a Broadway Junior musical. The Shubert Foundation has given over $1.7 million dollars to fund arts in NYC public schools.

Tuesday’s celebration gave students in the program the chance to perform on “the same stage as Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, and Nick Lachey,” Shubert Organization President and Co-CEO Robert E. Wankel said.

Amidst a flurry of jazz hands and jazz squares, the students sang numbers from “Into the Woods Jr.,” “Beauty and the Beast Jr.,” “Fame Jr.,” and many other well-known shows adapted for younger performers.

The students maintained enthusiasm and professionalism throughout their performances. When a technical hiccup left one group singing along with a track that included professional vocals, instead of just instrumentals, they simply sang over them, never letting on if the sudden change shook them.

While the students were excited to perform, they were ecstatic to meet one of their
acting idols: Nick Jonas. On the red carpet, a group of students had the opportunity to have their picture taken with the star, who just finished a four-month run as J. Pierrepont Finch in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” The students greeted his appearance onstage to introduce the first number with thunderous cheers and applause.

On stage he took the time to share a story of his own childhood Broadway dreams.
He remembered being six years old, standing on a table at this grandmother's house and singing into a turkey baster, insisting that he was going to be on Broadway some
day. Jonas went on to make his Broadway debut in 2001 as Little Jake in “Annie Get
Your Gun.”

“I’d love to do a show with you some day,” Jonas shouted to the students over their cheers, reminding them to keep dreaming big.

In the middle of the presentation, a short film was shown that explored the importance of the Broadway Jr. program, Teachers involved with the program spoke of the changes they saw in students, who participated in the productions. Their attitudes got better; they had increased attendance; and they learned things about history and literature they could incorporate into their studies.

“I’ve seen students who had behavioral problems become angels,” said one teacher of the effect the program can have on students.

But the person who really captured the impact of the program was the last student interviewed for the film, who peered shyly into the camera and spoke about what the program had given him. "I feel like I'm meant to be an actor in musical theater,” he said.


Nick Jonas Hosts MTI Broadway Junior at Shubert Theatre

By Molly Horan

May 29, 2012


Nick Jonas
As an audience full of students, parents, teachers, and theater professionals waited for the The Shubert Foundation/ MTI Broadway Junior Student Share Celebration to begin on Tuesday, a collection of songs from Broadway Junior shows played over
the speakers.

Suddenly a group of students erupted with cheers and shouts, and everyone began to turn towards them, sure that their excitement meant the celebration's host, Nick Jonas, had arrived. But it wasn't a celebrity sighting that got those kids excited. A song from the show they were putting on had just come on, and as their shouts died down, they began to sing along, some even adding in a little choreography from their seats.

That's the kind of excitement and passion every group of students showed as they performed a number from their Broadway Junior shows.

Middle school students from public schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx took the stage at the Shubert Theatre on Tuesday and made their debut on a Broadway stage. The Shubert Foundation/MTI Broadway Junior program allows students in middle schools across the city the opportunity to perform in a Broadway Junior musical. The Shubert Foundation has given over $1.7 million dollars to fund arts in NYC public schools.

Tuesday’s celebration gave students in the program the chance to perform on “the same stage as Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, and Nick Lachey,” Shubert Organization President and Co-CEO Robert E. Wankel said.

Amidst a flurry of jazz hands and jazz squares, the students sang numbers from “Into the Woods Jr.,” “Beauty and the Beast Jr.,” “Fame Jr.,” and many other well-known shows adapted for younger performers.

The students maintained enthusiasm and professionalism throughout their performances. When a technical hiccup left one group singing along with a track that included professional vocals, instead of just instrumentals, they simply sang over them, never letting on if the sudden change shook them.

While the students were excited to perform, they were ecstatic to meet one of their
acting idols: Nick Jonas. On the red carpet, a group of students had the opportunity to have their picture taken with the star, who just finished a four-month run as J. Pierrepont Finch in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” The students greeted his appearance onstage to introduce the first number with thunderous cheers and applause.

On stage he took the time to share a story of his own childhood Broadway dreams.
He remembered being six years old, standing on a table at this grandmother's house and singing into a turkey baster, insisting that he was going to be on Broadway some
day. Jonas went on to make his Broadway debut in 2001 as Little Jake in “Annie Get
Your Gun.”

“I’d love to do a show with you some day,” Jonas shouted to the students over their cheers, reminding them to keep dreaming big.

In the middle of the presentation, a short film was shown that explored the importance of the Broadway Jr. program, Teachers involved with the program spoke of the changes they saw in students, who participated in the productions. Their attitudes got better; they had increased attendance; and they learned things about history and literature they could incorporate into their studies.

“I’ve seen students who had behavioral problems become angels,” said one teacher of the effect the program can have on students.

But the person who really captured the impact of the program was the last student interviewed for the film, who peered shyly into the camera and spoke about what the program had given him. "I feel like I'm meant to be an actor in musical theater,” he said.
 
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