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Tyler theater directors react to Hager making Top 5 on American Idol

The theatre will host a watch party on Sunday.
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Published: May. 10, 2022 at 6:30 PM CDT|Updated: May. 10, 2022 at 7:07 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - One of Tyler’s own keeps working his way up on American Idol week after week. This past weekend Fritz Hager earned a spot in the top five on the show after singing two originals.

Those who worked with him at a local theater that Hager performed at are sharing their thoughts.

“It was a combination of excitement, relief. I don’t think I’ve ever in my lifetime been as into a reality TV show as much as Fritz’s season,” said Stephen Rainwater who directed Hager in the Tyler Civic Theatre’s performance of “Newsies” in 2019.

“He played the role of Davey. One of the great things about Fritz is that he’s always ready to go,” Rainwater said. “Fritz was always prepared, Fritz always has a positive attitude, and he’s just a great guy. He’s one of those people that you can’t help but be drawn to.”

Two summers later Steven Jones directed Hager in West Side Story. Jones said he was so impressed by Hager’s skill then, he kept hoping he’d do something.

“Sure enough, sitting there in February I see that he’s going to be doing American Idol and I turned into a 13-year-old little girl, just a huge fan doing everything I could on social media, Facebook, Instagram, the whole thing. Following him and being so excited for him,” Jones said.

To support the momentum that Hager has kept going, the theater is hosting a free watch party Sunday night.

“To watch what happened from that first audition to where he is now in the top five, that glow up, I’m going to call it that glow up, was just amazing,” Jones said.

This past show, Hager sang two of his original songs, which Rainwater says, “Is a wonderfully calculated risk because essentially, he’s getting his voice out there.”

Jones said he is calling relatives all over telling them about Hager.

“Y’all vote. You can vote. You can vote three different ways. It’s on all of his social media. Vote, vote, vote,” Jones said.

The doors for Sunday’s watch party open at 6:15 p.m. the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are free but to reserve your seat you can visit the theatre’s website.

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