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A star in the making: Nationwide search yields four finalists in ‘Prudential Stages on Broadway Brought to You by Playbill’ contest

Aug. 29, 2023

Each will perform in Times Square with Broadway idols and compete for the top prize: Cash plus financial coaching from Prudential advisor

NEWARK, N.J., August 29, 2023 - Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU) announced today that four aspiring artists have been selected to receive an all-expenses-paid trip to NYC and perform with Broadway idols in front of an estimated 50,000 spectators in Times Square during the free Curtain Up: A Broadway Festival taking place Sept. 8-10.

The Prudential Stages on Broadway Brought to You by Playbill concert – which will be held on Sept. 9 and hosted by Brittney Johnson, an acclaimed Broadway star who made history playing the title role of Glinda in the smash-hit musical Wicked – will give aspiring and emerging artists across the country the opportunity to capitalize on their ‘Now What?’ moment and sing on stage with Johnson and other theatre professionals like contest judges Tara Rubin and Allen René Louis. The winning aspiring artist also will walk away with a monetary prize of up to $10,000 plus the opportunity for financial advice from a Prudential Advisor – something that Johnson says is almost as important as landing that first major role.

“I was so proud of myself for accomplishing my dream to make it on Broadway, and I wanted to live in the moment, but I also knew it was important to plan for my financial future,” notes Johnson. “And I’m glad I did because it saved me during the COVID pandemic. That’s why I’m excited to team up with Prudential again and give these aspiring artists not only the opportunity to perform on stage in New York but also think about financial planning early in their theatre careers.”

The four finalists were selected from a large pool of entries from across the country. Singers submitted a 3-minute audition video, including a 60-second performance of one of five pre-selected Broadway songs. The top auditions were then reviewed and reduced to 10 semi-finalists by 2023 Tony nominee and Shucked star Kevin Cahoon; Into the Woods star Cole Thompson; Kimberly Akimbo star Alli Mauzey; current Broadway Elphaba Alyssa Fox; and Some Like It Hot star Adrianna Hicks. Contest judges Johnson, Rubin and René Louis then selected the top four.

“This was a really difficult decision!” said casting director Rubin, who is best known for her work on The Producers. “We saw such talented people – all of whom had great stories to tell. I’m excited to work with the finalists when they come to New York.”

“The submissions from around the country were incredibly inspiring – the future of our industry is definitely exciting!” said renowned composer and arranger René Louis, who is known for his work on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Ben Platt Live from Radio City Music Hall. “I’m looking forward to meeting the finalists and experiencing their talent live on stage.”

The four finalists will be flown round-trip to NYC where they will get a studio session with Johnson to rehearse their contest submission at Boulevard Carroll Studio. The four finalists also will be Prudential’s guests for a pre-show dinner followed by an evening at the theatre and post-performance talk-back with select cast members. The winning artist will be selected real-time after the performances on Sept. 9.

The Prudential Stages on Broadway Brought to You by Playbill contest is part of the 2023 Curtain Up: A Broadway Festival, which takes place in Times Square Sept. 8-10. Prudential is a three-time presenting sponsor of Curtain Up, which started in 2021 to celebrate Broadway’s return after the pandemic. As part of the sponsorship, Prudential has donated to various programs that support the arts while also driving equity and inclusion, including the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund), Alvin Ailey, Black Theatre Coalition, Black Theatre United, and Theatre Forward.

“When we commit financial support to uplifting economic opportunities for Broadway (and the theater industry at large), there is a ripple effect for the local and regional economy that drives opportunity for all,” said Richard Parkinson, Prudential’s Chief Brand Officer, who will be co-hosting the concert. “We’re excited to not only be part of the Curtain Up festival for another year, but also to give four aspiring artists the opportunity to realize their dreams and plan for their financial future.”

“Playbill is thrilled to partner with Prudential to present the Stages on Broadway Contest and provide a forum for aspiring artists to live their Broadway dream performing in Times Square at the Curtain Up Festival,” said Alex Birsh, Chief Operating Officer and VP of Playbill. “We are excited to see the special talent shown in this contest and I look forward to watching their performances as they bring their unique energy, excitement, and amazing voices to the Curtain Up Festival stage!”

For more information about Prudential’s Curtain Up sponsorship, please visit www.timessquarenyc.org/curtain-up

Brittney Johnson is a paid promoter and customer of Prudential, for more information about her partnership, go to prudential.com/nowwhat.

About Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a global financial services leader and premier active global investment manager with approximately $1.4 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, 2023, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees help make lives better by creating financial opportunity for more people by expanding access to investing, insurance, and retirement security. Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise, and innovation for nearly 150 years. For more information, please visit www.news.prudential.com

“Prudential Advisors” is a brand name of The Prudential Insurance Company of America and its subsidiaries.

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Media Contact(s)

Stacey DiNuzzo
Stacey.dinuzzo@prudential.com
425-590-7622

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