Coral Gables Third-Grader Enjoying Role in "Evita" on Broadway

"I've wanted to do this ever since I was two years old," Ava-Riley Miles said

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    Ava-Riley Miles made her Broadway debut last month.

    A pint-sized 8-year-old gave a sample of her voice via Skype from New York City. It was 9 p.m., after Ava-Riley Miles’ performance in "Evita," and before her bedtime.

    "It's pretty exciting," said Ava-Riley, describing an experience some professional actors will never get.

    The Broadway baby made her debut on the Great White Way with the likes of Ricky Martin last month. She's a Coral Gables third-grader whose very young career started in the theater circuit here in South Florida. It’s something she’s been dreaming about even before elementary school.

    "I've wanted to do this ever since I was two years old," Ava-Riley said.

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    The young thespian worked on her acting chops at the Actors' Playhouse stage on Miracle Mile, among other theaters, where she played Anne in the show "Madeline's Christmas."

    “Having to step up to the level of adults in that show, really made a difference and was a real growth opportunity for her,” said Earl Maulding, director of theater for young audiences at the Actors' Playhouse.

    Ava-Riley’s part is no small get. "Evita" normally features a children's choir. Ava-Riley is the only kid in the show, and sings the part as a solo.

    "She had an unusually large, mature voice for her size. As a little girl she would open her mouth and this big giant voice would come out. I would say ‘Wow! Where did that come from?’" Maulding said.

    The Big 3 From "Evita" to Leave Show in January

    Her parents, who are with their little girl in New York, could not be more proud.

    "Even though I've already seen show about six times, every time she sings that song, my eyes water up," said her mother, Susan Trujillo-Miles.

    "We’re as proud as you could possibly be, more so that she’s a good kid, than the fact that she’s on Broadway at 8. She's been a pleasure like brother and sister," said Ava-Riley’s father, Seth.

    Though the show will wrap at the end of January, Ava-Riley’s not through with Broadway yet.

    "I'm going back to Miami for two months, but I'm willing to come up for auditions," said the very poised 8-year-old.

    Her parents are not ruling out the idea, as long as she keeps her grades up.

    "She will finish her third-grade year at St. Thomas the Episcopal and hopefully get good grades," her father said. "And we will take the next step as it comes. No firm plans."

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