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And The Nominees Are:

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Jun 012019
 

Once again, the Amity Creative Theater’s excellent spring musical production received several nominations for the High School Musical Awards – The Sondheim Awards
If you were lucky enough to see this year’s show, “Catch Me If You Can,” you will most likely agree with the judges on their choices:
Best Actor Marty Gnidula – Carl Hanratty 
Best Actor Ryan Kennedy – Frank Abagnale Jr.
Best Supporting Actress Sophia Halepas – Carol Strong (Brenda’s mom)
Student Assoc. Costume Design Abby Slanski
Student Assoc. Lighting Design Micheal DeCesare
Best Choreography Andrea Kennedy
Best Direction Andrea & Robert Kennedy
Best Musical

The winners will be announced at the Shubert Theater in New Haven on Monday, June 3.

 

Tonight’s The Night, Amity Talent Shoots For The Moon

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Jun 042018
 

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.

 

 

 

Audiences Give The Addams Family Two Snaps Up

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Apr 082018
 

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. 

 

Amity Wins 2 of 14 Nominated High School Musical Theater Awards — Plus One Big Bonus

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Jun 022015
 

Ryan Kennedy was honored for his work as young Tarzan.

Ryan Kennedy was honored for his work as young Tarzan.

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.

Presenter Connor Deane greets winner Andrea Kennedy.

Presenter Connor Deane greets winner Andrea Kennedy.

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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 11.59.00 PMBut 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.”

Feb 192015
 

Ryan Kennedy as Young Tarzan.

Ryan Kennedy as Young Tarzan.

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.