It was a whirlwind weekend for young Nathan Broxton.
The 11-year-old theater fan packed up his bags in California last week and arrived in New York City on Friday morning.
After going viral earlier this month for his impassioned renditions of Broadway showtunes, the Broxtons were gifted a first-class flight from Delta Air Lines so that Nathan could meet his idols — and experience the magic of Broadway — in real life.
First up on the itinerary was MJ The Musical, about the life of late Grammy Award-winning musician Michael Jackson.
“It was amazing,” Nathan tells PEOPLE of seeing his first show on the Great White Way. “From the very beginning, I was like, ‘Oh snap. This is going to be awesome.’ If the beginning was fire, that indicates the whole thing’s going to be fire.”
Before the curtain went up at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre, however, Nathan and his family — including mom and dad Samantha and William Broxton — had an epic New York City adventure.
After hopping off a red-eye flight from California, the Broxtons grabbed slices of New York pizza before meeting a handful of cast members in MJ, including some of the child actors who are close in age to Nathan.
“Shoutout to Corey [J.], Walter [Russell III] and Christian [Wilson],” Nathan says. “That was really fun [getting] to know them.”
See Myles Frost Take the Stage as Michael Jackson in Broadway’s ‘MJ: The Musical’ Photos
“They really connected as kids,” mom Samantha adds, noting that another exciting moment was when Nathan got to try on the iconic sequin glove the show’s Michael Jackson wears onstage.
After the performance, Nathan and his family went backstage again — this time, meeting everyone. The cast shared some words of wisdom with the aspiring preteen performer, particularly when it comes to nerves.
“They were trying to teach him it’s okay to be nervous,” explains Samantha, to which Nathan adds: “If you’re nervous, that just means you really care.”
Following the Broxtons’ big night out at MJ, the family attended Disney’s Aladdin and The Lion King and even met cast members from each. On Sunday, he had a two-show day at Hamilton and Wicked. He and his family also stopped by the Museum of Broadway during their weekend getaway.
The trip to the Big Apple was a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience, says Samantha, who tells PEOPLE that the opportunity was not only sudden but completely unexpected.
“We just rearranged everything,” she explains. “We went to our bosses and were like, ‘Let’s do it.’
“Taking a flight is a big deal in and of itself, but taking a flight bicoastally with all the kids … It’s something you really do have to budget for as a family,” Samantha adds. “This is so shocking, I’m jealous of myself. The magnitude of it is so big.”
Nathan has always been a Broadway fan. He can’t even pinpoint when he first started becoming obsessed with musicals.
“We’re a pretty musical family,” Samantha explains, adding that she and her husband went to shows on dates while in college. “Music is just our love language. For us, music is just the way that we show each other love and support.”
When asked if he wants to be a Broadway actor just like all of the stars he met this weekend, Nathan responds, “I’ve been trying to decide that. Seeing them do all those crazy flips and singing and dancing — that’s incredible. Then I look at myself like, ‘Can I do that? Can I actually do that one day?’
“I feel like I can,” he adds, “and I think it would be lots of fun, but I know I definitely want to be an actor.”
When he gets back home to California, Nathan plans to keep on making Broadway-themed videos for social media — and even has an upcoming lesson with a vocal coach.
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“I want to do some fun dances to a couple of the songs from the musicals that I heard,” he explains.
Were Nathan’s school friends jealous of his newfound social media fame and A-list Broadway outing? “I was too busy living the experience,” he says. “I haven’t even told them!”