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Mount's Musical Nominated for Rising Star Awards

High school nominees will learn the winners at a gala in June at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn.

Mount Saint Dominic Academy’s spring musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, has been nominated for two Rising Star Awards by the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn.

The nominations are for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Vito Fiore as “Aldolpho”) and Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction (David Modero). The winners will be announced at a gala on Tuesday, June 5 at the theater.

The also received five honorable mentions.

This year, the top nominated high schools are Summit High School with 18 nominations, followed by Westfield High School with 12, Gill St. Bernard’s School with 11, Nutley High School with nine and Cranford High School, Don Bosco Prep High School and Union High School with eight nominations each.

“There is a new energy and level of excitement in high school musical theater right now,” Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director, stated in a release. “Due to television programs like Fox’s Glee and NBC’s Smash, there is a new, invigorated interest and enthusiasm surrounding these projects.”

The Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards—presented by the Investors Foundation—is modeled after the Tony Awards and serves the entire state of New Jersey with nearly 100 productions entered from public, private and parochial high schools.

Paper Mill Playhouse conceived and created the awards in 1996 to give schools the opportunity to showcase their musical arts programs on a state level. 

The musicals are adjudicated by Paper Mill Playhouse throughout the spring by a group of 70 Evaluators, with each school receiving four independent evaluations.

Since its inception, the program has ignited the careers of many notable performers, including Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway, Tony Award winner Laura Benanti and 2011 Tony Award winner Nikki M. James.

2012 Rising Star Awards Final Nominations and Honorable Mentions:

Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical

Final Nominations

  • Don Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES
  • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I
  • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
  • Nutley HS, CABARET
  • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!
  • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM
  • Westfield HS, PIPPIN

Honorable Mentions

  • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I
  • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE
  • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Final Nominations

  • Absegami HS, INTO THE WOODS, Morgan Kirner as “Cinderella”
  • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, Erica Morreale as “Rose Alvarez”
  • Don Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, Courtney Kofoed as “Betty Blake Rogers”
  • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I, Sarah Cheatham as “Anna Leonowens"
  • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Jessica Kundla as “Deirdre Peregrine/Rosa Bud”
  • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Savannah Schechter as “Alice Nutting/Edwin Drood”
  • Sayreville War Memorial HS, JEKYLL & HYDE, Maggie Bera as “Lucy Harris”

Honorable Mentions

  • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Lina Smorra as “Janet Van De Graff”
  • Nutley HS, CABARET, Sarah Cetrulo as “Sally Bowles”
  • Saddle River Day School, GYPSY, Skylar Gottlieb as “Rose”

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Final Nominations

  • Hillsborough HS, TITANIC, Scott Cesta as “Frederick Barrett”
  • Montclair Kimberley Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Edward Rosini as “Man in Chair”
  • Ridge HS, THE SECRET GARDEN, Nick Siccone as “Archibald Craven”
  • Sayreville War Memorial HS, JEKYLL & HYDE, Michael Ferlita as “Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde”
  • St. Joseph Regional HS, CABARET, Connor Briggs as “Emcee”
  • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM, Darius J. Lee as “Pseudolous”
  • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Matt Lynn as “Pippin”

Honorable Mentions

  • Immaculata HS, LES MISERABLES, Matthew LeBoeuf as “Jean Valjean”
  • Morris Knolls HS, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Kevin Washington as “Man in Chair”
  • Mount Olive HS, THE SECRET GARDEN, Kevin Scimecca as “Archibald Craven”

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Final Nominations

  • Fair Lawn HS, NINE, Ilana Kitaigorodsky as “Claudia”
  • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Jana Bernard as “Angela Prysock/Princess Puffer”
  • Nutley HS, CABARET, Taylor Lockwood as “Fraulein Schneider”
  • Princeton Day School, THE SECRET GARDEN, Kalyn Altmeyer as “Martha Sowerby”
  • Robbinsville HS, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, Abby Coggins as “Mrs. Meers”
  • Somerville HS, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, Caitlin Cimino as “Lina Lamont“
  • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Lynsey Newsham as “Ado Annie”        

Honorable Mentions

  • Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing Arts, DREAMGIRLS, Cindy Edwards as “Lorrell Robinson”
  • Union County Academy for Performing Arts, LITTLE WOMEN, Morgan Kelleher as “Amy March”
  • Westwood Reg. Jr./Sr. HS, URINETOWN, Gabby DeNola as “Little Sally”

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Final Nominations

  • Bloomfield HS, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, Jarred Lee as “Pontius Pilate”
  • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I, Christopher Cortes as “Lun Tha“
  • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Vito Fiore as “Aldolpho”
  • Peddie School, INTO THE WOODS, Mason Quilty as “Cinderella's Prince”
  • Princeton HS, CITY OF ANGELS, Harrison Kaufman as “Buddy Fidler”
  • Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy, AIDA, Wakeem Jones as “Mereb”
  • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Geoff Ko as “King Charlemagne”

Honorable Mentions

  • Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing Arts , DREAMGIRLS, Damien Otchere as “James ‘Thunder’ Early”
  • Morris Hills HS, INTO THE WOODS, Kevin Nguyen as “Cinderella's Prince/Wolf”
  • Rahway HS, 42ND STREET, Nate Figueroa as “Billy Lawlor”

Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role

Final Nominations

  • Academy of the Holy Angels, FOOTLOOSE, Alexandra Ann Pagnozzi as “Rusty”
  • Bloomfield HS, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, Aziz Naouai as “Simon Zealotes”
  • Don Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, Jaclyn Scerbak as “Ziegfeld's Favorite”
  • Moorestown HS, THE WEDDING SINGER, Alex Loftus as “Linda”
  • Point Pleasant Borough HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, Bridget Flanagan as “Mrs. Mae Peterson”
  • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Sam Goodstein as “Ali Hakim”
  • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Rebecca Skowron as “Berthe”

Honorable Mentions

  • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I, Sasha Paulovich as “Eliza”
  • Cumberland Regional HS, DISNEY'S BEAUTY & THE BEAST, Tyler Daddario as “Cogsworth”
  • Nutley HS, CABARET, Evan Patoray as “Ernst Ludwig”

Outstanding Performance by a Featured Ensemble Group

Final Nominations

  • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I, “The Small House of Uncle Thomas”
  • Cedar Grove HS, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, “The Gangsters”
  • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, “The Sweet Apple Teens”
  • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I, “The Small House of Uncle Thomas”
  • Newton HS, SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL, “The Wickersham Brothers”
  • Nutley HS, CABARET, “The Kit Kat Girls”
  • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM , “The Courtesans”

Honorable Mentions

  • Immaculata HS, LES MISERABLES, “The Students”
  • Point Pleasant Borough HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, “The Sweet Apple Teens”
  • Princeton HS, CITY OF ANGELS, “The Angel City 5”

Outstanding Performance by a Chorus

Final Nominations

  • Bloomfield HS, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
  • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE
  • Don Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES
  • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
  • Rahway HS, 42ND STREET
  • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!
  • Westfield HS, PIPPIN

Honorable Mentions

  • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I
  • Hillsborough HS, TITANIC
  • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra

Final Nominations

  • Howell HS, CABARET
  • Mount Olive HS, THE SECRET GARDEN
  • Princeton HS, CITY OF ANGELS
  • Ridge HS, THE SECRET GARDEN
  • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!
  • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM
  • Westfield HS, PIPPIN

Honorable Mentions

  • Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing Arts, DREAMGIRLS
  • Paramus HS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC
  • Somerville HS, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN

Outstanding Achievement by a Teacher or Outside Director

Final Nominations

  • Don Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, Jodi Capeless
  • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I, Gregg Molotsky
  • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Paul H. Canada
  • Nutley HS, CABARET, Michael Cundari
  • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Anne Poyner
  • Union HS, A FUNNY…FORUM, James Mosser
  • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Daniel Devlin

Honorable Mentions

  • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I, Victoria Pero
  • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, Michelle Massa
  • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Dr. Darren Gage

Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction

Final Nominations

  • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I, Katy Akinskas & John Stanz
  • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Amy & David Southerland
  • Mount Olive HS, THE SECRET GARDEN, Matthew Vancini
  • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, David Modero
  • Northern Highlands Reg. HS, THE WEDDING SINGER, Thomas Paster, Eugene Ryman & Theodora Sotiropoulos
  • Nutley HS, CABARET, Michael Cundari & Nicole Monte
  • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Wayne Mallette & Steve Rapp

Honorable Mentions

  •  Jackson Memorial HS, THE MUSIC MAN, Edmund Roberston & Jason M. Diaz
  • Midland Park Junior/Senior HS, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Donna Halliwell & Ilya Maslov
  • Morris Knolls HS, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Michael Semancik & Dan Schartz

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography and Staging

Final Nominations

  • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I, Laurie Crochet, Claudia Huelibig-Stein & Leanne Velednitsky
  • Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, Kimberly Galberaith
  • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Margery Schiesswohl
  • Nutley HS, CABARET, Elliott Bradley & Eric Wdowiak
  • Rahway HS, 42ND STREET, Alison Dooley
  • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Kelly Mott-Sacks
  • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Samantha Hahn

Honorable Mentions

  • Columbia HS, WEST SIDE STORY, Tricia Benn & Bethany Pettigrew
  • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I, Felix Hess
  • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM, Jennifer Williams

Outstanding Scenic Achievement

Final Nominations

  • Absegami HS, INTO THE WOODS, Peter Avagliano & Stephanie Clineman
  • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Paul H. Canada
  • Jackson Memorial HS, THE MUSIC MAN, Jamie Allaire, Gina Gagliano & Jessee Maline
  • Peddie School, INTO THE WOODS, Carrie Ballenger
  • Princeton HS, CITY OF ANGELS, Jacob Van Buren
  • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Travis McHale
  • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM, Scott Aronow

Honorable Mentions

  • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, Lynn C. Berry
  • Madison HS, THE WIZARD OF OZ, Brian Lynch
  • Nutley HS, CABARET, James Gardner

Outstanding Lighting Achievement

Final Nominations

  • Fair Lawn HS, NINE, Travis McHale
  • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Joseph Skowronski
  • Madison HS, THE WIZARD OF OZ, Brian Lynch
  • Princeton Day School, THE SECRET GARDEN, Joshua Benghiat
  • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Travis McHale
  • Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy, AIDA, Arianna Roman
  • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM, Justin Partier

Honorable Mentions

  • Nutley HS, CABARET, James Gardner
  • Peddie School, INTO THE WOODS, Charles S. Reece
  • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Lisa & Michael Kimmell

Outstanding Costuming Achievement

Final Nominations

  • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I, Terry Thiry, Victoria Pero & Janet Adamo
  • Don Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, Kathleen Martorano & Nancy Reynolds
  • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Paul H. Canada & Beth Holland
  • Princeton Day School, THE SECRET GARDEN, Deb Sugarman
  • Rumson-Fair Haven Reg. HS, JEKYLL & HYDE, Carole Malik
  • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Katherine Winter
  • Wallkill Valley Reg. HS, DISNEY'S BEAUTY & THE BEAST, Christine Molnar

Honorable Mentions

  • Hillsborough HS, TITANIC, Mae Boucher-Langdon
  • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Carissa Caruso & Scaramouche Costumes, Inc.
  • Newton HS, SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL, Greta Nappa

Outstanding Hair and Make-up Achievement

Final Nominations

  • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I, James Huelbig & Backstage Brigade
  • Madison HS, THE WIZARD OF OZ, Nancy Dugan & Maryann Post
  • Nutley HS, CABARET, Joanne Kirk & Nicole Monte
  • Princeton Day School, THE SECRET GARDEN, Deborah Sugarman & Gretchen Murtha
  • Rahway HS, 42ND STREET, not listed
  • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Leslie Coates, Arlene Patrick & Haley Coates
  • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Alexa Derman

Honorable Mentions

  • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, Michelle Massa
  • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Venus Nedd & Lee Amoroso
  • Rumson-Fair Haven Reg. HS, JEKYLL & HYDE, not listed

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design

Final Nominations

  • Madison HS, THE WIZARD OF OZ, David Jones & Caryn Elefante
  • Morristown HS, SWEET CHARITY, Brian Kievning
  • Mount Olive HS, THE SECRET GARDEN, France Van Stone
  • Nutley HS, CABARET, Carla Cucinotta & Natasha Redmond
  • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Paul Buckley & Rona Machlin
  • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM, Paul Gaschler
  • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Asher Horowitz

Honorable Mentions

  • Hillsborough HS, TITANIC, LFS Printing
  • Howell HS, CABARET, not listed,
  • Montclair Kimberley Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Lainey Bukowiec
Allison Freeman May 16, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Judges from the Paper Mill Playhouse’s Rising Star Awards also nominated the West Essex Regional High School Masquers’ production of Disney’s “High School Musical: On Stage!” for its “Inclusion and Access Award” for the senior citizen tea, which also involves the West Essex Culinary Arts program and music students. This is the first time the Masquers have participated in the awards program, which is like a Tony Awards program for New Jersey’s High School Musical theater. If the Masquers win, the group will receive a $1,000 award. The winners will be announced June 5.

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