After an incredibly entertaining countrywide search, 13-year-old Ben Rodenmeyer of Jackson, Mississippi, earned the coveted title of Broadway's Biggest Fan. His prize? A trip to New York City to attend the 2013 Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards! Ben, along with his mother and sister, were guests of honor at the May 5 ceremony at the Allen Room in the Time Warner Center. His winning video earned a standing ovation from the star-studded crowd, and after the show, Ben got the chance to rub elbows with a few of his favorite Broadway stars, including Sierra Boggess, Aaron Tveit and Stephanie J. Block.
“This is crazy,” Ben told Broadway.com while spotting stars on the red carpet. “A few minutes ago I was walking down the street, and now here I am, looking at Tony-nominated Rob McClure!” Now that the Broadway super-fan has gotten the chance to meet his idols, he realizes he has more in common with the Broadway elite than he thought. “These stars are real people, not just people on the computer,” he said. “I’m going to ask them to take a picture with me and try to keep my cool.”
After a whirlwind trip to New York City, Ben says he wants to try “not to brag too much” about his trip when he gets back to Jackson—which might be tough, since he’s been getting lots of media attention in his hometown since winning the Broadway’s Biggest Fan contest in April. “I had all these interviews,” he said. “Everything’s been crazy!” But there’s one thing Ben knows for sure: “This whole experience has been extraordinary and amazing,” he said. “It’s definitely been the best week of my life!”