Marnie Quick performs at the Pittsburgh CLO’s Gene Kelly Awards Saturday night at the Benedum Center, Downtown.
The cast of Pittsburgh CAPA's production of “West Side Story” performs Saturday night at the 26th annual Pittsburgh CLO Gene Kelly Awards at the Benedum Center, Downtown.
By Sharon Eberson / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Marnie Quick of Pittsburgh Obama Academy was crowned Best Actress for the third straight year at Pittsburgh CLO’s Gene Kelly Awards, sending the senior to the National High School Musical Theater Awards for the third time. She will be joined in New York June 27 by first-time Best Actor winner Devin Moore of Chartiers Valley High School.
The 26th annual Kellys, named for Hollywood legend and Pittsburgh native Gene Kelly, honor excellence in high school musical theater. This year, the ceremony showcased 28 Allegheny County schools, all represented in a glittery night of performances Saturday at the Benedum Center, Downtown. Ms. Quick won for her role as Doralee (Dolly Parton in the movie version) in “9 to 5: The Musical,” while Mr. Moore took home a Kelly as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables.”
Pittsburgh CAPA’s production of “West Side Story” was awarded 10 Kellys, including Best Musical in Budget Level 1. Other Best Musical winners were Chartiers Valley’s “Les Miserables” and Baldwin’s “Big Fish,” the Broadway show’s first local production. Woodland Hills’ high-flying “Peter Pan” took home four Kelly Awards, for sets, costumes, lighting and crew.
More than 30 alums of the Gene Kelly Awards program helped pack the stage for the opening number.
Van Kaplan, executive director of Pittsburgh CLO, then thanked the more than 3,000 people from participating schools and communities for their support of high school musical theater — whether it was with a staple gun or carpools, or all those weeks of eating pizza.
When Alexander Wood of Hampton received his best supporting actor award for his dual role in “Monty Python's Spamalot,” he earned a big cheer by saying, “People who talk about cutting the arts in schools should come and see the Kellys.”
Patricia Ward Kelly, widow of Gene Kelly, was on hand to award the best musical honors and added to the glamour of the night in a sparkly blue one-shoulder gown.
Among the $117,000 in scholarships awarded Saturday, Alexa Newbrough, Nicole Perrone and Keaton Runco received $5,000 annually to attend Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts for Musical Theater or their Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management program.
Cash scholarships were awarded by Pittsburgh CLO and PCLO Ambassadors to Paul Watt-Morse, Miranda Miller, Alexander Wood, Alexander Conte and Jeremiah Lyons. The PCLO Guild also awarded $40,000 in scholarships to 10 students who are pursuing a college education in theater.
Each nominated school performed a five-minute selection from their respective shows in a program patterned after Broadway’s Tony Awards ceremony. Participating high schools were:
Avonworth, Baldwin, Bishop Canevin, Central Catholic, Chartiers Valley, Deer Lakes, Elizabeth Forward, Hampton, Keystone Oaks, North Hills, Northgate, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Penn Hills, Pine-Richland, Pittsburgh Allderdice, Pittsburgh Barack Obama Academy, Pittsburgh Brashear, Pittsburgh CAPA, Pittsburgh Perry, Plum, Propel Braddock Hills, Quaker Valley, Riverview, Springdale, St. Joseph, West Allegheny, West Mifflin and Woodland Hills.
Recipients of the 2016 Gene Kelly Awards are:
Best Musical: Budget Level I: Pittsburgh CAPA, “West Side Story.” Budget Level II: Chartiers Valley, “Les Miserables.” Budget Level III: Baldwin, “Big Fish.”
Lead Actor: Devin Moore of Chartiers Valley in “Les Miserables.”
Lead Actress: Marnie Quick of Pittsburgh Obama in “9 to 5: The Musical.”
Actor in a Supporting Role: Alexander Wood of Hampton in “Monty Python’s Spamalot.”
Actress in a Supporting Role: Ariel Squire of Pittsburgh CAPA in “West Side Story.”
Scenic Design: Budget Level I: Pittsburgh CAPA, “West Side Story.” Budget Level II: Chartiers Valley, “Les Miserables.” Budget Level III: Woodland Hills, “Peter Pan.”
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