University of Miami, Broadway, A Bronx Tale

Finding success on Broadway

By Amanda M. Perez

Finding success on Broadway

By Amanda M. Perez
University of Miami alumnus Joey Barreiro, performing in the touring Broadway hit “A Bronx Tale,” reflects on how his time at the University influenced his artistic career on stage.

One of the leading actors in the new Broadway musical hit “A Bronx Tale,” which is on a national tour and taking audiences across the county back to the stoops of the Bronx in the 1960s, is a University of Miami alumnus.

“It’s thrilling to be up on stage with other incredible, well-seasoned actors,” said Joey Barreiro. “It feels great.”

From performing shows at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre at UM, to filling seats across the country, Barreiro said he would not be where he is today without the preparation he received from the University’s Theatre Arts Program.

“It turned me into the person I am today,” he said. “When I graduated high school, I was a mess and didn’t know what hard work was. UM was the place where I became aware of what it meant to be a true artist.”

One of his favorite memories at the U, which he still cherishes today, was when he performed his first play, “Night Train to Bolina.”

“It was one of my favorite experiences. I was able to trust myself and create a character which was all up to me, and that was exhilarating,” Barreiro said.

Barreiro’s performances throughout his four years at the U made him equipped to feel confident in the transition into professional roles.

“I felt really well prepared. I don’t remember being nervous for my first job because I had done enough shows. Being around professionals didn’t change my perception, I just felt inspired to get better,” he added.

One of his earlier roles in the business was playing Jack Kelly in the Broadway Musical "Newsies." Before that, Barreiro got a taste of what the industry was all about during his senior year in 2012. He, along with several other selected students, traveled to New York City for an annual senior showcase, which exposes students to industry leaders in Broadway who are invited to watch their live performances.

“That experience was one of the most important things any musical theater program can do, and I’m lucky UM offered it,” he said. “It’s hard getting tossed into New York City without any representation, so it’s huge that they helped us get that head start.”

The program’s exposure led him to connect with his now longtime agent who has been helping guide Barreiro through the competitive business.

For University of Miami students who are about to embark on the next steps in their professional careers, Barreiro offers some words of advice.

“You’re not fully formed,” he said. “You will step out of college with a sense of confidence, but you will soon realize you’re not done learning. The people who have the most success in the business understand you will always keep growing as an artist.”

The aspect of growing is part of the reason why Barreiro enjoys performing.

“I have the opportunity to get better every night. I love the aspirational journey,” he said.

There is no stopping Barreiro. After the national tour is over, he plans to move back to New York City to search for his next big role. Long term, Barreiro has his sights set on expanding the world of musical theatre into television and film.

“I believe theater is very much a vibrant part of life, and I think people of our generation are more comfortable with TV and film, so I want to bring something more contemporary to that realm,” he said.