‘Smash’ star Leslie Odom Jr. mentors theater students in new PBS Show (VIDEO)

Posted on September 12, 2012 /Theater, TV

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Leslie Odom Jr. is lending his support to young Broadway hopefuls in the new PBS mini-series, ‘Broadway or Bust.’ The three-part series follows high school theater students from all over the country as they are whipped into shape by stars of the stage and screen for an end-of-week showcase competition in New York City.

The carefully selected group of youngsters compete for scholarships at the National High School Musical Theater Awards, also known as the “Jimmy Awards,” in front of a live audience on Broadway. The official synopsis reads:

PBS is bound for Broadway with a three-hour primetime documentary series that tracks the real life stories of America’s top high school musical performers, vying in the ultimate competition to find the nation’s best young theater stars.

Part competition, part performance, and part non-fiction drama, the series starts in regional competitions, where judges select the best performers in the country. The 60 finalists then descend on Broadway, where they plunge into the eye of the theatrical storm for one intense week of rehearsals, coaching, mentoring, performance and competition. The week culminates in The National High School Musical Theater Awards, a one night, star-studded event held at the Minskoff Theatre in New York. Here the judges select and anoint the nation’s leading male and female high school musical theater performers. Follow the build-up and the heartbreak, the drama and disappointment. It’s BROADWAY OR BUST, on PBS.

Odom’s acting credits include “Smash,” Broadway’s “Leap of Faith,” and George Lucas’ “Red Tails.”

Watch Coach Profile: Leslie Odom, Jr. on PBS. See more from Broadway or Bust.

“Broadway or Bust” airs Sundays at 8/7c on PBS; the next two episodes air Sept.16 and Sept. 23.