It's named for theater owner and producer James Nederlander.
The awards are a partnership between Nederlander's company and the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.
They're based on the opera's Gene Kelly Awards. For 18 years, those awards have recognized high school musical performers from the Pittsburgh area.
The national award will be called The Jimmy, in honor of Nederlander.
Organizers expect about 50 to 60 actors and actresses from around the country, chosen from local or regional competitions, to advance to the national event in New York.
They'll be taught an opening and closing number, to be performed at the Palace Theater before judges and industry professionals.
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