Gene Kelly Award nominations announced


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Pine-Richland, Central Catholic and Woodland Hills high schools lead in the 18th Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater with 11 nominations each, as announced yesterday by the sponsors, Pittsburgh CLO and the University of Pittsburgh.

The winners will be announced at the Benedum Center in a Tony Awards-like gala at 7:30 p.m., May 24, featuring local presenters and performances by the nine schools nominated for best musical in three budget categories. Gene Kelly's widow, Patricia Ward Kelly, will participate, and the awards will be broadcast live on the Jumbotron outside the Benedum at Theater Square.

Over the past three months, 25 arts educators, administrators, entertainment professionals and critics attended the performances, culminating in a lengthy Friday meeting of detailed debate, with the results tabulated by Deloitte.

Of 28 Allegheny County high schools entered, 22 garnered one or more of the 81 nominations in 15 categories, including design, direction, choreography, student orchestra, crew, ensemble and acting.

Other schools with multiple nominations are North Catholic (8); Hampton (6); North Hills (5); Schenley (4); Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), Plum and West Mifflin (3 each); and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Perry Traditional Academy, Riverview and Winchester Thurston (2 each).

Students from all 28 schools will perform at the awards gala, but the nine schools that will stage excerpts are CAPA ("Children of Eden"), Perry ("Urinetown") and Schenley ("All Shook Up") in budget level 1; Central Catholic ("Beauty and the Beast"), Hampton ("Into the Woods") and North Catholic ("Seussical"), level 2; and North Hills ("Dames at Sea"), Pine-Richland ("Seussical") and Woodland Hills ("Beauty and the Beast"), level 3.

Again this year, Pittsburgh CLO will offer Gene Kelly Scholarships totaling $11,500 to high school seniors who have been accepted to a school for the performing or technical arts. Nominees auditioned before a panel of judges.

For the first time, the CLO Ambassadors will provide a scholarship to a college-bound student from one of the participating schools whose work on its musical exemplifies enthusiasm, dedication and an appreciation for the collaborative efforts of theater.

Additional support is provided by American Eagle Outfitters Foundation, National City, Virginia S. Nicklas and the CLO Ambassadors.

Limited tickets will be available Monday at 412-456-6666.




Nominees for the 2008 Gene Kelly Awards.

Scenic Design
Central Catholic, "Beauty and the Beast"; Hampton, "Into the Woods"; North Catholic, "Seussical"; Pine-Richland, "Seussical"; St. Joseph, "Once on This Island"; Woodland Hills, "Beauty and the Beast."

Costume Design
Central Catholic, "Beauty and the Beast"; Eden Christian Academy, "Narnia, the Musical"; North Catholic, "Seussical"; Perry Traditional Academy, "Urinetown"; Pine-Richland, "Seussical"; Woodland Hills, "Beauty and the Beast."

Lighting Design
Central Catholic, "Beauty and the Beast"; North Catholic, "Seussical"; Pine-Richland, "Seussical"; Quaker Valley, "Footloose"; Riverview, "Aida"; Woodland Hills, "Beauty and the Beast."

All-Student Orchestra
CAPA, "Children of Eden"; Hampton, "Into the Woods"; Pine-Richland, "Seussical"; Plum, "Singin' in the Rain"; Taylor Allderdice, "Footloose"; West Mifflin, "The Wiz."

Supporting Actor
Michael Campayno (Gaston), Central Catholic, Beauty and the Beast; Alex Cosentino (Mareb), Riverview, "Aida"; Brad Pietryga (Cosmo Brown), Plum, "Singin' in the Rain"; Nicholas Rushe (Lumiere), Woodland Hills, "Beauty and the Beast"; Ted Stevenson (Lumiere), Central Catholic, "Beauty and the Beast"; Shaun Umpleby (The Wiz), West Mifflin, "The Wiz."

Supporting ActressHannah Belmonte (Mrs. Potts), Woodland Hills, "Beauty and the Beast"; Katie Esswein (Joan), North Hills, "Dames at Sea"; Maddie Georgi (Little Red), Hampton, "Into the Woods"; Barbara Johnson (Andrea), Winchester Thurston, "Once on This Island"; Arielle Katcher (Mayzie), Pine-Richland, "Seussical"; Teressa LaGamba (Sylvia), Schenley, "All Shook Up."

Ensemble
Central Catholic, "Beauty and the Beast"; North Hills, "Dames at Sea"; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"; Pine-Richland, "Seussical"; Schenley, "All Shook Up"; Woodland Hills, "Beauty and the Beast."

Crew / Technical Execution
Baldwin-Whitehall, "Beauty and the Beast"; Hampton, "Into the Woods"; North Catholic, "Seussical"; Keystone Oaks, "Brigadoon"; West Mifflin, "The Wiz"; Woodland Hills, "Beauty and the Beast."

Choreography
Central Catholic, "Beauty and the Beast"; North Catholic, "Seussical"; North Hills, "Dames at Sea"; Pine-Richland, "Seussical"; Plum, "Singin' in the Rain"; Woodland Hills, "Beauty and the Beast."

Direction
Central Catholic, "Beauty and the Beast"; Hampton, "Into the Woods"; North Catholic, "Seussical"; North Hills, "Dames at Sea"; Pine-Richland, "Seussical"; Woodland Hills, "Beauty and the Beast."

Actor
Jaron Frand (Adam/Noah), CAPA, "Children of Eden"; Cody Hoellerman (Cat in the Hat), Pine-Richland, Seussical"; Jeff Markanich (Joseph), Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"; Kian McCollum (Chad), Chartiers Valley, "All Shook Up"; Bobby Neumeyer (Beast), Central Catholic, "Beauty and the Beast"; Dylan Putas (Cat in the Hat), Bishop Canevin, "Seussical."

Actress
Sarah Chybrzynski (Belle), Woodland Hills, "Beauty and the Beast"; Lauren Gigliotti (Gertrude), Pine-Richland, "Seussical"; Jane Jeffries (Belle), Central Catholic, "Beauty and the Beast"; Sarah-Jane Kirkland (Natalie), Schenley, "All Shook Up"; Yin Yin Ou (Ti Moune), Winchester Thurston, "Once on This Island"; Ally Scalo (Gertrude), North Catholic, "Seussical."

Best Musical - Budget Category I
CAPA, "Children of Eden"; Perry Traditional Academy, "Urinetown"; Schenley, "All Shook Up."

Best Musical - Budget Category II
Central Catholic, "Beauty and the Beast"; Hampton, "Into the Woods"; North Catholic, "Seussical."

Best Musical - Budget Category III
North Hills, "Dames at Sea"; Pine-Richland, "Seussical"; Woodland Hills, "Beauty and the Beast."


Post-Gazette theater editor Christopher Rawson can be reached at crawson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1666.


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