New talent discovered and a fabulous show to boot!

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New talent discovered and a fabulous show to boot!
Corbin Blue. Photo: Allan Amato

For the last several years, I have participated in the annual production of The Jimmy Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards, an amazing competition that culminates in a fabulous night in New York City. My job as announcer or “voice of God” is to introduce the show and the contestants.

The Jimmys, presented by the Broadway League Foundation, invites two nominees from regional ceremonies  to New York City to participate in a theatre intensive including coaching and rehearsals with Broadway professionals in preparation for one special night on a Broadway stage.

This year, all coaching, rehearsals, and activities took place online for the 72 nominees from 36 regions around the US. Finally, all the hard work that these students experience culminates with two participants receiving a Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor award and a total of 20 awards and scholarships available to other participants.

Every year, the talent I see from around the country is phenomenal. These outstanding young performers not only have the opportunity to be coached by theatre professionals, but also to be seen by top agents and casting directors. Some have been picked up and cast in Broadway shows. It is such an exciting event.

Just this week, the Jimmy’s took place virtually,  and the production is top notch… as good as any variety television show out there. Corbin Bleu is the host of the show, and you can watch it here through July 18.

A thrilling way to view new, young talent at the start of their careers.


  • Five-time Billboard Award-winning media personality Valerie Smaldone is a theatre, food, lifestyle and entertainment enthusiast. She is a celebrity interviewer, accomplished voice-over artist and actress. Recent appearances on episodic tv include Law and Order, Criminal Intent, The Other Two (on HBO Max), Tommy, Manifest and Blue Bloods. She is an audiobook narrator and producer. A live event emcee, moderator, and "Voice of God" at events and award ceremonies, Valerie has joined The Story Plant Entertainment Company and is currently working on a film and Broadway play. Visit her website at

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