JANESVILLE—Two of musical theater’s brightest stars will trade the shining lights of New York City for Janesville as part of an upcoming fundraiser for the Parker Arts Academy.
Broadway veterans Josh Young and Emily Padgett will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, at Parker High School, 3125 Mineral Point Ave. Joining the couple onstage will be students from the academy and members of the Parker High School A Capella choir.
“It’s huge to have artists of the caliber coming here,” said Jan Knutson, who coordinates the curricular pathway program focused on the fine arts. “Our goal is to bring a different artist here each year to help broaden students’ experiences.”
The day after the show, Young and Padgett also will present a masterclass for academy students that will cover subjects such as song preparation and tips on auditioning.
“Josh is not just a wonderful performer, but he is also on staff at Oakland University in Michigan. So is Emily,” Knutson said. “They are not only passionate about performing, but also about preparing students for careers in music theater or in just helping them fulfill their passions wherever their professional careers might lead them.
“A lot of our students have dreams and aspire to be what these wonderful artists are,” she added. “What (the students) are going to get from this will influence them throughout their high school years and beyond.”
Nominated for a Tony Award for his Broadway debut as Judas Iscariot in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Young also originated the role of John Newton in the world premiere of “Amazing Grace.” In addition, he has filled leading roles in such productions as “Evita,” “Les Miserables” and the European and Asian 50th Anniversary tour of Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story.”
Padgett, a veteran of six Broadway shows, most recently appeared in the original production of Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” In addition to such Broadway credits as “Bright Star,” “Side Show,” “Grease” and “Sweet Charity,” she also has appeared in productions of “Legally Blonde” and “Flashdance.”
Tickets for the Nov. 5 performance are $25 for adults and $15 for students. They are available online at Parker-Arts.com, at the Parker box office the day of the performance, or in advance at these Janesville locations: Knapton Musik Knotes, 2475 Milton Ave., and Voigt Music Center, 2152 W. Highway 14.
For more information, call 608-743-5591.