CONWAY — “Broadway or Bust,” a three-part series following America’s top high school musical theater performers as they arrive in New York City, documents an intensive week of theatrical boot camp as students vie for a chance at stardom in the National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA). The series will premiere on the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), Sunday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m. and continues on Sundays, Sept. 16 and 23, at 7 each night.
Hosted by Broadway stars Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox, the drama begins when the 60 participating students arrive after getting their initial big breaks at highly competitive regional musical theater awards competitions in more than 30 cities. Teens soon begin a week of make-it-or-break-it rehearsals, coaching and auditions, which is capped by an awards event on a Broadway stage in front of a live audience and a panel of high-profile judges.
“Broadway or Bust” is the first-ever TV series to capture the behind-the-scenes coaching and grueling rehearsal schedule leading up to the NHSMTA. Popularly known as “The Jimmy Awards,” named in honor of renowned Broadway theatre owner and producer James M. Nederlander, this national competition gives audiences a new perspective on a unique New York experience.
Part competition, part performance and part non-fiction drama, “Broadway or Bust” will capture the highly charged atmosphere as the country’s most talented teens are plunged into the theatrical capital of the world to compete for a shot at Broadway and college scholarships. Cameo appearances by some of today’s biggest Broadway names will offer the kids insider perspectives and tips about working on the Great White Way. The final hour will showcase “The Jimmy Awards” at New York’s Minskoff Theatre, finalists’ performances, celebrity hosts and presenters, and the naming of the winners – the company’s top male and female performers. The National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA) is a celebration of outstanding achievement in vocal, dance and acting performance, developed to elevate the profile of in-school arts education across America, provide college scholarships and create pathways connecting promising young performers to the professional theater industry. Each year, 50,000 teenagers at 1,000 high schools participate in the program.