Nick Jonas and Christie Brinkley were among the four honorees at Inside Broadway's 2012 Broadway Beacon Awards, which spotlighted those who support arts education in NYC.
He may be best known as one-third of the Grammy- and Emmy-nominated band the Jonas Brothers, but youngest brother Nick Jonas evokes the same elated shrieks from his young fans when he steps onto a Broadway stage. Those admirers—collectively quite a bit younger than the average Broadway-goer—flocked to Times Square to see the 19-year-old Jonas perform a six-month stint as J. Pierrepont Finch in the musical How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. For his role in exposing new audiences to Broadway, Jonas received the 2012 Broadway Beacon Award from Inside Broadway, an organization that works to bring the joy of theater to NYC’s underserved public school students. The award ceremony was held June 4 at the Millennium Broadway Hotel’s Hudson Theatre.
Along with Jonas, Inside Broadway honored actress and mom of three Christie Brinkley, who’s currently starring in a West Coast run of the musical Chicago’s national tour; James J. Claffey, Jr., president of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local One, New York City’s stagehand union; and the Millennium Broadway Hotel. All four recipients were chosen in recognition of their work to help further arts education for young people in New York City and for demonstrating the power that the arts have in the growth and education of children. Past recipients include Brooke Shields, Bebe Neuwirth, Joel Grey, and Kristin Chenoweth.
Jonas, who was discovered in a barbershop in his native New Jersey, is no stranger to Broadway. He began his theater career at age 7, playing Chip in Beauty and the Beast and going on to perform young roles in Annie Get Your Gun and Les Miserables. “He’s a young guy who introduced thousands of people to Broadway who may not have been interested before,” said FOX 5 reporter Julie Chang, the event’s master of ceremonies. “I’ve been a fan of Broadway since I can remember,” Jonas said as he accepted his award. “It’s a wonderful thing [and] it’s a life that is fun—we get to sing and dance and perform for people who really want to see it.” Admitting that he was already itching to perform on stage again, Jonas sang a number from How to Succeed.
The evening also included performances by Elizabeth Stanley, an acclaimed Broadway actress and Inside Broadway alum, and groups of talented young students from Brooklyn’s PS 97 and JHS 278—the culprits responsible for the dolphin-decibel shrieks that followed each appearance and/or mention of Nick Jonas.
For more information on Inside Broadway, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, visit insidebroadway.org.