Area schools, students recognized for musicals

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Beloit Memorial High School, Beloit Turner High School and Parkview High School all received honors from the 2012 Tommy Awards for Outstanding Musicals.

Beloit Memorial High School (BMHS) received Outstanding Musical for its production of “Urinetown.”

This was the third annual Tommy Awards and the second time BMHS participated in the program, said BMHS theater director Greg Wallendal.

“This year 42 schools and two community groups participated,” Wallendal said. “We were one of 10 schools to receive the award of Outstanding Musical.”

Six students also received individual awards: Outstanding Lead went to Cole McMillan (as Bobby Strong); Outstanding Supporting Role went to Aaron Crary (as Officer Lockstock); and Outstanding Supporting Role went to Emily Gianvecchio (as Little Sally).

Honorable Mention Lead went to Sydney Winchester (as Hope Cladwell); and Honorable Mention Supporting role went to Lindsay Crouch (as Penelope Pennywise) and Javar Thomas (as Caldwell B. Cladwell).

BMHS’s theater group will perform a six-minute medley of Urinetown songs at the awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Sunday on stage at the Overture Center in Madison.

In the judge’s overall production summary, it said "Urinetown" can be a risk because the sardonic and ironic nature of the show is difficult to pull off. However, judges said BMHS created a provocative yet entertaining show and “had the audience in the palm of their hand.”

“I worked with an incredibly outstanding team of dedicated staff and students, built on trust and collaboration, from the costumes, set, lighting, choreography, and all the long hours of drilling each part into a unified whole,” Wallendall said. “I give my kudos to my production team and my students.”

Beloit Turner won a Tommy Award for “Les Miserables.” Turner's own Sam Burns was chosen as the sole Outstanding Lead Actor representative from the state of Wisconsin for a national competition in New York City based on his efforts in the production. He played Jean Valjean, the prominent role. When he auditioned at the Overture Center, he competed with 11 other Wisconsin Tommy winners.

The National High School Musical Theatre Awards are called the Jimmys and the awards ceremony is a high school version of the Tonys. Burns will go to New York City near the end of June to compete against the best from around the country, said Timothy Rosenthal, choral music director and drama director for the middle and high schools.

Lori Burns said her son will attend classes and receive coaching in preparation for the national competition.

Alex Taylor also was recognized as an Outstanding Lead Performer; Halley Crave was recognized as an Outstanding Supporting Performer; and Taylor Smith was given Honorable Mention as an Outstanding Supporting Performer.

Parkview Superintendent Steve Lutzke was pleased to announce Parkview High School received the Best Show award in the Tommy Awards for the school’s production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." The production also included elementary and junior high school students.

The production was directed by Jim Tropp. The Outstanding Lead Performer Award was given to senior Hunter Copeland. Outstanding Supporting Performer Award was given to senior Nathar Flood-Elyafi, and Secondary Outstanding Performer Award was given to junior Charlie Thole. Honorable Mention for Lead Performer was given to sophomore Mina Wise.

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