PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Les Miserables has been a Broadway smash hit for 38 years and counting, and now the show is back in Philadelphia at the Academy of Music.
And there's a local actress making her hometown debut at the very same theater where she got her start in show biz as an usher.
"On My Own," it's one of Broadway's most iconic songs. So you can imagine that stepping into the principal role of Epinone is a living dream for Mount Airy's own Phoenix Best.
"I actually saw Les Mis for the first time 5 years ago when it was at the Academy of Music January 2013. So it's really weird to be back 5 years later doing it," Phoenix said.
She says it's emotional and exciting to be performing for her home crowd.
"My heart was pitter pattering the whole time. It was this big rush to look out and see this theater that I used to sit in the audience with and come back and be on stage this time," Phoenix said.
This also marks her professional debut in her native Philadelphia.
She said, "It's really exciting and nerve-wracking a little bit because people are like - Phoenix is coming back."
Many of those people have watched Phoenix rise from a little girl with a dream.
"I have been playing piano and singing since I was 4-years-old," She said.
When she graduated from DeSales University, she pounded the pavement in the Big Apple and landed a few Broadway roles before getting cast as the iconic Eponine.
"I want to make her real so that people feel like they can connect with her. She is just someone going through regular life things but just extraordinary circumstances," Phoenix said.
At 24-years-old with her star clearly on the rise, Phoenix has this advice. "There's a lot of rejection in this business. There's a lot of positivity in this business and you constantly have to be the one who says yes to yourself."
"No matter what never stop being who you are," added Phoenix.
And as you can imagine, Phoenix is packing the house with friends, family, and her church group, high school, and college. So if you want tickets, you might want to grab them quickly.
Les Miserables is at the Academy of Music now through Sunday, January 21.
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Local actress makes debut in Philly Les Miserables