HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -After starting off dazzling crowds on Hawaii stages, several recognizable names have gone on to New York to expand their careers. From Bette Midler to Ruthie Ann Miles, here are some notable Hawaii stars who made it big on Broadway.
Ruthie Ann Miles
Former Kaimuki resident Ruthie Ann Miles won a Tony Award for best featured actress in a musical for her performance in “The King and I.” The 2001 Kaimuki High School graduate was most recently seen on Broadway in “Sunday in the Park with George” and has also appeared in numerous off-Broadway productions, including “Chess,” “Avenue Q,” and touring productions like “Annie and Sweeney Todd.” In 2018, she tragically lost her daughter and unborn child following a crash in Brooklyn.
Born and raised in Aina Haina, Punahou School graduate Jason Tam moved to New York City in 2001 to attend New York University. Performing as Gavroche in “Les Miserables” both in Honolulu during a touring show and on Broadway, he was recently seen in the live televised concert rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” as the apostle Peter. Other notable performances include “If/Then,” “K-Pop,” “Be More Chill” and “A Chorus Line." He also appeared in the documentary film “Every Little Step,” in which he brought casting directors to tears auditioning for the role of Paul for Broadway’s “A Chorus Line.”
Born and raised in Honolulu, Broadway icon Bette Midler kicked off her performing arts career right here in the islands, performing at local theaters like Honolulu Theatre for Youth and Diamond Head Theatre. After graduating from Radford High School, she then went on to study drama at the University of Hawaii and decided to pursue her dreams of becoming a performer in New York City. From then on, she’s had an extensive career as an actress, singer and comedian, winning multiple awards and nominations.
Cole Horibe, a Castle High School graduate, impressed judges and fans on the hit reality show “So You Think You Can Dance” for fusing contemporary dance moves with martial arts. After placing second runner up, he then made his way to New York City in the Off-Broadway show “Kung Fu,” as well as the Broadway revival productions of “The King and I” and “M. Butterfly.”
Loretta Ables Sayre
Raised in Hawaii, Loretta Ables Sayre, also got her start in local theater at Honolulu Theatre for Youth. For several decades, the Radford High School graduate performed jazz standards at luxury hotels in Hawaii. But in 2007, she made her Broadway debut as Bloody Mary in “South Pacific.” She was nominated for a Tony Award for best featured actress in a musical and also won the 2008 Theatre World Award.