Last year’s Blue Star Awards celebrated more than 90 students involved in musical theatre from area high schools in our community, and local Olathe East graduate Justin Cooley took home the award for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role. His win led him to the Jimmy Awards, presented in New York by the Broadway League Foundation, which recognizes the best high school musical talent across the nation. Justin Cooley was named a finalist and following the Jimmy Awards he was cast in the brand-new musical Kimberly Akimbo, which opened Off-Broadway in December 2021. As of February 2022, it was announced that Kimberly Akimbo will begin previews on Broadway at the Shubert Theater this fall, and Cooley will be making his Broadway debut in the production.
Kimberly Akimbo was nominated and won the 2022 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical. Justin Cooley was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical. The Lucille Lortel Awards honor the best off-Broadway theater of the season.
Starlight congratulates Justin Cooley and is thrilled to have been part of his journey to Broadway with the Blue Star Awards!