The First Annual Stephen Sondheim Awards Show took place at the Schubert Theater in New Haven on Monday night.
The show was run more like the National “Jimmy” High School Musical Awards rather than the old CT High School Musical Theater Awards show. Instead of having each Best Actor and Best Actress nominee sing a full 3-4 minute solo of one of the songs from the show. Early in the show, ALL of the Best Actor nominees came onstage together, and one by one shared a portion of their song for about 1 minute, then joined the rest as background singers. Later the Best Actress nominees did the same.
Last weekend, the 14 Actors and Actresses were treated to a three-day intense workshop, during which they worked with professional choreographers, actors and singers and went over every aspect of stage performance. The boys’ and girls’ group routines were developed at this workshop. And, as the Best Actor winner stated in his acceptance speech, they all became friends. There was no rivalry whatsoever and they were cheering for their peers.
Amity High School’s production of “The Addams Family” was up for 8 nominations.
Our wonderful Marty Gnidula was quite the standout as Uncle Fester performing onstage with 6 other Best Actor nominees. He stayed in character and made everyone laugh with the brilliantly executed choreography.
Alaina Dwyer and Lilli Querker joined 5 other Best Actress nominees and both were just fabulous.
The cast of the Addams Family, in my opinion, was the most together ensemble of all the Best Musical Nominees. They nailed it.
So, as you go down the list you will notice that of the 8 nominations, Amity only brought home 1 (one) award. Were they disappointed? Upset? Keep reading until you see just what they won.
Best Scenic Design
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
Best Costume Design
Sophie Howard – Footloose – Darien High School
Kira Turlington – Heathers – Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School
Marissa Proto – The Addams Family – Amity Regional High School
Best Lighting Design
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
Best Supporting Actor
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
Best Supporting Actress
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
Marty Gnidula – Addams Family – Uncle Fester – Amity 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
Teah Renzi – Les Miserables – Eponine – Newtown 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
Yes, that’s right, folks, we are thrilled to announce that Amity earned its SECOND “BEST MUSICAL AWARD” (one for the CT High School Musical Theater Awards and one for the inaugural Stephen Sondheim Awards). That’s the big Kahoona, the prize of all prizes, the most coveted award of all. And Everyone from the parents to Principal Anna Mahon, to the actors and directors, were beaming with pride at the end of the show.
Darien High School, appears to have been the big winner of the night with multiple awards, followed by Shelton High School, but the BIG ONE belongs to Amity.
Aside from going to the National Competition in New York City later this month, Best Actor winner Cooper Cardone and Best Actress Winner Teah Renzi each received a scholarship to the BMA Summer Camp — It will be a very exciting summer for both of these wonderfully talented students. We wish them the best in the future.
This was a very good night, indeed. Thank you again to Orange Native, Amity Alum Connor Deane and his Broadway Method Academy for bringing a High School Musical Awards Night back to Connecticut.