Kenny Deluca may have a center-stage ego, but even he didn’t expect to be making his Broadway debut at sixteen.
And he definitely didn’t expect to be understudying Hugo Fuente, the youngest (and most charming) member of pop sensation The Fuente Brothers.
When something sparks between the two boys, Kenny must decide: his name in lights, or the boy who lights up his heart? Because on Broadway, nothing is certain – and the spotlight shines brightest just before a blackout.
The first line of the show always comes out in a timbre I don’t recognize, like words spoken after a deep sleep.
I sing the opening notes as me, as Kenny – not as my character. Can anyone tell? No matter how hard I try to focus while waiting for my cue in the wings, it always takes a few minutes of stage time to become someone else.
Not that this is a “stage,” exactly. We’re in a rehearsal studio packed with people here to see the workshop of The Wolf Gang. Theatre Twitter has been buzzing about “that new Mozart musical,” and some seriously high profile guests are here today. It’s the kind of thing that should throw me off balance, but honestly, I live for it.
Buzz is what gets us to Broadway.
Before I sink fully into character, someone enters at the back of the room. The PA at the door startles, so I know it’s someone important. He’s hiding behind oversized sunglasses and has a baseball cap drawn low in front of his face. Heads begin to turn his way. Even in disguise, he feels magnetic.
But I refuse to let him pull my focus – or the audience’s. I shut my eyes, take a full breath, and become the story I want to tell.