Monday, December 11, 2023

Local school musicals score big again as nominees for Proctors awards

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor

Yet again, local schools are big nominees in Proctors Theatre’s Capital Region High School Musical Theater Awards.

First sibling nominees? Delaney Sano and her big brother Carter Sano are up for best supporting actress and best actor in Queensbury High School’s Shrek the Musical.

Best Musical nominees include Queensbury’s Shrek The Musical, Glens Falls’ The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and South Glens Falls’ Tuck Everlasting.

Individual nominees include Carter & Delaney Sano of Queensbury, I believe they’re the first sibling nominees in the awards’ seven-year history.

Carter, a senior, is one of six regional Best Actor nominees for the lead role as Shrek. His sister Delaney is nominated for Best Supporting Actress as Gingy.

South Glens Falls senior Eva Reese is nominated as Best Actress for her role as Winnie Foster in Tuck Everlasting.

Much is at stake: The Best Actor and Best Actress winners go on to the national Jimmy Awards on Broadway in New York City, in June.

Winners will be announced at a Tony Awards-style glittery tops-and-tails extravaganza at Proctors, beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday night, May 13.

The energy is through the roof, both sides of the footlights.

On stage: Show-stopping numbers by all nine Best Musical nominees; short solo performances by best actor and best actress nominees; eye-popping opening and closing numbers featuring actors from all 22 participating schools, which also include locally Fort Ann, Whitehall, Schuylerville and Saratoga Springs.

Note: Hudson Falls, a perennial winner, was not part of this year’s program. The school auditorium is under renovation. Their storied troupe performed a student cabaret at the Strand Theater, rather than a full musical.

Winners give short thank-you speeches, typically heartfelt, sometimes teary.

The extravaganza clips along efficiently, overseen by Proctors chief Phillip Morris and a bevy of adult emcee-presenters.

Our local schools have sent several winners on to the Jimmys, and brought the house down numerous years with winning Best Musical performances.

Queensbury’s six nominations for Shrek also include Best Ensemble, Best Choreography and Best Set Design. Notably, a student — senior Kendra Jones — was lead choreographer.

South Glens Falls’ Tuck was also nominated for Choreography, Set Construction and Technical Execution.

Glens Falls’s Spelling Bee is also up for Best Ensemble, Choreography, Set Construction and Technical Execution.

Adjudicators who attend and score participating shows select the nominees.

The system is not without its faults: Queensbury and Glens Falls both earned their “Ensemble” nominations, but I wish a bunch more actors from both schools had received individual nods.

Spelling Bee doesn’t have a single lead but wow, so many in the cast had breakthrough moments — Macklin McGrath, Sophia Plante, Shane LaBounty and Sofia Rice. And that leaves out about a half-dozen other superlative performances.

Likewise in Queensbury, I’d have liked to see Adam Spero, remarkable as Lord Farquaad, and Avery Magee, feisty as Donkey, receive further recognition.

I’m thrilled we’ll get to see all three Best Musical Nominees again, Queensbury reprising “Let Your Freak Flag Fly” from Shrek, Glens Falls in “Magic Foot” from Spelling Bee, and South Glens Falls in a number TBD from Tuck Everlasting.

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