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Neshaminy’s Cameron Krauss bound for Broadway’s Jimmy Awards


Cameron Krauss, Langhorne’s 18-year-old music man, who just doffed his cap and gown at Neshaminy High School graduation ceremonies, is capping off his senior year as a nominee for the Jimmy Awards, the top honor for high school musical performers throughout the nation.

His performance as King Arthur in this past season’s NHS production of “Spamalot,” the Tony Award-winning musical tethered to the madcap comedy of Monty Python, earned him kudos and the crown for best high school musical lead actor in the area as adjudged by the Philadelphia Independence Awards panel.

Caroline Vollmer, of the Girard Academic Music Program, was named best lead actress.

This all leads to the Jimmys, the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, presented by the Broadway League Foundation Inc.

Cameron Krauss, you just won the approbation and applause of the Philadelphia Independence Awards and a journey to the Jimmys, and were named winner of this year’s college scholarship program from the Neshaminy Valley Music Theater...where are you going next?

Broadway, he says, still incredulous that that’s where he will be, performing with other regional high school winners, at the Minskoff Theater, where the Jimmys will be held, on June 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Josh Groban will host the live event; streaming the production online will be YouTube and Facebook.

Krauss has faced the music before at Bucks County Playhouse (as part of its student theater festival), his high school stage, and NVMT, all since he was 10. But it was five years earlier when his parents — Sandra and Gerry — took him to Broadway to visit “Mary Poppins” — “I’m a huge Disney nerd” — where he got a delicious dose of supercalifragilisticexpialdocious and discovered that being on stage was just a juicy jolly holiday.

Krauss later found his place in life in a Neshaminy Summer Stock production of “Dear Edwina.”

“It was when I got the part that I realized I wanted to pursue a life in theater,” he said. “Theater is a window into the human experience. It has answers to the questions you have.”

In the fall, Krauss will take a short ride to Rider University, in Lawrenceville, N.J., where he intends to be a musical theater major. Krauss credits his supporters — his family especially; notably his folks — for giving him confidence.

But can the university newbie take criticism? Take it? He craves it.

“It is super important,” that’s how you grow and get better, claims Krauss. “At Bucks County Playhouse — it was so cool to perform there — they’d give valuable critiques.”

Neshaminy High faculty is also high on his list of offering timely teaching moments. He mentioned drama department head Gina Chiolan, choir and musical director Kristin Nichols, and his voice teacher Cheri Tigh.

As he packs his bags and ambitions and hits the road for Rider, this now former member of Neshaminy High’s Roadies Drama Club is unable to to constrain his enthusiasm.

“It excites me,” he says of his next course in life. “I am happy to be a small fish in a big pond.”

It is pointed out that maybe, when he gains more theatrical experience at college, he will move from musical minnow to “Big Fish” and try out for that Broadway show should Rider ever revive it.

“‘Big Fish’?” he exclaims, joyfully reeling and reveling in the very idea. “I love that show!”

Michael Elkin is a playwright, theater critic and novelist who lives in Abington. He writes columns about theater and the arts.

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