Stars return for Valley Youth Theatre benefit - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Stars return for Valley Youth Theatre benefit

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Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009 12:09 pm | Updated: 2:35 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Sure, the Valley has supplied more reality TV personalities than scorpion paperweights in an airport gift shop. But it's also been home to talented young singers and actors with real star potential, such as 2007 American Idol Jordin Sparks.

Some of those stars will return to the Valley for a Sunday night concert with Valley Youth Theatre, the local troupe that helped them polish their skills when they were still unknown youngsters. Sparks will appear on stage with actress Emma Stone, of the movies "Superbad" and "The House Bunny"; Broadway star Max Crumm, winner of the TV show "Grease: You're the One That I Want!"; and Disney Channel sweetheart Chelsea Staub, of "Jonas" and "Bratz: The Movie."

The four appeared on stage together in 2003 in a VYT production of "The Wiz," long before they were famous.

The Alumni Concert will feature favorite Broadway show tunes, performed by the four big-name alumni and other VYT alumni from the past 20 years. The show marks the organization's 20-year anniversary.

"There were many things that helped prepare me for my experiences during American Idol," said Sparks in a statement about the concert. "But Bobb (Artistic Director Bobb Cooper) and Valley Youth Theatre were particularly helpful in pushing me."

Valley Youth Theatre is a nationally recognized nonprofit group that provides exposure to and participation in quality live theater productions for young people ages 7-19. Due to the lagging economy, the group has suffered a decline in subscriptions this year. Proceeds from the concert will go toward bolstering VYT's outreach programs and scholarship program.

Another VYT alumnus, Brennan Hillard, appears in the Wayans Brothers spoof "Dance Flick," in theaters this month. He plays a character modeled after "High School Musical" actor Zac Efron.

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