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Amity’s “Anastasia” Wins Top Prize At Awards Gala

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Jul 182021
 

The Amity Creative Theater (ACT) won the coveted “Best Musical” Award for its production of Anastasia last night during the Stephen Sondheim Awards Gala at the Shubert Theater.

“It’s the best one (award) to get,” said Rob Kennedy after the Gala. “We were all thrilled to get — and to even be there — at all after this long year.”

After last year’s show, “The Drowsy Chaperone” was canceled due to concerns over the Covid-19 Pandemic, ACT had to come up with a safe, alternative venue for this year’s show, and chose the High School parking lot under a tent.

Anastasia was well received and night after night brought audiences to their feet with wild applause.

The Kennedys, Rob and Andrea, took over the Amity Theater program when they were hired by their alma mater in the 2007-2008 school year. Since then they have directed 13 musicals (only one, The Drowsy Chaperone in 2020,  was not seen by any audience due to Covid.

The “Kennedy Productions” have won at least one award every year, the most coveted being “Best Musical” which they competed against many other Connecticut high schools.

Although there have been numerous memorable shows, Rent, Les Miserables, In the Heights, Grease, and Tarzan included,

Amity’s first Best Musical Win was for Sweeney Todd at the 2013 Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards. (Sweeney Todd won a total of 7 awards that year.

Their second chart topper was with the Addams Family in 2018 at the first annual Stephen Sondheim Awards, which took over honoring the High School Musicals when the CT HSMTA ended.

And now the 2021 Stephen Sondheim Award for Best Musical with Anastasia. `
Congratulations to the cast, crew, directors and everyone involved in this year’s show. I can’t wait to see what the Kennedy’s have up their sleeves for next year’s musical production.

Shayna Goldblatt Named To Dean’s List At Elon University

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on Shayna Goldblatt Named To Dean’s List At Elon University
Jul 132021
 

Shayna Goldblatt has been named to the Dean’s List for the 2021 spring semester at Elon University.

The Dean’s List is composed of students with no grade below a B-minus and a grade point average of at least 3.50 in a minimum of 12 semester hours.

Shayna is the daughter of Mitchell and Abby Goldblatt of Orange.

About the University

Elon University in North Carolina has built a national reputation as the premier student-centered environment for experiential learning, with an emphasis on strong personal relationships between students and their faculty and staff mentors.

Elon’s rigorous curriculum is grounded in the arts and sciences and complemented by nationally accredited professional programs.

Elon is ranked among the top-100 National Universities by U.S. News & World Report, with a #2 ranking for excellence in undergraduate teaching and #10 for innovation.

Elon is the only university in the nation recognized by U.S. News for excellence in all eight academic programs “Focused on Student Success.” Included are #1 rankings for study abroad and learning communities and #2 rankings for first-year experiences, senior capstones and service learning.

Jun 302021
 

I would like to apologize to Orange Live readers for the sudden stop of current posts in the past few days.

What happened? I was hacked (again). Some unscrupulous individual got into my computer and locked me out this time.

I’m pretty good, slipping with age, but not as good as those who dedicate their lives to making others’ lives a living nightmare.

Posting on the site is extremely difficult from my phone, especially since I cannot type like a teenager on a cell phone keyboard.

Thanks to Omar at PCW Computer in Orange for getting me back in the saddle again, Oh, it feels good to be able to type again!

I promise to do my best to keep you all informed about the latest happenings on the town activities, weather alerts, etc. I’m working hard to catch up.

 

Trophies, Scholarships Presented At Block A Awards Ceremony

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Jun 152021
 

2020-2021 Block A Awards (Part 2)

After a disappointing 2019-2020 school year for high school athletes, when the Annual Block A Award Ceremony took place virtually and winners had to wait until their drive-thru graduation to receive their plaques and trophies, this year’s modified in-person event was a breath of fresh air. 

Although there was no dinner, and everyone still had to wear face masks, at least the Amity Athletes had the experience of hearing their names and receiving their awards directly from their coaches in front of their peers and parents. 

The ceremony took place in the Amity auditorium on Sunday, June 13, at 5 p.m. For anyone who couldn’t make it, or didn’t have an invitation, the event was live-streamed and is now available to anyone on YouTube

Athletic Director Ernie Goodwin hosted the event. 

Here are the 2020-2021 Special Awards:

* = not present, no photo

Unified Sportsmanship Award – Saeed Karout*

Versatility Award – Caroline Cadelina (Girls Golf, Hockey)

Versatility Award – Justin Miller (Boys Football, Hockey, Lacrosse)

Scholar-Athlete Award – Eesha Acharya*

Scholar-Athlete Award – Jack Ranani

Sportsmanship Award – Anthony Esposito (volleyball)

Sportsmanship Award – Lauren Ronai (Lacrosse)

Paul Mengold Outstanding Leadership Award – Ribecka Marchitto

Albert J. Seymour Memorial Award – Sophia Swift [Unsung Hero] Basketball

Albert J. Seymour Memorial Award – Max Dempsey [Unsung Hero] Diving

Thomas G. Laugeni Memorial Award – Jillian Ciccarelli (Softball)

Thomas G. Laugeni Memorial Award – Jacob Silbert (Baseball)

Steven J Zeider Memorial Swimming Award – Max Dempsey

James Dunleavy Memorial Hockey Award – Dylan Raver

Mark E. Greco Memorial Hockey Award – Justin Miller

Jeremy Saxe Memorial Scholarship – Dane DeYoung

Thomas J. Ross Memorial Manager Award – Benjamin Martin (Baseball)

Director of Athletics Recognition Award – Benjamin Martin (Provided Livestreaming)

Athlete of the Year Award – Male – Julian “JuJu” Stevens (Baseball)

Athlete of the Year Award – Female – Payton Rahn (Field Hockey)

Amity Coaches Association Awards:

Coach of the Year Award – AJ Raccio (Undefeated, SCC Champ Boys Lax)

Assistant Coach of the Year Award – Patricia Salvatti (Field Hockey)

Outstanding Service Award – Athletic Trainer Kimberly Pearce

Booster Club Service Award – None

Booster Club President Award – None

Retired Coaches – None

 

65th Annual Block A Awards Presented

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News, Sports  Comments Off on 65th Annual Block A Awards Presented
Jun 152021
 

After a disappointing 2019-2020 school year for high school athletes, when the Annual Block A Award Ceremony took place virtually and winners had to wait until their drive-thru graduation to receive their plaques and trophies, This year’s modified in-person event was a breath of fresh air.

Although there was no dinner, and everyone still had to wear face masks, at least the Amity Athletes had the experience of hearing their names and receiving their awards directly from their coaches in front of their peers and parents.

The ceremony took place in the Amity auditorium on Sunday, June 13, at 5 p.m. For anyone who couldn’t make it, or didn’t have an invitation, the event was live-streamed and is now available to anyone on YouTube.

Athletic Director Ernie Goodwin hosted the event.

Here are the 2020-2021 MVPs

* = not present, no photo

Baseball – McAllister (Mac) Burke

Boys Basketball – Micah Morgan

Girls Basketball – Mya Manzione

Cheerleading – Emily Martocchio

Dance – Ella Benjamin

Boys Cross Country – Mason Beaudette

Girls Cross Country – Ariana Garay

Field Hockey – Payton Rahn

Football – No Season

Boys Golf – Brett Chodos

Girls Golf – Ava Gross

Boys Ice Hockey – Justin Miller

Girls Ice Hockey – Caroline Cadelina

Boys Indoor Track & Field – Philip London

Girls Indoor Track & Field – Abigail (Abby) Ball

Boys Lacrosse – John Coughlin (Middie)

Girls Lacrosse – Payton Rahn (goalie)

Boys Ski Racing – Evan Jurzyk

Girls Ski Racing – Madeline Key

Boys Soccer – Arian Bobi*

Girls Soccer – Audrey Marin

Softball – Juliette Zito

Boys Swimming & Diving – Seamus Hennesy

Girls Swimming & Diving – Natalie Carrington

Boys Tennis – Nishaan Patel*

Girls Tennis – Sydney Pitter*

Boys Track & Field – Mason Beaudette

Girls Track & Field – Emily Zielinski

Boys Volleyball – Theodore (Theo) Zaharewicz*

Girls Volleyball – Zoe Dizenzo*

Wrestling – No Season

JuJu’s Choice: Major League Baseball Or Full Ride College Scholarship?

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News, Sports  Comments Off on JuJu’s Choice: Major League Baseball Or Full Ride College Scholarship?
Jun 142021
 

The last time I can remember major league baseball scouts clamoring to see an Amity Baseball phenomenon was back in 2018 when catcher Pat Winkel graced the Amity field.

Winkel had it all, he could catch, throw, bat, and run like the wind.

Coach Sal Coppola was by his side when they got the call, the New York Yankees had picked Winkel in the draft. He wasn’t chosen in the early rounds, from what I understand, because the Yanks knew Winkel was going to choose college and playing baseball with his brother Chris, at UCONN over the major leagues. But they wanted him to know that he was wanted.

This year, even with the shortened season and crazy restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, another Amity player with the same skills and character as Winkel caught the attention of spectators and scouts.

Coppola’s phone rang, and although he didn’t know if it would be the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Royals, or any of the other desirable top teams, this call was from the San Diego Padres, and they are interested in Julian “JuJu” Stevens.

After Sunday’s Block A Sports Award Ceremony I asked Julian, this year’s Athlete of the Year if he’d choose the Major Leagues or College.

“I still have time to decide,” he said, “but I’ll let everyone know what I’m doing.”

This young man is as polite and soft-spoken as he is talented. Whatever he chooses to do, I know he will come out on top. He is so smart and has the support of his family, coach, team, and friends.

I wish him all the best now and in the future.

Best Of The Best Student Athletes Honored Today

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News, Sports, Today's Events  Comments Off on Best Of The Best Student Athletes Honored Today
Jun 132021
 

A shot from the last actual Block A Dinner in 2019. (Mark Greco Memorial Hockey Award)

Every year exemplary student-athletes are honored at the BLOCK A Ceremony. 

Normally, the event includes a dinner, but with COVID restrictions just recently being lifted, this year’s 65th Annual Awards will be distributed in the Amity High School Auditorium.

Last year, sadly, because of the pandemic, the BLOCK A Awards was a virtual event, and the recipients received their trophies and plaques during the graduation procession — It was pretty much a drive-thru commencement that took place over a number of days. Athletic Director Ernie Goodwin was the last stop before the graduates were announced and got their diplomas.

I am so happy that these hard-working athletes will be given a proper ceremony this year.

This is an invitation-only event.

Orange Live will post a list of all of the winners and their photos by tomorrow morning. 

 

 

Amity’s Outdoor Production Of Anastasia — Still Some Tickets Left

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on Amity’s Outdoor Production Of Anastasia — Still Some Tickets Left
Jun 092021
 

Amity High School is proud to present the Broadway musical, Anastasia.

Anastasia is the story of Anya (Grace Blanchard), an orphan in 1920s St. Petersburg yearning to discover her lost family.

She encounters two men — ex-aristocrat Vlad (Nicholas Matalote) and the strapping conman Dmitri (Ryan Kennedy) — who convince her she just might be Anastasia, the Romanov duchess rumored to have survived the Russian Revolution.

Together, they flee to Paris, where they hope to present Anya to the exiled Dowager Empress (Olivia Sceppa), Anastasia’s grandmother, who happens to be offering a reward to anyone who finds her granddaughter.

Anastasia is a musical for the whole family! And… for the first time ever the show will be presented outdoors to provide a safer environment for our audience.

Tickets for our outdoor production of Anastasia the Musical are Now On Sale!
June 16th-19th & 23rd-26th 2021
Click HERE for tickets
The remaining cast members and crew are:
Rylee Maxwell – Young Anastasia, Romanov, Greta Pedenski – Teen Anastasia, Romanov, McKenna Maxwell – Maria Romanov, Marfa, Michael Perrone – Count Leopold, Drunk 2, Kaitlyn Pryor – Drunk 4,
Ian Rosenay – Drunk 3, Harry Rosenay – Count Gregory, Victoria Pocwierz – Swan Lake Dancer, Corey Richards – Tsar Nicholas II, Sergei the Doorman, Drunk 1, Macie Cox Tsarina Alexandra, Jacob Ebert- Gorlinsky, Spencer Fiske – Count Ipolitof, Audrey Jurzyk – Olga Romanov, Dunya, Zola Kneeland – Tatiana Romanov, Paulina, Steven Rizzotti – Alexei Romanov, Antonia Tzepos – Countess Gregory, Brynn Weirsman – Countess Lily Malevsky – Malevitch, Nolan Young – Gleb Vaganov, Jenna Chizmadia – Swan Lake Dancer, Romanov Ensemble.
Also: Bolshevik ensemble — Rhian Alsgaaard, Bridget Browe, Maria Dalle Ave, Gillian Fuchs, Grace Kennedy, Grace Mahon, Zoe Smith, Ava Swain.
Romanov Ensemble — Molly Blair, Annika Lyngdal, Kasey Smith.
And Finally: Cassidy Smith – Stage Manager, Olivia Cheng – Assistant Stage Manager, and Ally Balocca – Costume Crew Head.
TICKETS
Although Amity Musicals traditionally sell out, there are still tickets available for every performance (especially the two Saturday matinee shows).
Click HERE and get your tickets now!
Ticket availability Week One
On opening night, Wednesday, June 16 (5) five seats are available
There are 13 seats available on Thursday, June 17
On Friday, June 18, there are 9 available seats.
There are many seats available for the 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, June 19 and 31 seats for the 7:30 evening performance.
Ticket availability Week Two
There are plenty of seats, (27) available on Wednesday, June 23
On Thursday, June 24, there are still 15 seats available
On Friday, June 25, 19 seats are available.
There are numerous seats available for the 2 p.m. Saturday matinee on June 26.
On Closing Night, there are still 15 seats available for the 7:30 p.m. show.

 

Jun 022021
 

The Amity Varsity Sports Season is drawing to a close with a few more games and the CIAC Championship meets and games.

We wish our Spartans and Lady Spartans all the best as they battle to stay on top and come home with the title.

Wednesday, June 2

Girls Tennis vs New Canaan HOME at Amity Tennis Courts at 3 p.m.

Softball vs Newtown HOME at Amity at 4 p.m.

Boys Lacrosse vs Xavier HOME at Amity Field 3 at 4:30 p.m.

Boys Volleyball vs Trumbull AWAY at Trumbull High School at 5 p.m.

Next Week

Monday, June 7

Boys Golf CIAC Div1 Golf Championship AWAY Tallwood CC at 8 a.m.

Wednesday, June 9

Girls Golf CIAC Div1 Golf Championship AWAY Grassy Hill CC at 8:30 a.m.

Boys Outdoor Track CIAC Open Boys Outdoor Track Championship AWAY Willow Brook Park at 1:30 p.m.

Girls Outdoor Track CIAC Open Girls Outdoor Track Championship AWAY Willow Brook Park at 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 12

Boys Golf CIAC State Open Golf Championship AWAY Black Hall Club at 1 p.m.

Girls Golf CIAC State Open Golf Championship AWAY Black Hall Club at 1 p.m.

 

 

Orange Memorial Day Ceremony Rainy Weather Style

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May 302021
 

The Memorial Day Ceremony at the gazebo is a treasured tradition in the town of Orange. The Memorial Day Committee works tirelessly for months to plan the events, from who the honored veterans will be to inviting town and state dignitaries and putting together the marching order for the parade.

So when Mother Nature sticks her nose into the mix and decides to rain on the parade, the committee has to quickly change the logistics — move the very important ceremony indoors — inform the public that there won’t be a parade, and ensure that the building custodian is available at the conclusion of the ceremony.

 

This year, longtime chairman Kevin Gilbert, who ran the events for decades, took a step back and handed the reigns over to Kellie Martino. Oh, Kevin is still a part of the planning but he is happy to see things run so smoothly with a new chairman at the helm. “She did a wonderful job, thinking to do things we’ve never done before,” Gilbert said. “Like the Facebook page.”

Martino brought the Committee into the 21st century, introducing an Orange Memorial Day Parade Facebook page to which everyone could refer for information and last-minute updates, such as posting the parade cancellation at 8:30 a.m.

The indoor ceremony was last-minute indeed, but very well organized and well attended. The Orange Police Honor Guard, accompanied by Chief Robert Gagne and Assistant Chief Max Martins were present. Members of Orange CERT, a scout troop, and the American Legion Post 127 Honor Guard also attended. The entire rear corner of the Community Center Gym was filled by the rank and file of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.

Many veterans filled the seats, that were spaced a “safe distance” apart. Some in the audience wore masks, others did not.

The ceremony followed the regular schedule, invocation; Pledge of Allegiance; Diane Raikis’s beautiful rendition of the National Anthem; comments from First Selectman Jim Zeoli, then the introductions of, and comments by the three honored veterans — Grand Marshal Dr. Norman Marieb Lt. MCUSNR US Navy 1961-63, Chief of Staff Kevin Hadlock Lt. US Navy 1971-74, and Honored Veteran Louis Eagle SP4 US Army 1960-63.

Our lawmakers came next: Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and former House Republican Leader Themis Klarides.

They were followed by Keynote speaker Chris Carvath, an attorney who also serves on the Orange Police Commission.

Anna May Pieger, the president of the Post #127 Auxiliary presented the sons of Al Pol and Richard Manley the sashes that their fathers wore in past parades.

One staple of the ceremony is the student essay winners’ reading of their winning submissions. The subject of the 2021 essay was “Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?”

The winners, one from each Orange elementary school were Armaan Shrivastav, Chloe Chang and Avery French. Their essays won the approving nods of the veterans in attendance.

Rosa DeLauro and Richard Blumenthal both took copies of the essays to enter into the state’s congressional and senate records.

New this year, was the Memorial Day Program Cover Contest. The winner of the inaugural contest was student Avery Alves.

Fred O’Brien read the names of every Orange veteran who passed away between May 2019 to May 2021.

Kevin McKeon played Taps as the veterans stood at attention and saluted.

The ceremony concluded with a benediction from Antoinette Hudgens.

It was wonderful to see so many families come out to honor the brave men and women who helped to secure our freedom.