Langston Lee wins best actor at the Jimmy Awards on Broadway in … – Austin American-Statesman

Austin-area student Langston Lee won a Jimmy Award on Monday night in New York for Best Performance by an Actor. He was honored for his role as Dmitry in Rouse High School’s staging of “Anastasia” in Leander.

The National High School Musical Theatre Awards, known as the Jimmys, were presented at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre, home to “The Lion King,” along with performances by dozens of nominated high school students.

Chosen from more than 140,000 performances nationwide, the Jimmy Awards are sometimes known as the Tony Awards for high school performers. During rehearsals in New York, seven coaches mentored the 96 high school students. The coaches were Jenni Barber, Max Chernin, Maryann Hu, Adam Kantor, Telly Leung, Howard McGillin and Desi Oakley.

“As a kid who always loved performing — and that was his passion — it’s something special to get to perform at what is basically the capital of performing arts,” Lee said Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “It is a dream come true. I’m absolutely ecstatic. I can’t believe it still.”

Lee’s path to training and performing for the Broadway event went through the Heller Awards for Young Artists, presented at the Long Center for the Performing Arts on April 19. This was the first year that Heller winners could compete at the national level, thanks in part to a partnership with Texas Performing Arts, a member of the Broadway League.

Impact Arts, which produces Summer Stock Austin, also partners with the Long Center and Zach Theatre on the Heller Awards. In 2021, Lee play Jack in Zach’s “Into the Woods.”

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In April at Dell Hall in the Long Center, Lee performed a number from Rouse High School’s “Anastasia.” He performed an excerpt from that show on Broadway as part of a medley during the Jimmys. In addition, he participated in themed ensemble numbers similar to ones staged at the Heller Awards.

In Austin, Lee had won Best Lead Performer (Male), while Kyra Carr, also a Jimmy nominee, won Best Supporting Performer (Female) for “Urinetown” at Hendrickson High School.

“People praised Langston not only for his talent, but also for his kindness and supportiveness throughout the process,” Ginger Morris, head of Impact Arts, said about his time in New York. “Our nominees exemplified the Austin community’s compassionate spirit, and we could not be more proud of them both.”

Among other factors, the Jimmy judges consider recorded performances. Another factor was a live solo performance; Lee performed an intensely reflective version of “Wondering” from “The Bridges of Madison County.” His award comes with a $25,000 scholarship.

Lee appeared on “Good Morning America” alongside Lauren A. Marchand, who won the Jimmy for Best Performance by an Actress for her portrayal of Elsa in Disney’s “Frozen” at Jericho High School in Jericho, N.Y.

Both were asked to lend advice to aspiring Broadway performers.

“Be kind. Be respectful. And appreciate each other’s art,” Lee said. “Everybody has talents in other places. You can learn from everybody. You can make great friends and have a great experience.”

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