Broadway Or Bust
This series tracks the real-life stories of America's top high school musical performers, vying in the ultimate competition to find the nation's best young rising stars. Part competition, part performance and part non-fiction drama, it starts with regional theater competitions, then moves to New York City, where the "best of the best" take part in grueling drama bootcamp and then compete in the National High School Musical Theater Awards (a.k.a. The Jimmy Awards).
The Casting Call (#101H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: DVI)
From a nationwide casting call of more than 50,000 high school students participating in 30 regional competitions, just 60 musical theater performers earn the right to participate for one week in the National High School Musical Theater Awards competition. Cameras follow these talented performers, the best in the country, to New York, where they meet their colleagues face-to-face. As day one unfolds, they learn a new opening number from director Van Kaplan and choreographer Kiesha Lalama, get one-on-one coaching in music, theater, dancing and acting from some of Broadway's top talent - including Leslie Odom, Jr. ("Smash"; Rent); Michael McElroy (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for Big River; Rent, Miss Saigon); Liz Callaway (Tony Award nomination for Baby; Cats, Miss Saigon) - and prepare for their solos in front of an influential group of judges. The episode ends with students wondering, "Do I have what it takes to make it on Broadway?"
Boot Camp (#102H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: DVI)
Boot camp - there's no other way to describe it. The second episode picks up where the first left off, launching headlong into the fire of the rehearsals, coaching and coaxing sessions that take place during one week of intense preparation for the auditions and the awards ceremony, popularly known as "The Jimmy Awards" in honor of renowned Broadway theater owner and producer James M. Nederlander. Fighting fatigue, the eager performers quickly see what a learn-by-immersion experience is all about - and get an eye-opening look at what life is like on Broadway. The central drama of the episode lies in both the progress and setbacks of the individual performers. As the week moves along and the final auditions loom, the program closes with another round of uncertainty. Participants dig in and launch into last-minute preparations for their auditions. Did boot camp pay off or not?
And The Winner Is ... (#103H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: DVI)
The show at New York's Minskoff Theatre is the final act and crowning highlight of the miniseries. The 60 finalists prepare for the big day. In just six hours, the lights will go up, the theater will be filled and, with the downbeat of the orchestra leader's baton, it'll be show time. Going into the final competition awards show, all of the judges have a short list of top contenders, but during the show itself, they'll be asked once again to give scores to the leading performers based on the group performances and individual medleys. At intermission, the judges will cut the group to six finalists. Those six will perform their solos, and after another round, the judges will choose the two winners. In the words of director Van Kaplan, "This week ... is going to shape their whole lives, whether they go into the theater or not."