New York Daily News
Jimmy Awards host Ben Platt to Bette Midler: Let’s ‘swap’ Broadway roles’
BY JOE DZIEMIANOWICZ
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 10:50 AM
“Dear Evan Hansen” star Ben Platt went fanboy while hosting the National High School Musical Theatre Awards on Monday night, gushing about “Hello, Dolly!” star Bette Midler and jokingly suggesting that the two Tony winners “swap roles.”
He even auditioned — though he failed the real test. Donning a red feathered headdress like the one Midler wears during her show’s delectable title song, Platt was forced to admit he didn’t have the chops. “This thing’s heavy,” he said.
Platt kept the mood light for the audience at the Minskoff Theatre as he introduced teen competitors vying for a Jimmy. That’s the nickname of the prize celebrating young talent and created in honor of producer and theater owner James M. Nederlander, who died last July.
Created nine years ago, the Jimmys have been career springboards. Eva Noblezada, who was nominated for a Tony for her current title role in “Miss Saigon,” was a Jimmys finalist in 2013.
Monday’s winners are from different high schools in Orlando: best actress Sofia Deler, who’ll be a junior in the fall, and best actor Tony Moreno, who’ll study musical theater at the University of Arizona.
Each winner had high praise for Platt. “Ben’s dressing room was right next to the guys’ dressing room,” Moreno told the Daily News. “He’d come in and talk to us and hang out and give us advice.”
Platt’s best tip? “Believe in yourself.”
Bette on it.