ICYMI: Broadway's Smallest Stars Sound Off on Life Since the Shutdown in Kids Town Hall
Many were set to make their Broadway debuts this season.
When Broadway officially shut down on March 12, Broadway artists were left without work for an astounding period of what will end up being at least 14 months. Casts who were in rehearsals stopped completely; shows that were set to open months ago never saw an audience; and many who were due to make their Broadway debuts are still waiting- hoping for good news in the coming months.
This included the kids of Broadway- many of whom, sadly, will have grown out of their roles before making it back to the stage. Legendary kids agent Nancy Carson understands their plight. "We look at the adult [performers] and everybody's feeling bad for them. But in a year, when they go back to work, they will be the same person they were when they left the job. All of these Broadway kids will be a year older," explained Nancy. "Some of them will definitely not be the same person they were when they walked away... and what happens to them?"
To that end, Nancy joined forces with Richard Jay-Alexander and Broadway's Baayork Lee to continue that conversation. Earlier this week over a dozen kids checked in to discuss what they know about the shutdown, the future of their shows, and how they are dealing with the sad reality of the situation.
How are they coping? "This is a great example of how you should never give up and continue to be optimistic. Just do what makes you happy and everything will eventually get better," said Taven Blanke, who was set to star in the star-studded The Music Man revival with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster this past fall.
While The Music Man was still months away from previews, other shows were very much in their final stages when the plug was pulled. "We had finished our last round of rehearsals and we were moving into the Lyceum [Theatre], so we got to see the set and dressing rooms," said Sing Street star Max Bartos. "Then we were called down to the stage by our producers... and we were told that Sing Street would be postponed for what we thought would be two months. It turns out that it will be over a year from when it should have opened."
Brooklyn Shuck, currently filming CBS's Evil already has six Broadway shows under her belt and was quick to sympathize with the kids whose debuts were put on hold. "It breaks my heart because I totally understand..." she said. "I cant even imagine having to say goodbye to my family in [a] show. Having to walk away from that and cut things short... I can't even imagine."
Owen Tabaka, who was in tech to begin Encores! Love Life when the shutdown happened, has come to the realization that he may never get to play the role he rehearsed. "It was really hard, because I knew I was at that age that I was starting to grow up and it just hit me a couple of months into the growth spurt and voice-change that I might not be able to do this. It was really sad because I put a lot of time and effort into that role." Later in the conversation, however, Owen got a happy surprise from his Love Life stage-dad, Brian Stokes Mitchell.
Watch below to catch the special appearance and to be inspired by even more stories from the kids.
The panel features: Alyssa Marvin (Trevor), Brooklyn Shuck (Evil, CBS NY), Emily Hoder (Les Miz Tour), Kayla Teruel (Music Man, Les Miz Tour), Luke Mannikus (Trevor), Max Bartos (Sing Street), Noelle Hogan (Music Man), Owen Tabaka (Love Life at Encores), Quinn Copeland (Punky Brewster, Peacock LA), Quinn Titcomb (Les Miz Tour), Sam Poon (Sing Street), Tanner Quirk (Music Man), and Taven Blanke (Music Man).
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