Huntsville native, Grissom student named finalist in national Broadway competition

Matthew Beutjer (pictured in front) performing as Jesse in Tuck Everlasting
Matthew Beutjer (pictured in front) performing as Jesse in Tuck Everlasting(WAFF)
Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 4:16 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Could it be? Yes, it could. Something’s coming, something good!

That’s right, a Huntsville native and one of Grissom High School’s very own is in the top three for BroadwayWorld’s Next on Stage national competition. The online competition is for musical theatre actors at the high school and collegiate levels.

Matthew Beutjer is a rising senior at Grissom who is singing his way straight to the top.

Beutjer is among 800 contestants who submitted videos to the competition. He went on to make the top 30, 15, 10 and 5. When the final three contestants were announced Thursday night, Buetjer was not one of them. However, the judges had the opportunity to pick one more contestant they just couldn’t stand to let go of. That contestant was Beutjer.

He is now moving on to the final round of the competition.

The Grissom student recently wowed the judges with his performance of ‘She Cries’ from the musical, “Songs For a New World”.

Judges for the high school competition include Broadway stars, Arielle Jacobs, Michael James Scott and Brittney Johnson. Scott, well known for playing the fun and loveable Genie in Disney’s “Aladdin” on Broadway, praised Beutjer for his performance of ‘She Cries’ while adding some additional notes for the young star.

The performance that landed Beutjer a spot in the top three was his exuberant rendition of ‘Being Alive’ from “Company”.

Matthew Beutjer as Shrek in Grissom's 2021 production of "Shrek the Musical"
Matthew Beutjer as Shrek in Grissom's 2021 production of "Shrek the Musical"(WAFF)

Beutjer isn’t the only star on the rise from Grissom though. Grissom alumnus Willem Butler was the collegiate winner of BroadwayWorld’s “Next On Stage” competition in 2020.

Butler graduated from Grissom in 2018 and is now a student at Elon University where he studies musical theatre.

When asked about the competition, Buetjer said it has already made a huge impact on him.

“My experience in the BroadwayWorld’s Next Onstage competition has been nothing short of life-changing,” said Buetjer in a statement to WAFF. “I have met amazing people and artists and forged bonds that will last a lifetime. I’m so excited to have been involved in this competition so I could show the nation my love for theatre and the arts. Whatever the outcome, it has been a tremendous learning experience and true honor.”

But the competition isn’t over for Buetjer just yet! The overall winner of the High School Competition will be announced Thursday, June 10.

The high school contestants have one more chance to win over the judges, and voters.

Beutjer’s final performance is ‘Who I’d Be’ from Shrek the Musical.

You can watch full performances for yourself and vote on BroadwayWorld’s website, linked here.

Each contestant in the competition chooses a charity to support. If Beutjer wins, the Huntsville Inner City Learning Center will receive $1,000.

From all of us here at WAFF, break a leg, Matthew!

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