For the third time since 2019, a Davenport Central High School student has won a statewide “Triple Threat” award and will compete in a national musical theater program in New York City.
2023 Central graduate Croix Baker and Grace Casciato of Fort Dodge High School earned Triple Threat Awards on June 1 at the Iowa High School Music Theater Awards (IHSMTA) in Des Moines. They will proudly represent Iowa at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards known as the Jimmy Awards) in New York City.
Mia Roldan and Croix Baker performed their duet, “High Enough” from the spring musical, “Rock of Ages,” at the IHSMTA at the Des Moines Performing Arts Center. Croix also sang “Heart of Stone” from the musical “Six” in a musical medley.
“We are so very proud of you both!” Blue Devil Productions posted on Facebook. “You are both amazing performers and we are so very excited that Croix wraps up his senior year with this amazing accomplishment.”
Mia and Croix won Awards for Outstanding Achievement in a Principal Role and “Rock of Ages” won an Award for a Distinguished Scene for “Harden My Heart.”
Corbin Bleu will host the 14th-annual Jimmy Awards ceremony taking place on Monday, June 26, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. (ET) The Jimmy Awards return to the Minskoff Theatre in Manhattan, home of “The Lion King.” As of June 2, 2023, tickets to the ceremony are sold out. Livestream links will be posted on the Jimmys’ site HERE a few days before the ceremony.
The program has, in past years, invited two nominees from each regional ceremony across the country to New York City to participate in a theatre intensive including coaching and rehearsals with Broadway professionals in preparation for a one-night-only talent showcase on a Broadway stage.
The National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) were established in 2009 by Pittsburgh CLO and Nederlander Alliances, a division of The Nederlander Organization, to elevate the importance of theatre arts education in schools and reward excellence in student performance. The program impacts over 140,000 students annually who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by over 40 professional theatres throughout the U.S.
Since its inception, NHSMTA has been the catalyst for more than $4 million in educational scholarships awarded to deserving young performers, according to its website. Also known as The Jimmy Awards, named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, this year-round program is administered by The Broadway League Foundation Inc.
Davenport Central’s Emily Winn participated in the Jimmys in 2022 after her freshman year. She starred as Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” and also was in this year’s “Rock of Ages.” Baker played Prince Eric in 2022’s “Little Mermaid,” with Winn.
In the Jimmys, Winn took part in workshops and rehearsals for nine days with Broadway music directors, actors, and choreographers, before the final showcase at the Minskoff.
Peyton Reese (a 2019 Central grad) was the Iowa “Triple Threat” representative in June 2019 — winning for Central’s production of “Heathers.”
Croix’s father, Richard Baker, posted on Facebook:
“His talent isn’t something that just came to him and his successes have not been gained by chance. He sets goals and does the work to reach them. Anyone that wants anything in their life can get there but you have to take risks and allow others to help you.
“I want to thank so many people for helping him reach his goals. Croix definitely has bigger plans beyond high school and he has shown me over and over that he will rise to the challenges through continued hard work and seeking help when he needs it. I’ve said that I couldn’t be more proud of him multiple times but he raises the bar on that often and this weekend is one more example that he’s just getting started.”
To see Croix Baker sing an encore at the Iowa awards (“It’s Hard to Speak My Heart” from “Parade”), click HERE.