Pretty much every major cultural event has been postponed or canceled as the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, and yet it’s still saddening to hear the news that they are also canceling the Jimmy Awards. For those unfamiliar, the yearly awards show gathers together the country’s most talented theater teens for a competition built around delightful in-character medleys, belt-heavy solos, and of course so many feelings. The awards typically take place in late June in New York City with an accompanying livestream that you can watch at home if you’re an obsessive theater fan (like, of course, we happen to be). In recent years winners and competitors like Andrew Barth Feldman, Reneé Rapp, and Eva Noblezada have gone on to star in Broadway shows. “We are heartbroken that so many of the 143,000 students who participate in high school musicals across the country will not have an opportunity to show off their hard work, and that 92 nominees won’t be able to realize their Broadway dreams this year by performing live on a Broadway stage at the Jimmy Awards in New York City,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League said in a statement. “Our priority is the health and safety of all. We look forward to next year when we can welcome nominees and fans back to the Big Apple and continue to celebrate the future of Broadway together at the 2021 Jimmy Awards.”
It is notable that the Jimmy Awards have formally been canceled while the fate of the most high-profile theater awards show, the Tonys, is as-yet unannounced. That ceremony is supposed to take place on June 7. But with the closure of Broadway houses until April 13 (and probably later, considering the CDC’s recommendation on eliminating gatherings of more than 50 people for eight weeks), and the news earlier this week that the Broadway League has met but not yet come to a decision on how to move forward, it is inevitable that the Tonys will have to postpone, cancel, or radically restructure in some form.
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