Performing on Broadway at any age is challenging, especially for kids who have to balance school and work. Hudson Loverro and Levi Smith seem to have it all figured out; they are both having a blast playing Young Calogero in A Bronx Tale and enjoy learning from the supportive Broadway community that surrounds them.
You made your Broadway debuts at a young age. What has that been like?
HUDSON: It was a pretty amazing experience. I love the community.
LEVI: It’s been really amazing to make my Broadway debut at only 10 years old. It’s better than I’ve ever imagined. It has never ever felt like a job! If this is what a job is like, than sign me up, I want to do this for the rest of my life!
How old were you when you got involved in theatre and what was your journey to Broadway like?
HUDSON: I started dancing first when I was about three and picked up acting and singing from my sister a few years later.
LEVI: Actual fun fact, I was 7 years old when I was cut from the very first show that I auditioned for. My sister Faith also auditioned for that same show and didn’t get cut. When I saw her on stage, I knew it was something I really wanted to do. Shortly after that show, I decided to take my first acting class with CYT Houston.
When I turned 8 years old, I auditioned for Beauty and the Beast Jr. You might laugh, but I loved being a villager and a teaspoon, but mostly I loved being a sheep! It was so fun entertaining the audience.
After Beauty and the Beast, I was cast in several other shows. Some of my favorite credits include “Flounder” in Little Mermaid, “Winthrop” in Music Man, “Michael” in Mary Poppins, “young Sam / Tommy” in the world premier of It’s A Wonderful Life at Houston Grand Opera.
What was the first Broadway show you saw?
HUDSON: Finding Neverland. I loved it! And I met one of my best friends there.
LEVI: My first Broadway show was Finding Neverland.
Can you tell us about your journey to Broadway – what was the audition process like?
HUDSON: Well, it was pretty stressful but I think I had a good experience.
LEVI: After training for a few years and performing in youth, community and regional theaters, I began auditioning in NYC. When I was 10 years old I auditioned in NYC for Sound of Music (tour), Mary Poppins (Paper Mill), Finding Neverland (tour), A Christmas Story (Tour) and finally Les Miz (tour) and A Bronx Tale.
Another fun fact: I was turned down by 2 agents and a manager while I was in A Christmas Story. Karen Lampiasi of Lampiasi Talent finally took me seriously as an actor. I’m so glad I didn’t give up!
What was it like meeting Chazz Palminteri?
HUDSON: Awesome! He’s a great guy with lots of great stories.
LEVI: It really was amazing to finally meet Chazz, knowing that his story has influenced so many lives.
What’s an important lesson you have learned by playing Young C?
HUDSON: Make good decisions and listen to the people you love.
LEVI: “The choices we make will shape our lives forever!” I think about that quote literally every day and every time I have to choose right from wrong.
What has been one of your favorite memories from A Bronx Tale so far?
HUDSON: Opening night! Everyone was so happy and it was great to see.
LEVI: My very first moment I stepped onto the Longacre stage. I’m so grateful for this opportunity.
What do you think is the biggest challenge of being a kid on Broadway?
HUDSON: Managing a tough schedule.
LEVI: Making sure I keep up with my school work.
If you could get any celebrity to come see the show, who would it be?
HUDSON: No doubt, Sutton Foster.
LEVI: Emma Watson! No doubt! EMMA WATSON!!!
What is the best part about being on Broadway?
HUDSON: All of it, especially the people performing.
LEVI: Doing what I love with the people I love!
If you could be stuck in an elevator with any Broadway star, who would it be?
HUDSON: Not to overdo it, but Sutton Foster.
LEVI: Ethan Slater! It would be so fun to dance, sing and laugh together.
What are your dream roles?
HUDSON: Jean Valjean, (first male) Matilda, Jack Kelly, and Fiero.
LEVI: SPONGE BOB! Shhhhhh. Don’t tell Ethan.
When I’m not performing, you can usually find me…
HUDSON: Playing sports (baseball, basketball), reading, or hanging out with friends.
LEVI: Climbing a tree, dancing or reading Harry Potter.
Do you have a favorite Broadway show?
HUDSON: Kinky Boots.
LEVI: Newsies! But recently I saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and fell in love with it!
If you could swap roles for a day with someone else in the show who would you pick?
HUDSON: Nick Cordero to play Sonny.
LEVI: Gilbert Bailey (ensemble). It’s such a fun role.
What do you love most about NYC?
HUDSON: The energy and liveliness.
LEVI: I love that there is PIZZA on every corner.
Can you show us your favorite emoji?