The winners will be announced at the Shubert Theater in New Haven on Monday, June 3.
The winners will be announced at the Shubert Theater in New Haven on Monday, June 3.
The first Annual Stephen Sondheim Awards will take place at the Shubert Theater, 247 College Street, New Haven tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Amity Has THREE of its fine actors vying for the Best Actor/Actress title and an opportunity to compete in the National High School Musical Awards.
Best of Luck to Marty Gnidula – Uncle Fester for best actor, Alaina Dwyer – Alice Beineke and Lilli Querker in the best actress category for The Addams Family. We can’t wait to see you perform tonight.
The Addams Family is up for the Outstanding Musical Award.
In addition, Ryan Kennedy is nominated for his supporting actor role of Lucas. Best choreography – Andrea Kennedy. Best Directors – Rob and Andrea Kennedy. Best Costume Design – Marissa Proto.
I will give a full update after the show. Until then, Everyone send out Positive thoughts to our extended “Addams Family” group. We MUST have someone go to the Nationals again this year!!!
And once again, thank you Connor Deane and your business for giving our kids this amazing opportunity to shine! As Always, Judy Primavera and the Jamie Hulley Arts Fund for your participation.
For many years, Amity Regional High School participated in the Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards program, and year after year it received numerous nominations and prizes, and twice won the lead actor award: John Jorge for Les Miserables and Alli Kramer for Legally Blonde.
The CHSMTA program, now extinct, after its creator retired, left Amity in Limbo — Would there be a way to honor the hard work of Connecticut’s High School Theater programs.
In comes Orange native, Amity Grad Connor Deane to the rescue — Read On!
Broadway Method Academy (BMA), in association with the Shubert Theatre of New Haven and Westport Country Playhouse, is proud to announce the nominees for the Stephen Sondheim Awards. The black-tie gala will take place on June 4 at 7:30 pm at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, CT. The program’s mission is to recognize excellence in high school musical theater.
BMA Executive Directors, Connor Deane & J. Scott Handley announced today that Hamilton’s Solea Pfeiffer (Eliza Hamilton) and Ryan Vasquez will host the 2018 black-tie gala.
“We are thrilled to partner with two organizations that have contributed so much to the American theater,” said Deane. “We are looking forward to bringing some of Broadway’s brightest talents to share this special night with the next generation of musical theater performers,” Deane said that over the next two weeks BMA would utilize their social media channels to announce the Broadway presenters.
Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School
West Warwick High School
Notre Dame High School
North Kingstown High School
Trumbull High School
Branford High School
Newtown High School
Darien High School
Nonnewaug High School
Cheshire High School
Amity Regional High School
Shelton High School
Immaculate High School
The panel of judges was comprised of performing arts educators, entertainment professionals and Broadway performers & designers. On May 19, these judges met for a final discussion and a review of highlights from each high school performance to subsequently create nominations.
The nominees for the 2018 Stephen Sondheim Awards are …
*Amity received 8 nominations in the 10 available categories.
Isabel Adolphe – Heathers – Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School
Justin Mossa – Footloose – Darien High School
Bobby Marcinauskis – Legally Blonde – Shelton High School
Todd Perrin, Dan Reilly and Nina Soriano– Les Miserables – Newtown High School
Sophie Howard – Footloose – Darien High School
Kira Turlington – Heathers – Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School
Marissa Proto – The Addams Family – Amity Regional High School
Alicia Foster – Heathers – Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School
Emily Marcinauskis – Legally Blonde – Shelton High School
Oak Chaisathaporn – Hairspray – Suffield Academy
James Gallo – Curtains – Trumbull High School
Dean Jones – Footloose – Nonnewaug High School
Bobby Gaffney- Les Miserables – Newtown High School
Michael Hoadley – Shrek – Pinocchio – Branford High School
Antonio Mantero – Into the Woods – Mysterious Man – Notre Dame
Callum Zak – Legally Blonde – Kyle/Chad/Dewey – Shelton High School
Thomas Leonard – Curtains – Christopher Belling – Trumbull High School
Ryan Kennedy – Addams Family – Lucas – Amity High School
Alex Hernandez – Shrek – Dragon – Branford High School
Marina Kolistas – Grease – Patty Simcox – Immaculate HS
Molly Schalenghe – Legally Blonde – Brooke – Shelton
Madison LaPlante – Shrek – Dragon – West Warwick
Ainsley Lugal – Legally Blonde – Serena – Shelton High School
Andrea Kennedy – The Addams Family – Amity Regional High School
Emily Frangipane – Footloose – Darien High School
Matthew Farina – Grease – Immaculate High School
Katherine Sedlock – Legally Blonde – Shelton High School
Mia White – Hairspray – Suffield Academy
John Carter – Merrily We Roll Along – Cheshire High School
Rob and Andrea Kennedy – The Addams Family – Amity Regional High School
Tim Sorenson – Footloose – Darien High School
Matthew Farina – Grease – Immaculate High School
Fiona Bryson, Katherine Sedlock, Justin Zenchuk – Legally Blonde – Shelton High School
Thomas Dugan – Hairspray – Suffield Academy
Richard Marchetti – Shrek – West Warwick High School
Grady Allen – Footloose – Willard – Darien High School
Joshua Cocuzzo – Footloose – Ren – Nonnewaug
Cooper Cardone – Beauty and the Beast – Beast – North Kingstown
Connor Wall – Legally Blonde – Emmett Forrest – Shelton
Max Weiner – Hairspray – Edna Turnblad – Suffield Academy
Matt Sullivan – Legally Blonde – Professor Callahan – Shelton High School
Alaina Dwyer – Addams Family – Alice Beineke – Amity High School
Lexi Staubi – Footloose – Ariel – Darien High School
Kyla Hackett – Legally Blonde – Elle Woods – Shelton High School
Jacqueline Mate – Curtains – Georgia – Trumbull High School
Mia White – Hairspray – Velma Von Tussel – Suffield Academy
Lilli Querker – Addams Family – Pugsley Addams – Amity High School
Hairspray – Suffield Academy
Shrek – West Warwick High School
Footloose – Darien High School
The Addams Family – Amity Regional High School
Legally Blonde – Shelton High School
Grease – Immaculate High School
BMA is thrilled to partner with the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation to present more than $4,000 in cash scholarships to deserving students who submitted auditions and written responses pertaining to how theater has influenced their lives.
Tickets for the gala are $35 per person and are currently on-sale through the Shubert box office or Ticketmaster.
The gala will be music directed by Jad Bernardo and will feature choreography by Julie Kavanagh and Audra Bryant. Weston G. Wetzel serves as Director of Production.
ABOUT BROADWAY METHOD ACADEMY
Broadway Method Academy is a non-profit organization that offers a premier musical theatre-training program and provides the essential tools for young artists in acting, singing, and dancing. BMA also connects children and teens that are passionate about the arts with some of Broadway’s top talents and guest instructors. BMA’s goal is to create a thriving artistic atmosphere where students can create lasting friendships and develop skills they will use forever.
ABOUT THE SHUBERT THEATRE
Opened in 1914, the Shubert Theatre in the New Haven earned the title “The Birthplace of the Nation’s Greatest Hits” by staging over 300 shows that later opened in New York. Although the Shubert is best known for its Broadway presentations, the theatre has played host to the greatest artists of ballet, opera, classical music, jazz, big bands and popular solo artists – a tradition that continues today. The Shubert Theatre is owned and operated by CAPA—A Connecticut Not-For-Profit Organization. CAPA is one of America’s most respected theatre managers and diverse arts and entertainment presenters. In addition to the legendary Shubert Theatre in New Haven, CAPA is owner/operator of downtown Columbus, Ohio’s magnificent historic theatres (Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre, Southern Theatre) and manager of the contemporary Riffe Center Theatre Complex and Lincoln Theatre.
ABOUT WESTPORT COUNTRY PLAYHOUSE
The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus. The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering: Live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; the New Works Circle Initiative, a program dedicated to the discovery, development, and production of new live theatrical works; programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; youth performance training and performance opportunities through Broadway Method Academy, WCP’s resident conservatory; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.
Addams Family, The Musical opened at Amity this week and so far, audiences are loving it – at least from comments posted on Facebook and what I observed last night.
Just about everyone was talking about the most lovable character, “Uncle Fester” played by Sophomore Martin Gnidula.
“I can’t believe he’s just a sophomore,” one man said.
“That means he’ll be around for two more years,” someone responded.
“I think this is his first play,” said another as she flipped through the program book.
Lilli Querker, “Pugsley” also got some attention, not only for her voice and performance, but one young girl turned to her mom and said, “I KNEW he was a girl!”
Out in the lobby, a man said, “I can’t imagine what they look like without their stage makeup.”
I wanted to say, go to Orange Live, they did a feature with side by side photos of the lead actors. But I didn’t.
During the show, there were audible gasps when Emily Kilian, “Wednesday” sang. “Wow, she’s so good!”
Ben Kemp, “Lurch” got a lot of laughs with his low growls, moans – whatever you want to call them. He must have practiced endlessly, because, if you watched Orange Live’s meet the Addams Family video, you’ll notice that his speaking voice is not terribly low.
Harrison Paek “Gomez” and Ali Ashworth “Morticia” received equal raves for their performances. Paek being compared to Raul Julia and Ashworth to Angelica Houston.
And Maren Westgard’s “Grammama” was so weird and much more popular with this audience than the television character ever was with all of us baby boomers back in the day.
The conversations were all over the place as we exited the theater.
“So, the boyfriend was the director’s son?”
“Ya, he was the little kid in Tarzan, too, remember?”
Even the lighting left people in awe. “Did the students do the lighting too?”
“Some older guy does it every year and the kids work with him I think.”
“Well, it was amazing. They did a great job.”
“They always do. It’s like Broadway.”
Orange Live will have MORE on this play and audience reaction next week.
On May 18, Orange Live was with Rob Kennedy and the Amity Theater kids when they learned they had received 14 nominations from the CT High School Musical Theater Awards officials.
On Monday evening, June 1, everyone was dressed to the nines as they entered the Palace Theater in Waterbury for the Awards Gala.
Amity, with its nomination as Outstanding Production of the Year, opened the show with a musical number from Tarzan. Little Ryan Kennedy as young Tarzan getting hoots and hollers from the crowd, even though, unfortunately, something was wrong with the sound system. For the first 1/4 of the song the audience could only really enjoy the dancing and heard a low mumble as the kids sang their hearts out.
Amity kids weren’t the only ones to be muted, the first best actress nominee to perform powered through about a third of her song without being heard as well.
The Amity contingent went wild when presenter Connor Deane — Orange native, Amity grad, former Amity theater kid, graduate of the University of Cincinnati, College- Conservatory of Music and now the Executive Director/Resident Acting Coach at the Broadway Method Academy in Trumbull— graced the stage to present the award for Outstanding Hair and Make up Achievement.
The Amity group also shattered the sound barrier when Andrea Kennedy and David Linet won that award. Andrea hugged her former student, then graciously accepted the award and gave David plenty of time to offer his thanks too.
The second award that Amity won was for Outstanding Sound Design – Tom “Ivan” Ivanovich and Dave Trovarelli – Horizon Sound.
As the evening wound down to a close with only a few categories left to announce, Brett Bernardini, who founded the Awards 7 years ago, announced that they never present any awards for no reason, but several professionals in New York and adjudicators in Connecticut insisted that one person receive an award for his work and for inspiring an entire school. That person is Ryan Kennedy.
Ryan took the stage to thunderous applause and gave a sweet, unprepared speech.
Amity’s Tarzan and Jane, Max Karsanow and Addie Robbins were part of an ensemble group of students from 13 high schools who took part in the tribute song of the evening — “What I Did For Love” — a tradition that began two years ago to honor the lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary.
One Amity Alumni that we didn’t see (but his name appeared in the program) was 2013 grad Peter Charney, who was the Assistant Stage Manager.
St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol was the big winner with 7 awards, including Lead Actress, Director and Production of the Year.
But Amity wasn’t out of the spotlight. While accepting his best director award, St. Paul’s Mark Mazzarella took a moment to mention that his students noticed the person next to him, shook his hand and hugged him whenever he won an award. “Wasn’t he up for that award too?” they’d ask.
That person, his competition, was Amity’s Rob Kennedy.
Mazzarella said, “It’s not that you win, or how many prizes you take home, it’s your actions that the kids see that will leave a lasting impression.”
The Spirit of St. Paul
One of Mazzarella’s students, Chiara Giampietro was up for Best Actress for her role as Maria in The Sound of Music. On Sunday evening she was rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Knowing that she wouldn’t be able to perform her full number, Mazzarella quickly put together a 3 minute video showing highlights of her performance in the play.
Out of the hospital, less than 24 hours after her life saving surgery Chiara came on stage after St. Paul’s cast performance and sang a couple of lines from Climb Ev’ry Mountain with KodyLynn Perkins who won the Best Supporting Actress Award for her role as Mother Abbas.
Chiara went on stage a few minutes later when her name was announced as best actress, and then again when St. Paul’s won best production of the year.
Chiara and Best Actor Zac Gottschall will both represent Connecticut in the Nationals on Broadway and have won $1,000 scholarships to attend the Broadway Method Academy’s Musical Theater Summer Intensive course.
This may not have been Amity’s year, but, as Ryan Kennedy said, “Even if we don’t win Production of the Year, it’s just an honor to be here.”
There are no “bad” seats at the John Brady Center for the Performing Arts at Amity High School, but, if you want to watch the Amity Theater production of Tarzan from anywhere but the back row you’d better act quickly!
At only $18 each, the cost of admission is one of the greatest bargains around and hundreds of people already have taken action and reserved their seats for this wonderfully entertaining musical.
The production has a 5 show run, including one matinee: March 20, 21, 27 @ 8pm, March 28 @ 2pm & 8pm
Click this link to purchase your tickets today.