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Andrew, Brianna Win 'Broadway Debut'


They say there's a broken heart for every light on Broadway. But there's a lot to be said for getting a shot at stardom. The Early Show, in conjunction with The League of American Theatres and Producers, and Actors Equity, provided that chance for ten young drama students. Each day during the week of May 29, two aspiring stars auditioned live on the program, singing an excerpt from a Broadway musical number. Each of the Broadway shows represented had been helping students select their songs and rehearse.

Stars from each show offered items from the productions for auction each day, to benefit Broadway Cares. Bidding continues through Monday, June 12 at noon, EDT. TO PLACE A BID, and for details on the items being auctioned, and on this series, click here.

On Friday, viewers were asked to vote online for their favorite male and female student performers from the series. The winners were revealed Monday on The Early Show.

Andrew Arrington of the University of Michigan and Brianna Horne of Wagner College took the honors.

They did a duet of a song from "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," with two of the show's stars watching on the set. Jonathan Pryce and Lucie Arnaz raved about the performance.

Andrew and Brianna had walk-on roles in "Scoundrels" Tuesday night. Afterwards, there was a special champagne toast to them backstage with Pryce, Arnaz and Liza Minnelli. Their Broadway debuts were covered by The Early Show, which will air a report sometime before the Tony Awards show, which is set for Sunday, June 11.

See below for much more on Andrew, Brianna, all the other talented finalists, and the shows from which they did numers during the series.

Monday, May 29
Featured show: "RENT"
Contender 1:
Cortney Wolfson

Cortney Wolfson just completed her junior year at the University of Michigan, where she is majoring in musical theater. She identifies strongly with the title character in the musical "Thoroughly Modern Mille," a small-town girl determined to have big experiences.
Contender 2:
Justin Bowen

Justin Bowen just has completed his first year at Florida State University. He's been performing on stage for much of his life, but, to him, nothing beats a musical. "I enjoy acting," he says. "But it's just not the same without the music."

For more about Cortney and Justin, click here

Tuesday, May 30
Featured show: "CHICAGO"
Contender 3:
Kate FitzGibbons

Kate FitzGibbons is heading for her senior year at the University of Arizona. She says musical theater is most rewarding because it is so different from a piece of art like a painting or a poem; with musical theater, she observes, you are your own piece of art.
Contender 4:
Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is graduating this year from Northwestern University with a degree in musical theater. He won't be returning to his hometown of Sugar Land, Texas, but has his sights set on New York City to pursue his dreams.

For more about Kate and Sean, click here

Wednesday, May 31
Featured show: "THE WEDDING SINGER"
Contender 5:
Kyle Harris

Kyle Harris will be a junior at the University of Arizona next year. During high school, Kyle performed in other school musicals and community theater, and he says his favorite thing about musical theater is the sound of applause.
Contender 6:
Katherine Palardy

Katherine Palardy, a sophomore at Northwestern University, says she always knew she wanted to act because she loves to perform -- despite her serious stage fright. Katherine also have involved herself with various campus comedy groups.

For more about Kyle and Katherine, click here

Thursday, June 1
Featured show: "HAIRSPRAY"
Contender 7:
Amanda Snarski

Amanda Snarski just graduated magna cum laude from Wagner College with a bachelor's degree in theatre. She is active in the "Broadway Cares" organization, and was the president of Wagner's Theater Board which held a cabaret to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Contender 8:
Andrew Arrington

Andrew Arrington just completed his junior year at the University of Michigan. Not only does Andrew have experience in theater, he has also appeared in several print campaigns and has done some modeling. Most notably, he was the face of the national 2005 Famous Footwear Back to School campaign.

For more about Amanda and Andrew, click here

Friday, June 2
Featured show: "AVENUE Q"
Contender 9:
Junior Mendez

Junior Mendez just finished his freshman year at Florida State University. His first big role in high school was that of Jack in "Into the Woods." Now, Junior says his dream is the play the character Mark in "Rent."
Contender 10:
Brianna Horne

Brianna Horne is a theatre performance major at Wagner College, where she just has completed her freshman year. Music is at the root of Brianna's love of musical theater. Her grandfather was a jazz bassist and her mother and cousin were jazz singers.

For more about Junior and Brianna, click here

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