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LCC student, SDA musical among winners of 2019 Broadway San Diego Awards

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Winners of the 6th annual Broadway San Diego Awards, including LCC’s Rocco Polanco (center).
(Courtesy)

Broadway San Diego recently announced the winners of the 6th annual Broadway San Diego Awards, sponsored by San Diego County Credit Union, who will now go on an all-expenses paid trip to compete at The Jimmy Awards (National High School Musical Theatre Awards) in New York on June 24.

The winners of the 2019 Broadway San Diego Awards are Mary Rose Vadeboncoeur (Best Actress) from Steele Canyon High School, Rocco Polanco (Best Actor) from La Costa Canyon High School, and San Dieguito Academy winning Best Musical Production with Mamma Mia! Mary Rose Vadeboncoeur and Rocco Polanco will now take on The Great White Way to represent San Diego County and compete for a chance at a $10,000 scholarship while being coached and seen by Broadway directors, actors, choreographers and producers.

As part of the Broadway San Diego Awards, San Diego County Credit Union hosts a competition to find the “Best Local Theatre Teacher” who receives a trip for two to New York City to attend the 2019 Jimmy Awards. This year’s winner is Nicole LaBella from Steele Canyon High School.

Tony Award-Winner Ben Platt will host the 11th annual Jimmy Awards ceremony on Monday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Minskoff Theatre, 200 West 45th Street in Manhattan. This marks his second time in the role. He first hosted the ceremony in 2017, the same year that he won the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his performance in Dear Evan Hansen.

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Featuring dynamic ensemble and solo performances, the competition will feature 86 high school students from 43 regional programs across America. Nominees will be vying for the Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress. This year, over 1,700 high schools and 100,000 students are participating in the events leading to the Jimmy Awards ceremony.

Nominees will prepare for their debut on a Broadway stage during a 10-day professional training intensive with NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ New Studio on Broadway faculty members plus other theatre professionals. Winners will be selected by a panel of industry experts. Visit jimmyawards.com/live/

More on Rocco Polanco below:

After Broadway San Diego win, LCC’s Rocco Polanco heads to Broadway in New York

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Local actor, Rocco Polanco, 18, is headed to New York City to represent the region at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards as the Best Actor winner of Broadway San Diego 2019.

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Rocco Polanco
(Courtesy)

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Also known as the Jimmy Awards, Polanco will join dozens of champions from across the country to perform and compete on a Broadway stage for a chance to win a $10,000 college scholarship. The event will host a record number of 86 competitors from 43 regional programs.

Nominees will compete for the coveted Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress. The talent showcase will feature dynamic ensemble and solo performances, plus appearances by Broadway stars. The competition starts with a nine-day professional training intensive with NYU Tisch School of the Arts New Studio on Broadway faculty members and other theater professionals. The competition provides participants with the opportunity to experience high-caliber theater, challenges their creative abilities and work with iconic choreographers, directors and producers. The Best Actor and Best Actress winners will be selected by a panel of industry experts June 24 at the Minskoff Theatre.

Polanco, a 2019 graduate of La Costa Canyon High School (LCC), is a charismatic actor focused primarily on comedy, stage and vocal performance. Known for embodying characters with depth and range, Polanco is a standout in local theater who has fearlessly tackled challenging roles such as Jean Valjean (Les Miserables), Aldolpho (The Drowsy Chaperone), Trevor Graydon (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Professor Callahan (Legally Blonde), Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Guys and Dolls), Sebastian (The Little Mermaid), Shrek (Shrek) and Willy Loman (Death of a Salesman), performances that earned Best Actor awards. Most recently, Polanco student directed and starred as Gomez in The Addams Family, the performance recognized with the 2019 Broadway San Diego Best Actor award.

Polanco began performing at age 6, with a career that spans over 50 productions with the Star Theatre Co. in Oceanside, Moonlight Theatre and Ovation Theatre, as well as various high school productions. Some of his first lead roles include Oliver (Oliver Twist) and Louis Leonowens (The King and I). Polanco’s range of experience has been instrumental in helping to develop LCC’s theater department. Once best known for its athletic programs, LCC is now recognized as a powerhouse in high school theater, not only for the challenging productions selected, but for its inclusive environment. LCC’s 2019 production of The Addams Family included members of the dance team, athletes from the football and baseball teams, students from the debate team, and the robotics club.

Polanco has been an active member of the theater community at LCC, serving as vice president of the International Thespian Honor Society (troupe 5657), president and captain of Comedy Sportz, and executive producer and arts anchor for MavNation, a weekly news and entertainment broadcast.

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Polanco will be attending Emerson College in the fall to earn a BFA in comedic arts and vocal performance. In the future, Polanco hopes to pursue opportunities for comedic roles, as well as create content for television, film and stage.

The Jimmy Awards will be streamed live in its entirety on Facebook and YouTube. Additional details may be found at www.JimmyAwards.com/Live.

Student performers qualify to compete in the national program by winning top honors at regional high school musical theatre awards competitions presented by Broadway League member performing arts centers. More than 1,700 high schools and 100,000 students participate in these annual events. -- News release


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