If you missed the announcements, you might not have seen Avonworth Drama’s high number of nominations for the major high school theatre arts competition in Western PA: The Gene Kelly Awards.
The AHS spring musical production of Grand Hotel has earned six Gene Kelly Awards nominations. “Sweeney Todd,” Avonworth’s 2012 musical, was the last production to receive so many nominations.
The six nominations are:
Best Musical, which Avonworth Drama most recently won for “Phantom of the Opera,” their 2013 production.
Best Costume, which last year’s musical, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” was nominated for and won.
Best Lighting, which Avonworth has not been nominated for since “Sweeney Todd.”
Best Vocal Ensemble, a category that Avonworth has never been nominated for before.
Best Crew/Technical Execution and Best Orchestra are also categories Avonworth has never been nominated for. “Grand Hotel” is the first time the orchestra had enough students to qualify for the Gene Kelly nomination.
Finally, Anna Boothby is a nominee for the Outstanding Student Artist Award for being both the student lighting head and an onstage role replacement. She received notice that she would be covering the role of Sandor two weeks prior to the show. Boothby would perform onstage, then promptly leave the backstage area to go back up to the lighting booth.
Freshman Paxon Masters, who played Otto Kringelein, was a semi-finalist for Best Supporting Actor, though he did not receive a nomination.
The cast will perform a number from “Grand Hotel” on the Benedum stage at the Gene Kelly Awards on May 27th.