The ACT Announces Its Pick for Top Broadway Performance of 2008

The staff and instructors at the ACT took a look back at the shows of 2008 to choose a significant performance that made headlines and touched the entertainment industry uniquely.

Henderson, NV, December 27, 2008 --( Broadway is no stranger to talented child actors; the musical theatre has long seen to that (think The Music Man, The Sound of Music, Annie, or Oliver!). But 2008 found youthful actors over taking the Great White Way and making history. Talented youngsters could be found in The Little Mermaid and Shrek, and the leading role in this season's musical hit, Billy Elliot, is filled by three young teens — David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish — who alternate in the role. But the stand-out, history making cast was that of musical comedy Jason Robert Brown's 13 -- there are no adults found anywhere on stage.

The shows significance for the ACT acting students, and teen actors everywhere, is the quality of the performance and the appeal across all age groups. The coming of age story follows Evan Goldman, a New York City teen who has it all—until his parents get divorced. Forced to move to Indiana with his mother, Evan has to make new friends and somehow maneuver his was through the minefield of high school in order to become part of the “in” crowd. Directed by Jeremy Sams, it is the first Broadway show to star an all teenage cast and band.

While the new musical will play its final performance on January 4, 2009 after 22 preview and 105 regular performances at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, it's success and significance for young acting students marks a turning point for talented teens. Teens have shown the world just what can happen when you guide them, train them, and then pair them with an explosive rock score by celebrated composer Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last Five Years) and tell a grown-up story about growing up.

Alicia Johnson