LOS ANGELES - Zac Efron will receive the ShoWest 2009 Breakthrough Performer of the Year Award, it was announced today by Mitch Neuhauser, co-managing director of the event, which will be held March 30-April 2, 2009, in Las Vegas. Efron will be presented with the ShoWest Breakthrough Performer of the Year Award at ShoWest's Final Night Banquet and Award Ceremony on Thursday, April 2nd, at Bally's and Paris Las Vegas.
"When Zac Efron made his debut, with the cast of Hairspray at ShoWest 2007, many in attendance took notice of this young actor's incredible talent," said Neuhauser. "His undeniable onscreen presence and charm have connected with fans around the world, and with the impending release of the comedy 17 Again, Zac Efron is poised to break out as a true Hollywood star. We are so pleased to be able to present him with the ShoWest 2009 Breakthrough Performer of the Year Award."
In 17 Again, opening April 17th, Efron stars as Mike O'Donnell, a star on his high school basketball court with a college scout in the stands and a bright future in his grasp. But instead, he decides to throw it all away to share his life with his girlfriend Scarlett and the baby he just learned they are expecting. Almost 20 years later, Mike's (Matthew Perry) glory days are decidedly behind him. His marriage to Scarlett (Leslie Mann) has fallen apart, he has been passed over for a promotion at work, his teenage kids think he is a loser, and he has been reduced to crashing with his high school nerd-turned-techno-billionaire best friend Ned (Thomas Lennon). But Mike is given another chance when he is miraculously transformed back to the age of 17. Unfortunately, Mike may look 17 again, but his thirtysomething outlook is totally uncool in the class of 2009. And in trying to recapture his best years, Mike could lose the best things that ever happened to him.
Efron first gained attention as a standout star in the Emmy Award-winning High School Musical, later reprising the role of Troy Bolton in High School Musical 2, which broke cable TV records with 17.5 million viewers, and, most recently, in the 2008 feature High School Musical 3: Senior Year, which set a box office record for the highest-grossing opening weekend for a musical. In the summer of 2007, Efron joined an all-star ensemble cast in the box office smash hit musical Hairspray, in which he starred as the popular and lovable Link Larkin. Efron also co-starred with Ben Chaplin and Claire Danes in Richard Linklater's Me and Orson Welles, which premiered at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival. On the stage, Efron has starred in the musical Gypsy and appeared in productions of Peter Pan, Mame, Little Shop of Horrors and The Music Man.