5 Under 25: Bright, Young Musical Theatre Actors

How often have you found out the age of an insanely talented musical theatre actor or actress and been astounded? I'm always surprised when I find out that an actor is my age...or younger! (And then, I wonder what exactly I've achieved in my 21 years.) I decided to round up five astoundingly talented actors and actresses under the age of 25 to share with you all. Enjoy! x

Eva Noblezada, 19

Eva Noblezada, currently starring as Kim in Miss Saigon at London's Prince Edward Theatre, is close to my heart because she was living in Charlotte, NC when she was picked for the Miss Saigon London revival (we bonded over being North Carolina girls when I talked to her at stage door). She was offered the role after graduating high school and has been absolutely smashing it. Her performance at last year's Olivier Awards gave me chills (watch above); I'll never understand why she wasn't nominated for Best Actress in a Musical. How can someone so young and tiny have such powerful vocals? I also have to give her kudos for her amazing sense of style.

Watch her sing "Take Me or Leave Me" with Shoshana Bean or "I'm A Star" at Scott Alan's concert and follow her on Twitter.

Andy Richardson, 20

I was lucky enough to see Andy Richardson as Crutchie in Newsies...he made me cry in the first number of the show! He played Romeo and was the Crutchie understudy in the original Broadway cast of Newsies, before taking on the role when Andrew Keenan-Bolger left the cast. In addition to having flawless vocals, Andy is also a great comedic and dramatic actor. When he sang "Watch me stand" in the "Santa Fe Prologue," you could hear a collective gasp of heartbreak from the audience. Andy's currently enrolled at NYU, but he's thankfully still doing the occasional concert and show.

Watch him sing "The Oldsie Profession" or talk about playing Crutchie and follow him on Twitter.

Michael Colbourne, 22

Michael Colbourne made his professional debut playing Enjolras in Les Mis at the Queen's Theatre in London. I was so happy that I was able to see him twice as Enjolras because his stage presence is simply outstanding. (Also, a special shoutout to his and Chris Edwards' portrayal of the Enjolras-Grantaire friendship.) His concert performances not only show off his stellar vocals, but also his nuanced and often heart-breaking acting. He'll be performing amongst other West End stars in the one-night only London concert of Kings of Broadway next month. (And if you can go to it, I'm extremely jealous!)

Watch him sing "My Land's Shore" or perform as Enjolras in Les Mis's West End Live performance last year and follow him on Twitter

Carrie Hope Fletcher, 22 

Carrie Hope Fletcher, who turns 23 this month, is a West End actress, YouTuber, and author of the bestselling memoir and self-help book, All I Know Now. (You can watch my review here.) I've been lucky enough to see her three times in Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre in London, where she's currently playing the role of Eponine until January. While Carrie's achieved more in 22 years than some people achieve in their entire lives, it was definitely her acting skills that first drew me to her. I can't wait to see what she's going to achieve next...other than the novel that she's already working on, of course!

Watch her sing "I See the Light" from Tangled with her boyfriend Pete Bucknall or "Let It Go" from Frozen and follow her on Twitter

Derek Klena, 23 

Derek Klena has appeared on Broadway as Fiyero in Wicked and Michael in The Bridges of Madison County. He's most well-known for playing the lead role in Dogfight, Eddie Birdlace, in the recent Off-Broadway production. He has an adorable friendship with Lindsay Mendez and they often perform together in concerts at 54 Below. His stunning vocals and impressive acting credits are remarkable for one so young.

Watch Derek and Lindsay sing "Come to a Party/Nothing Short of Wonderful" or "First Date/Last Night" from Dogfight and follow him on Twitter.

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