This YouTube playlist will be updated all week with more dispatches from Charlotte Movizzo and Curtis Salinger for BroadwayWorld. Bookmark it here.
Today, Denver’s representatives for the 2016 National High School Musical Theatre Awards – “The Jimmys” – arrived in New York and immediately began their eight-day immersion into workshops and rehearsals, all leading up to their appearance on Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre stage on June 27.
Charlotte Movizzo of Ponderosa High School and Curtis Salinger of Durango High School were chosen to represent Colorado at the DCPA’s recent Bobby G Awards, which celebrate Outstanding Achievement in high-school theatre.
We spoke with each of them on their way to the Great White Way:
Meet Charlotte Movizzo:
How has your life changed since the night of the Bobby G Awards ceremony? I have had some incredible opportunities. I was invited to sing to perform before the DCPA board, and at the Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament, which raised more than $91,000 for the advancement of musical theatre for Colorado high-school students. Both events showed me what incredible people there are supporting the program, and high-school theatre. Otherwise, I have been very busy practicing and preparing music for New York.
Tell us about your family connection to the local theatre community. My mother performed at the former Country Dinner Playhouse alongside some big names in the local and Broadway theatre communities. Having a mom with a background in the performing arts has influenced me since Day 1. I grew up singing showtunes in the car, and performing for anyone who would listen. My mom has made sure that I have had every opportunity to grow in the arts, from driving me theatre camps to staying up until midnight listening to me sing the same two measures over and over. She is my vocal coach and acting coach, and she has done everything she can to teach me her knowledge of the performing-arts world. The two of us often can be found doing tap combinations while washing the dishes, and attempting to harmonize to Annie Get Your Gun in the car.
What’s the one thing you are looking forward to most in New York? Having the opportunity to work with the amazing teachers and professors there, as well as meeting other high-school students from around the country who share my passion. The theatre world is a very supportive place, so I can’t wait to see what relationships I form there.
How do programs like the Bobby G Awards and the Jimmy Awards help the reputation and respect of your high-school theatre program? This experience will help the theatre program at Ponderosa make a name for itself within the school, as well as within the community. The Bobby G Awards have allowed our theatre program to say that we have people going to the equivalent of “state” or, “nationals” – titles usually claimed by the sports teams.
Who do you most hope to encounter on the streets of New York? Sierra Boggess, star of School of Rock. is a guest speaker at the Jimmy Awards. Not only is she a Denver girl, but she is so incredibly versatile and talented. She has been a huge inspiration to me. I saw her perform in The Little Mermaid at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House before it went to Broadway, and I have been dying to see her perform ever since.
Last words: I am so honored to have been allowed this enormous opportunity. I already have learned so much in a very short amount of time, and I know I have so much more learning ahead of me.
READ MORE ABOUT CHARLOTTE AND THE OTHER NOMINEES
Clockwise from top: Curtis Salinger and Charlotte Movizzo shortly after winning their Bobby G Awards on May 26 at the Buell Theatre; Charlotte performs before the DCPA Board, Charlotte and Curtis appear on Fox’s ‘Daybreak’ with Chris Parente; Charlotte and Curtis on their first day at the Jimmy Awards in New York; Curtis turned 16 on June 18, and he found the perfect place to mark the rite of passage on Denver’s 16th Street mall.
Meet Curtis Salinger:
How has your life changed since the night of the Bobby G Awards ceremony? My life has been surreal. I still don’t believe I won. Walking around town is a mess of congratulations and word has spread through a front-page newspaper story in my hometown of Durango. It’s an indescribable feeling when someone you don’t know congratulates you on the street for winning this award. It’s also been a mad dash preparing material and forms and packing for a theatre camp to then leave right away for New York.
Tell us about your interesting family connection to the Bobby G Awards. My brother, Evatt, won the Bobby G Award for Outstanding Actor last year. He was the one who really inspired me to continue and pursue theatre, and I’ve been watching him on stage for as long as I can remember. Watching him have so much fun and get so much support was something that really gave me the ‘oomph’ it took to join in, and I’m so glad I did. Our family was so, so excited and blown away when he won. For me, it became my dream. I’m so fortunate that this dream came true.
What’s the one thing you are looking forward to most in New York? While watching the show On Your Feet! is going to be very exciting, I’m looking forward to meeting the other actors and the professionals the most. I love making new friends and learning new things, and there’s no better place to do that than with the nation’s best. I’m also really looking forward to singing the opening and closing numbers with the guest artists because it will be a chance to sing with this enormous group of absolutely amazing peers and professionals all doing what they love. I think that’ll just be flat-out awesome.
How do programs like the Bobby G Awards and the Jimmy Awards help the reputation and respect of your high-school theatre program? I think my winning the award gives my school fresh perspective when it comes to the arts. Sports offers the opportunity to compete in tournaments and make the playoffs and there’s a goal of winning first place. And that is impressive. However, with theatre, a show usually opens and closes – and that’s it. This award tells students they can take their art further and get recognition for their talent. The Bobby G Awards gives you the chance to extend the experience – to Denver and New York. And, no two of the four Outstanding Actors have come from the same school. And they happen to be brothers – and one of them happens to be me! One of the Outstanding Actresses came from our school, and last year our show was named Outstanding Musical at the Bobby G Awards and the Colorado Thespian Conference. This is a huge success from our school. It will help our community and our school board recognize that we have some amazing talent in Durango and theatre is something that should not get looked over.
Who do you most hope to encounter on the streets of New York? Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr. … OK, basically the entire cast of Hamilton. I am thrilled that Zachary Levi is hosting the Jimmy Awards in New York, because I’ve seen his TV show Chuck and I loved it. I used him in a TED-x talk I gave about promoting theatre in the schools because he was a childhood actor. He’s someone I really look up to, and it will be awesome to have him host.
Last words: The mom of a kid I’d worked with in a show last year came up to me on the street and congratulated me on winning. She told me her son looked up to me, and that I was setting a really good example for the younger kids. That was one of the most rewarding things that’s ever happened to me. I have a goal to help promote theatre – especially for guys – and to hear that was amazing. That was something I’ll never forget.
READ MORE ABOUT CURTIS AND THE OTHER NOMINEES
Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
Video, story: Kinship and camaraderie at 2016 Bobby G Awards
Video: 2016 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
Video: Outstanding Musical nominee performances
Photos: 2016 Bobby G Awards (Download for free)
Mountain View scales Bobby G Awards’ 2016 peak
Meet your 2015 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor Finalists
Meet your 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress Finalists
2015-16 Bobby G Award nominations: The complete list
Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: ‘Be relentlessly yourself’
Check out the 2016 Nominated Performers’ Medley:
The 2016 Bobby G Awards, which celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school theatre, were held May 26 at the Buell Theatre. Each of the 10 nominated Outstanding Actors and Actresses took part in an original medleys before the crowd of 1,700. They were joined by last year’s winners, Emma Buchanan and Evatt Salinger of Durango High School. The featured students are:
Garrett Charles, Arvada West High School
Abbie Cheney, Glenwood Springs High School
Keala Fraioli, Steamboat Springs High School
Michael Kosko, Denver School of the Arts
Danny Miller, Arvada West High School
Charlotte Movizzo, Ponderosa High School
Jacob Pearce, Fairview High School
Curtis Salinger, Durango High School
Sienna Sewell, Fairview High School
Savannah Wood, Mountain View High School
Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk