Metro Awards: Our live blog put you at the show (2024)

Table of Contents
That's a wrap! Metro Award for overall production Metro Award for leading actress Metro Award for leading actor Metro Award for director All rise Metro Award for supporting actress Metro Award for supporting actor Metros performance: Archbishop Stepinac’s “Catch Me If You Can” Metro Award for featured role Metro Award for an ensemble group Metro Award for female cameo role Metro Award for male cameo role Metros performance: Bergen County Academies Metro Award for female vocal performance Metro Award for male vocal performance Metro Award for chorus Metro Award for child performer Metro Award for scenic design Metros performance: Actresses in a leading role Metro Award for music direction Metro Award for duet Metro Award for lighting design Metros performance: Harrison’s “Mean Girls: School Edition” Metro Award for production number Metro Award for costume design Metro Award for technical merit Metros performance: Brewster’s “Anything Goes” Metro Award for acting performance by a female-identifying performer Metro Award for acting performance by a male-identifying performer Metro Award for hair and makeup design Metro Award for stage crew Metros performance: Actors in a leading role Metro Award for female dance performance Metro Award for male dance performance Metro Award for choreography Metros performance: St. Joseph Regional’s “Les Miserables: School Edition” Metro Award for small group number Metro Award for student critic Metro Award for outstanding student pit musician Metro Award for outstanding student orchestra Metros performance: Northern Valley/Old Tappan’s “CATS” Metro Award for female comedic performance Metro Award for male comedic performance Metro Award for graphic design Metro Award for Lobby Display Metros performance: Academy of the Holy Angels’ “Urinetown” Opening number Fresh from the red carpet Warmups This just in: Tonight's show order
  • The 25th anniversary Metro Awards take place June 10 from Purchase PAC
  • Lohud.com, the official media sponsor, will bring you every moment of the show and preshow honoring musicals from Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Bergen counties
  • Pre-show interviews start at 6 p.m.; the ceremony kicks off at 7:30. LIVE on lohud.com

That's a wrap!

Signing off from Purchase PAC, on a great night for musicals and high school theater. Some great tweaks this year, refinements that made for a more colleaguial night.

Metro Award for overall production

Nominees: Academy of the Holy Angels, all-girls Catholic school in Demarest, New Jersey, “Urinetown”; Archbishop Stepinac all-boys Catholic high school in White Plains, “Catch Me If You Can”; Bergen County Academies public magnet school in Hackensack, New Jersey, “Something Rotten!”; Brewster High School in Putnam County, for “Anything Goes”; Harrison High School in Westchester, for “Mean Girls: School Edition”; Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, for “Cats”; and St. Joseph Regional High School, and all-boys Catholic high school in Montvale, New Jersey, for “Les Miserables: School Edition.”

And the Metro goes to …

St. Joseph Regional High School for “Les Miserables: School Edition.”

An eruption from house right, as St. Joe's realizes the top award is theirs. Director John Asselta jogs to the stage. "Wow! I want to thank the Metros for this prestigious honor. Watching your performances tonight, I'm convinced you're just as worthy as us."

Asselta said the senior boys had been lobbying for "Les Miserables" for years, singing the songs as they walked by his office.

Metro Award for leading actress

Nominees: Brewster, Tessa Boissonnault as Reno Sweeney, “Anything Goes”; Dwight-Englewood, Sophia Vermés as Olive Ostrovsky, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”; Harrison, Jadyn Schwartz as Regina George, “Mean Girls”; Immaculate Heart Academy, Madeline Heinimann as Donna Sheridan, “Mamma Mia!”; Lyndhurst, Angelina Brennen as Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde”; Pelham, Maddy Lyons as The Witch, “Into the Woods”; Tappan Zee, Kiki Zervoudis as Sophie Sheridan, “Mamma Mia!”

And the Metro goes to …

Harrison’s Jadyn Schwartz as Regina George in “Mean Girls.”

Jadyn thanked her family and directors Meg Test and Deb Toteda and members of the Footlight Players for making her theater career what it was.

Metro Award for leading actor

Nominees: Archbishop Stepinac, Ryan Diaz as Carl Hanratty, “Catch Me If You Can”; Bergen County Academies, Christopher Bruno as Nick Bottom, “Something Rotten!”; Carmel, Sam Corry as J. Pierrepont Finch, “How to Succeed…”; Clarkstown North, Zach Degen as Gomez Addams, “The Addams Family”; Lakeland, Sebastian Goldstein as Billy Flynn, “Chicago: Teen Edition”; Ramsey, Nate Algor as Emmett Forrest, “Legally Blonde”; St. Joseph, Liam Fahey as Jean Valjean, “Les Misérables.”

And the Metro goes to …

Carmel’s Sam Corry as J. Pierrepont Finch in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

"Thank you for handing me this, JJ Niemann." He thanked his family and his perfect wonderful girlfriend and his first theater teacher.

Metro Award for director

Nominees: Academy of Holy Angels, Katie Collins, “Urinetown”;Archbishop Stepinac, Frank Portanova, “Catch Me If You Can”; Bergen County Academies, Victoria Pero, “Something Rotten!”; Clarkstown North, Ellen Condon Macy, “The Addams Family”; Pelham, Thomas Beck Jr. and Neil Schleifer, “Into the Woods”; Ramapo (NY), Rai Arsa Artha, “Urinetown”; Rutherford, Courtney McManus and Matthew Vaccaro, “The Lightning Thief”; St. Joseph, Marc David Wright, “Les Misérables.”

And the Metro goes to …

Academy of Holy Angels, Katie Collins, “Urinetown.”

Collins accepted the award from Zazzali. She is retiring from directing "so this is a wonderful way to say good-bye."

All rise

Standing O's for actors, crew, creative teams and parents

Metro Award for supporting actress

Nominees: Academy of Holy Angels, Eva Zazzali as Little Sally, “Urinetown”; Brewster, Emiko Dunn as Erma Latour, “Anything Goes”; Dobbs Ferry, Melanie Miadelets as Hodel, “Fiddler on the Roof”; Harrison, Tessa Marsico as Gretchen Weiners, “Mean Girls”; Nyack, Emma R. Van Dorpe as Rizzo, “Grease”; Rye, Sydnee Brown as Rosie Mulligan, “Mamma Mia!”; St. Joseph, Emily Kenny as Fantine, “Les Misérables.”

And the Metro goes to …

Academy of Holy Angels’ Eva Zazzali as Little Sally in “Urinetown.”

Eva seemed stunned as she clutched her teddy bear. "This is our director, Ms. (Katie) Collins, last show and we hope we made her proud."

Metro Award for supporting actor

Nominees: Academy of Holy Angels, Jack Laux as Caldwell B. Cladwell, “Urinetown”; Mamaroneck, Alexander Gross as Joseph Pulitzer, “Newsies”; Northern Valley/Old Tappan, Roman Gatti as Rum Tum Tugger, “Cats”; Nyack, Sawyer Ploski as Kenickie, “Grease”; Pelham, Liam Ginsburg as Jack, “Into the Woods”; Rye Neck, Riley Taylor as Gaston, “Beauty and the Beast”; St. Joseph, Derek Bedell as Marius, “Les Misérables.”

And the Metro goes to …

St. Joseph’s Derek Bedell as Marius in “Les Misérables.”

Derek congratulated his fellow nominees and thanked his fellow cast members, his vocal coaches and his friends.

Metros performance: Archbishop Stepinac’s “Catch Me If You Can”

Stepinac's medley from the musical about a high-flying conman starts with "Live In Living Color" and segues into "Fly Fly Away" from vocal winner Arianna Arocho and "Breaking All the Rules" from lead actor nominee Ryan Diaz.

Metro Award for featured role

Nominees: Academy of Holy Angels, James Coleman as Hot Blades Harry, “Urinetown”; Bergen County Academies, Daniel Lukatsky as The Minstrel, “Something Rotten!”; Clarkstown North, Gianna Maltbie as Pugsley Addams, “The Addams Family”; Don Bosco Prep, Salvatore Noble as Nicely-Nicely Johnson, “Guys and Dolls”; Hendrick Hudson, Addison Valentino as Flounder, “The Little Mermaid”; Northern Valley/Old Tappan, Sophia Ashbahian as Jellylorum, “Cats”; Somers, Angelina Pineiro as Pugsley Addams, “The Addams Family.”

The Metro goes to …

Northern Valley/Old Tappan’s Sophia Ashbahian as Jellylorum in “Cats.”

Sophia: "Theater and music are so important in schools. It's so important that we fight for them."

Metro Award for an ensemble group

Nominees: Bergen County Academies, Skylar Herman, Addie Maddela, and Olivia Rain McCarthy as Nostradamus, “Something Rotten!”; Blind Brook, Chloe Beal and Cassandra Brunetti as Ali and Lisa, “Mamma Mia!”; Fair Lawn, Mariella Galdieri, Michal Semory Gertler, and Rebecca Rosen as Pilar, Margot and Serena, “Legally Blonde”; North Rockland, Arianna Aguliar, Anya Andriyevsky, Eryn Arador, Erin Bertolino, Jaylyn Castro, Precious (Judy) Damas, Megan Debus, Aylynn Hernandez, Sarina Neset, Olivia Toussaint, Gia (Sage) Vincety as The Merry Murderesses, “Chicago”; Nyack, Augie Davi-Fiendella, Ian Duff, Asher Glass, Sawyer Ploski, and Trey Schloss as The Burger Palace Boys, “Grease”; Rye Neck, Anaïs Brown, Donna Costanz, Abigail Flynn, Emily Gallin, Jian Kawai, Maho Murofushi as The Enchanted Objects, “Beauty and the Beast”; White Plains, Anissa Bagby, Hayley Brick, Alice Brodsky, Olivia Perretto, and Riley Westlund as Tevye’s daughters, “Fiddler on the Roof.”

The Metro goes to …

Fair Lawn’s Mariella Galdieri, Michal Semory Gertler, and Rebecca Rosen as Pilar, Margot and Serena, in “Legally Blonde.”

Metro Award for female cameo role

Nominees: Archbishop Stepinac, Anna Fahy as Carol Strong, “Catch Me If You Can”; Dobbs Ferry, Sloane DiSimone as Fruma Sarah, “Fiddler on the Roof’; Glen Rock, Kellen Philp as Babette, “Beauty and the Beast”; Pascack Valley, Abby Campbell as Martha Cox “High School Musical”; Rutherford, Liz Dunlop as Clarisse La Rue, “The Lightning Thief”; Rye Neck, Myli Bruno as The Enchantress/Silly Girl, “Beauty and the Beast”; Saddle River Day, Sara Onik as Teen Fiona, “Shrek.”

And the Metro goes to …

Rutherford’s Liz Dunlop as Clarisse La Rue in “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.”

"The Percy Jackson books were important to me when I was little, so I was honored to perform in this musical," she said.

Metro Award for male cameo role

Nominees: Brewster, Zachary Simmons as Henry Dobson, “Anything Goes”; Harrison High, Luke Castellano as Mr. Duvall, “Mean Girls”; Mahwah, Daniel Fernandez as Gavroche, “Les Misérables”; Midland Park, Caleb Faber as Lurch, “The Addams Family”; Northern Valley/Old Tappan, Daniel Lee as Asparagus, “Cats”; Pelham, Andrew Scott as The Mysterious Man, “Into the Woods”; Rye, Sam Rodriguez as Eddie, “Mamma Mia!”

And the Metro goes to …

Pelham’s Andrew Scott as The Mysterious Man in “Into the Woods.”

He thanked his directors Neil Schleifer and Tom Beck, choreographer Jesse Pellegrino, music director George Croom and his cast and crew.

Metros performance: Bergen County Academies

This medley from "Something Rotten!" starts as a tap-off and then goes into a wider tap number about Omelet the Musical.

Metro Award for female vocal performance

The official category is vocal performance by a female-identifying performer.

Nominees: Archbishop Stepinac, Arianna Arocho as Brenda Strong, “Catch Me If You Can”; Hendrick Hudson, Mia O'Malley as Ariel, “The Little Mermaid”; Immaculate Heart Academy, Katherine Ryan as Tanya Cresham-Leigh, “Mamma Mia!”; North Salem, Isabella Mosquera Velasquez as Dolly Gallagher Levi, “Hello, Dolly!”; Pascack Valley, Olivia Carpenter as Gabriella Montez, “High School Musical”; St. Joseph, Lily Yezdanian as Cosette, “Les Misérables”; The Masters School, Josie Leff as The Baker’s Wife, “Into the Woods”; Sleepy Hollow, Bella Perkins as Fairy Godmother, “Cinderella.”

And the Metro goes to …

Arianna Arocho as Brenda Strong in Stepinac’s “Catch Me If You Can.” Arocho logged the miles to play Brenda. She lives in Brewster and made the trip to White Plains to join director Frank Portanova’s production at the all-boys Catholic school in White Plains.

This makes it a big night for the Arochos of Brewster. Arianna’s win for female vocal performance follows her older sister Ivelisse’s two wins – in female comedic performance and in duet -- as Moonface Martin in Brewster’s “Anything Goes.”

She called Brenda the role of a lifetime. She thanked her parents and her grandfather for driving the 45 minutes from Brewster to White Plains for rehearsals. And her sister, two-time winner Ivelisse.

Metro Award for male vocal performance

The official category is vocal performance by a male-identifying performer.

Nominees: Archbishop Stepinac, Calvin Lindo as Frank Abagnale Jr., “Catch Me If You Can”; Briarcliff, Gordon Beckler as Billy Flynn, “Chicago”; Harrison, Elvis Njuguna as Aaron Samuels, “Mean Girls”; New Rochelle, Alan Dimond singing “Me and Mr. Popularity,” “Young Kind of Love”; Putnam Valley, Massimo Cartategui as Mark Cohen, “Rent”; Sleepy Hollow, Chris Cesarano as Christopher, “Cinderella”; Tappan Zee, Daniel Lipari as Sky, “Mamma Mia!”; Tuckahoe, Henry Podoll as “Daddy” Warbucks, “Annie.”

And the Metro goes to …

Stepinac’s Calvin Lindo as Frank Abagnale Jr. in “Catch Me If You Can.” Lindo won a Roger Rees Award last year for portraying Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys.”

Lindo strode to the stage on a wave of Stepinac good will. He thanked director Frank Portanova, music director Chloe Sassoon, choreographers Fran Newman and Halle Mastroberardino and the cast and crew of "Catch Me If You Can."

Metro Award for chorus

Nominees: Academy of Holy Angels, “Urinetown”; Bergen County Academies, “Something Rotten!”; Brewster, “Anything Goes”; Clarkstown North, “The Addams Family”; Harrison, “Mean Girls”; Mamaroneck, “Newsies”; Northern Valley/Old Tappan, “Cats”; St. Joseph, “Les Misérables.”

And the Metro goes to …

Harrison’s “Mean Girls.”

Metro Award for child performer

This award goes to a young performer who is not old enough for high school, but who played an important role in the production. There are 12 nominees.

And the Metro goes to…

Gabriella Berkman, who played Molly in Tuckahoe High School’s “Annie.”

Gabriella couldn't be seen behind the podium. I did not expect this at all. She thanked her vocal coach, director "and all my orphans. I love you all. Thank you."

Metro Award for scenic design

Nominees: Blind Brook, Zach Dore, “Mamma Mia!”; Don Bosco, Darren Rosen, “Guys and Dolls”; Immaculate Heart Academy, Vincent Gunn, “Mamma Mia!”; Mahwah, Andrew Needham and Daniel Catizone, “Les Misérables”; New Milford, Dan Prete, Jim Africano, and Lauren Finizia, “Beauty and the Beast”; North Rockland, James Huppert, “Chicago”; Rye Country Day, Jac-que Robinson, “Into the Woods”; St. Joseph, Vincent Gunn, “Les Misérables.”

And the Metro goes to …

Rye Country Day’s Jac-que Robinson for “Into the Woods.”

"I did not expect this," he said. He thanked his cast, his stage manager and his crew members. He thanked his daughter and the members of his department "for creating an inclusive space."

Metros performance: Actresses in a leading role

Like the leading actors before them, the seven actresses nominated in leading roles take to the stage together to perform their characters one more time.

Brewster, Tessa Boissonnault as Reno Sweeney, “Anything Goes”; Dwight-Englewood, Sophia Vermés as Olive Ostrovsky, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”; Harrison, Jadyn Schwartz as Regina George, “Mean Girls”; Immaculate Heart Academy, Madeline Heinimann as Donna Sheridan, “Mamma Mia!”; Lyndhurst, Angelina Brennen as Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde”; Pelham, Maddy Lyons as The Witch, “Into the Woods”; Tappan Zee, Kiki Zervoudis as Sophie Sheridan, “Mamma Mia!”

Boissonnault is back fresh from her duet win, to sing "Blow, Gabriel Blow," with her co-nominees singing backup. Next up is Kiki Zervoudis as Sophie singing "Thank You for the Music" as the ladies cluster. Then Jadyn Schwartz holds court as Regina George with the ladies weaving a web of gossip behind her. Next is Maddy Lyons as the witch singing "The Last Midnight." Then Sophia Vermes as the forlorn Olive Ostrovsky singing to her missing mother, consoled by her knot of friends. Then Madeline Heinimann sings "The Winner Takes It All," downstage, defiant, with a harmonizing chorus backing her up. Last is Angelina Brennen as Elle Woods singing "So Much Better," with all the nominees striking a pose.

Powerful performances.

Metro Award for music direction

This is not the award for directing the musical. It is for directing the music in the musical.

Nominees: Academy of Holy Angels, George Croom, “Urinetown”; Dobbs Ferry, Georgia DeFalco, “Fiddler on the Roof”; Harrison, Meg Test, “Mean Girls”; Midland Park, Ethan Smith, “The Addams Family”; Pelham, George Croom, “Into the Woods”; The Masters School, Katie Meadows, “Into the Woods”; Pleasantville, Jon Vercesi, “Footloose”; St. Joseph, Ed Ginter, “Les Misérables.”

And the Metro goes to …

St. Joseph’s Ed Ginter for “Les Misérables.”

Ginter was not present, but Jean Valjean himself (Liam Fahey) received on his behalf.

Metro Award for duet

Nominees: Brewster, Tessa Boissonnault as “Reno Sweeney” and Ivelisse Arocho as “Moonface Martin” singing “Friendship,” “Anything Goes”; Carmel, Sam Corry as “J. Pierrepont Finch” and Jake Patino as “J.B. Biggley” singing “Grand Old Ivy, “How to Succeed…” Eastchester, Sofia Caballes as “Morticia Addams” and William Anderson as “Gomez Addams” singing “Tango de Amor,” “The Addams Family”; Immaculate Heart Academy, Maeve Murray as “Rosie Mulligan” and RJ Buscher as “Bill Austin” singing “Take a Chance on Me,” “Mamma Mia!”; New Milford, Isabel Alasio as “Belle” and Frankie Carbonaro as “Maurice” singing “No Matter What,” “Beauty and the Beast”; Nyack, Sienna Ryan as “Jan” and Trey Schloss as “Roger” singing “Mooning,” “Grease”; Putnam Valley, Reece Emery as “Joanne Jefferson” and Hayley Craane as “Maureen Johnson” singing “Take Me or Leave Me,” “Rent”; Saddle River Day, Teddy Basa as “Shrek” and Kate Peresvyetova as “Fiona” singing “I Think I Got You Beat,” “Shrek.”

And the Metro goes to …

Brewster’s Tessa Boissonnault as “Reno Sweeney” and Ivelisse Arocho as “Moonface Martin” singing “Friendship.”This is the second Metro tonight for Ivelisse Arocho for portraying Moonface Martin. She won earlier tonight for female comedic performance.

And this is Tessa Boissonnault’s second straight Metro Award. She won in the featured ensemble group category last year, with Autumn Takacs, in “James and the Giant Peach.” Speaking of things that come in twos, Boissonnault is also nominated as leading actress for playing Reno Sweeney in the Cole Porter musical.

Boissonnault: "I have to start by saying this is one of the most incredible women I've ever met."

Arocho: "I want to thank this beautiful lady right here. Working with you has been amazing and I just want to say when other friendships have been forgot, ours will still be hot." (That's a line from the duet, "Friendship.")

Metro Award for lighting design

Nominees: Archbishop Stepinac, Andrew Gmoser, “Catch Me If You Can”; Blind Brook, Zach Dore, “Mamma Mia!”; Briarcliff, Jim Britt, “Chicago”; Immaculate Heart Academy, Nikki Belenski, “Mamma Mia!”; Pascack Valley, Xochitl Musser, “High School Musical”; Rye Country Day, Jac-que Robinson, “Into the Woods”; St. Joseph, Asa Lipton, “Les Misérables”; Tuckahoe, Andrew Gmoser, “Annie.”

And the Metro goes to …

Immaculate Heart Academy’s Nikki Belenski for “Mamma Mia!”

Metros performance: Harrison’s “Mean Girls: School Edition”

Three girls start out singing about life after Regina George, the alpha girl of the "Plastic" clique. Then Cady Heron, the show's central character, is surrounded by a stage full of kids singing "Fearless."

Metro Award for production number

Nominees: Carmel High School, “Brotherhood of Man,” “How to Succeed…”; Clarkstown North, “When You’re an Addams,” The Addams Family”; Clarkstown South, “Seize the Day,” “Newsies”; Lyndhurst, “There! Right There!,” “Legally Blonde”; Mamaroneck, “Carrying the Banner,” “Newsies”; Nyack, “Greased Lightning,” “Grease”; Ramapo (NY), “The Cop Song,” “Urinetown”; Tuckahoe, “Hard Knock Life,” “Annie.”

And the Metro goes to …

Nyack’s “Greased Lightning” in “Grease.”

Overheard during a rapid acceptance speech: "We love drama club!" "Thanks to our drama mamas." "Happy birthday, Dad."

Metro Award for costume design

Nominees: Archbishop Stepinac, Annamarie Mastroberardino, “Catch Me If You Can”; Bergen County Academies, Terry Thiry, Janet Hughes, Christine Beidel, and Jack Nuciforo, “Something Rotten!”; Briarcliff, Susanna Kwong, “Chicago”; Midland Park, Rebecca Horner and Amy Walton, “The Addams Family”; Pascack Valley, Merielle Lupfer, “High School Musical”; Pleasantville, Jacqueline Cerrati, “Footloose”; Ramapo (NJ), Becca Corrado, “The Drowsy Chaperone”; Rye Neck, Chakira Doherty, “Beauty and the Beast.”

And the Metro goes to ..

Bergen County Academies, Terry Thiry, Janet Hughes, Christine Beidel, and Jack Nuciforo, “Something Rotten!”

Thiry said: "Everyone knows it takes a metropolitan city, not a village, to costume a show."

Metro Award for technical merit

The award for outstanding technical achievement is a wide-ranging category, nominated by teachers. Nominees — there are 22 of them — include stage managers, photographers, lighting designers, sound engineers, costumers, art and video designers, light board operators, scenic designers, and technical directors. They submitted portfolios to support their nominations.

And the Metro goes to …

It’s a four-way tie.

Blind Brook’s Veronica Babiuk, production stage manager for “Mamma Mia!”

"Oh my God, I'm shaking!" Veronica said. She shouted out all the tech kids in the audience, too.

North Salem Middle/High School’s Matthew Graham, assistant to the lighting designer/light board operator, for “Hello, Dolly!”

Northern Valley/Old Tappan’s Matthew Mancinelli, student lighting designer and lighting programmer, for “Cats.”

There were some very happy cats cheering Matthew to the stage. "It's a lot brighter up here than in the booth," he said. He thanked everyone for their patience as he learned to run the lights.

Westlake’s Sean Gray, set designer, lighting designer and technical director, for “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”

Metros performance: Brewster’s “Anything Goes”

Tessa Boissanault, as Reno Sweeney, sings the title song with all the lungs and brass she can muster. Then it's into a tap-happy number with sailors and shipboard folks. Tessa told me on the blue carpet that she wanted to play Reno from the age of 9, I think, and she made the most of that wishing time: She appears born to play this role. What a great, classic old-school number, beautifully rendered. And that Public Enemy #13 can tap, too!

Metro Award for acting performance by a female-identifying performer

Nominees: Academy of Holy Angels, Lilianna Garber as Hope Cladwell, “Urinetown”; Blind Brook, Cassidy Wohl as Sophie Sheridan, “Mamma Mia!”; Eastchester, Caitlyn Kops as Alice Beineke, “The Addams Family”; Horace Greeley, Sasha Murray as Wednesday Addams, “The Addams Family”; Midland Park, Teya Rosso as Morticia Addams, “The Addams Family”; Pascack Valley, Maya Teckwani as Taylor McKessie, “High School Musical”; Rye Country Day, Dominique Alvarez as Little Red, “Into the Woods”; The Leffell School, Bailey Goldberg as Catherine Blake, “Freaky Friday.”

And the Metro goes to …

Pascack Valley’s Maya Teckwani as Taylor McKessie in “Disney’s High School Musical.”

"I really could not be more grateful to be standing up her, nominated with these wonderful performers," she said. "I'm shaking and I'm so grateful. Go Wildcats!"

Metro Award for acting performance by a male-identifying performer

Nominees: Academy of Holy Angels, Joe Lizzi as Officer Lockstock, “Urinetown”; Carmel, Jake Filangeri as Bud Frump, “How to Succeed…”; Don Bosco, Anthony Proia as Nathan Detroit, “Guys and Dolls”; Mamaroneck, Domenick Bierman as Jack Kelly, “Newsies”; Pleasantville, Colin Rubsamen as Reverend Shaw Moore, “Footloose”; Rutherford, Nick Scaglione as Grover Underwood, “The Lightning Thief”; Somers, Anthony Fusco as Gomez Addams, “The Addams Family”; White Plains, Rico Rivera as Tevye, “Fiddler on the Roof.”

And the Metro goes to …

Academy of the Holy Angels’ Joe Lizzi as Officer Lockstock in “Urinetown.”

Lizzi thanked the Metros and his fellow nominees and the casts of "Les Miserables" and "Urinetown," as he was in both productions (at St. Joe's and Holy Angels). "The biggest thank you goes to my mother and my grandmother for doing everything."

Metro Award for hair and makeup design

Nominees: Bergen County Academies, Eve Antonelli, Simoné Chariell, and Gabriela Iwuc, “Something Rotten!”; Eastchester, Jennifer Batz, Maddy Colette, Olivia D'Aversa-Herbert, Donna Seminara, “The Addams Family”; Immaculate Heart Academy, Derek Alfano, “Mamma Mia!”; Midland Park, Helene Rosso and Melissa Quinn, “The Addams Family”; Northern Valley/Old Tappan, Sam Cruz, Diya Damwani, Kareena Daswani, and Erica Young, “Cats”; Pleasantville, Lisa Cascardo, “Footloose”; St. Joseph, Derek Alfano and Chelsey Cavalcante, “Les Misérables”; Westlake, Sabrina Galletti, “Beauty and the Beast.”

And the Metro goes to …

St. Joseph’s Derek Alfano and Chelsey Cavalcante for “Les Miserables: School Edition.”

Metro Award for stage crew

They work in the dark and if they’re really good – as these nominees are – you’ll never see them work.

Nominees: Don Bosco, “Guys and Dolls”; Hastings, “Urinetown”; Midland Park, “The Addams Family”; North Rockland, “Chicago”; Port Chester, “Legally Blonde”; Rye Neck, “Beauty and the Beast”; The Leffell School, “Freaky Friday”; Valhalla, “Footloose.”

And the Metro goes to …

Midland Park’s “The Addams Family”

Metros performance: Actors in a leading role

All seven actors nominated in leading roles take to the stage together, each backing up the other while waiting their turn to perform.

Archbishop Stepinac, Ryan Diaz as Carl Hanratty, “Catch Me If You Can”; Bergen County Academies, Christopher Bruno as Nick Bottom, “Something Rotten!”; Carmel, Sam Corry as J. Pierrepont Finch, “How to Succeed…”; Clarkstown North, Zach Degen as Gomez Addams, “The Addams Family”; Lakeland, Sebastian Goldstein as Billy Flynn, “Chicago: Teen Edition”; Ramsey, Nate Algor as Emmett Forrest, “Legally Blonde”; St. Joseph, Liam Fahey as Jean Valjean, “Les Misérables.”

The crowd claps along for Billy Flynn (Sebastian Goldstein) as he croons about love. Then it's Christopher Bruno's turn to badmouth Shakespeare as Nick Bottom. The guys become a chorus to support his diatribe. Next up is Zach Degen as Gomez Addams to sing "Not Today," with the guys lined up behind him. They're clearly having fun with it. Turn the page to Liam Fahey as Jean Valjean. When he says "He's like the son I might have known," Degen gets a laugh when he mimes "Me?" Then it's serious as Fahey goes into "Bring Him Home" and the men stand still. Next is Ryan Diaz as inspector Carl Hanratty singing about Breaking All the Rules and the guys become a shimmying chorus again. Then Nate Algor as Emmett Forrest singing about Elle Woods and the guys circle him. Last is Sam Corry as Finch, singing of the Brother of Man. Soon the guys are in on the act, singing full out for the finale.

This is a change this year, and a great way to build esprit de corps.

Metro Award for female dance performance

The category is outstanding dance performance by a female-identifying performer.

Nominees: Bergenfield, Laila Little as TiMoune, “Once on This Island”; Eastchester, Sofia Caballes as Morticia Addams, “The Addams Family”; Lakeland, Lily Wallace as Liz, “Chicago”; New Rochelle, Keyera Gordon in “Boomerang,” “Young Kind of Love”; North Salem, Gabriella Nicoletti as Ermengarde, “Hello, Dolly!”; Nyack, Haylie Christiano as Cha Cha DiGregorio, “Grease”; Ramsey, Chloe Yi as Brooke Wyndham, “Legally Blonde”; Saddle River Day, Alessia Riera as Sugar Plum Fairy/Moon, “Shrek.”

And the Metro goes to…

Lakeland High School’s Lily Wallace as Liz in “Chicago: Teen Edition.”

Lily thanked her director, music director. "I've been dancing with some of my dance teachers for over a decade. Without you I wouldn't have been able to do any of this."

Metro Award for male dance performance

The category is technically outstanding dance performance by a male-identifying performer.

Nominees: Brewster, Jacob Caraballo as Billy Crocker, “Anything Goes”; Eastchester, William Anderson as Gomez Addams, “The Addams Family”; Hendrick Hudson, Cameron Haynes as Scuttle, “The Little Mermaid”; Northern Highlands, Henry Robers as Pepper, “Mamma Mia!”; Northern Valley/Old Tappan, Tim Lee as Macavity, “Cats”; Pleasantville, Philip Dundie as Ren McCormack, “Footloose”; Ramapo (NJ), Samuel Ornstein as George, “The Drowsy Chaperone”; Rye Neck, Jian Kawai as Lumiere, “Beauty and the Beast.”

And the Metro goes to …

Rye Neck’s Jian Kawai as Lumiere in “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”

Jian, who had a nice solo turn as Lumiere, thanked his dance teachers and his cast.

Metro Award for choreography

Nominees: Archbishop Stepinac, Francesca DeAngelo, Halle Mastroberardino and Charlotte Newman, “Catch Me If You Can”; Bergen County Academies, Laurie Crochet-Hyslop, “Something Rotten!”; Brewster, Nikki Sanders Siriani, “Anything Goes”; Briarcliff, Davyd H. Suber Jr., “Chicago”; Fort Lee, Eldric Etra, “Mean Girls”; Harrison, Deborah Toteda, “Mean Girls”; Mamaroneck, Allison Parsley, “Newsies”; Northern Valley/Old Tappan, Caitlin Ort, “Cats.”

And the Metro goes to …

Brewster’s Nikki Sanders Siriani, for “Anything Goes.”

Siriani was borne to the stage on a wave of shouting sailors and showgirls.

She congratulated the nominees and praised all the dancing. She thanked those who had never danced before but took it up for "Anything Goes" and the veteran dancers who helped the new dancers. She thanked her dad for putting her in her first dance class. "Because dance is my heart," she said.

Metros performance: St. Joseph Regional’s “Les Miserables: School Edition”

The melody is unmistakable. "One Day More." Valjean. Fatine. Eponine. Cosette. Marius. Then the stage fills with the French, including an overzealous inspector named Javert.

One more dawn. One more day. One day more.

Standing ovation.

Metro Award for small group number

This category honors small ensembles, those moments in a musical where a few actors shine as one.

Nominees: Dwight-Englewood, “The I Love You Song,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”; New Rochelle, “Caffeinated,” “Young Kind of Love”; North Salem, “Elegance,” “Hello, Dolly!”; Pascack Hills, “Stepsister’s Lament,” “Cinderella”; Pleasantville, “Mama Says,” “Footloose”; Rutherford, “Drive,” “The Lightning Thief”; Rye, “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia!”; Valhalla, “Holding Out for a Hero,” “Footloose.”

And the Metro goes to …

“Mama Says,” from Pleasantville’s “Footloose.”

A knot of Pleasantvillians leap to their feet and head to the podium, led by the actor who played Willard, who introduced the members of the comedy number. He thanked his director, music director and the cast.

Metro Award for student critic

This award goes to the student from a participating school who saw a production from another participating school and wrote a 500-word review that captured their visit to the theater. They were judged on their critical voice, the synopsis of the story and context for the musical, the review’s conclusions and the support for their conclusions, and the review’s grammar, style and flair. There are 12 nominees.

And the Metro goes to…

Gianna Cassino of Eastchester High School, who reviewed Hastings High School’s “Urinetown.”

Metro Award for outstanding student pit musician

Nominees: Hastings, Jasper Zimmerman on piano, “Urinetown”; Lakeland, Jesse Ehrenreich on tuba/bass, “Chicago”; Lyndhurst, Lily Anderson on reed 1, “Legally Blonde”; Mahwah, Jachin Choi on cello, “Les Misérables”; Pascack Valley, Tim Ngai on keyboard 1, “High School Musical”; Pleasantville, Alex Arbucci on bass guitar, “Footloose”; Rutherford, Evan Statile on guitar, “The Lightning Thief”; Tuckahoe, Nico Tortorella on violin, “Annie.”

And the Metro goes to …

Hastings, Jasper Zimmerman on piano, “Urinetown”

Metro Award for outstanding student orchestra

Many schools turn their orchestra pits over to professionals, but these nominees kept the music in the students’ hands. At least 75% of these orchestras were students.

Nominees: Bergen County Academies, “Something Rotten!”; Carmel, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”; Lakeland, “Chicago”; Lodi, “Spamalot”; Mamaroneck, “Newsies”; Tuckahoe, “Annie”; Westwood, “Annie”; White Plains, “Fiddler on the Roof.”

And the Metro goes to …

Lakeland’s “Chicago: Teen Edition”

The teacher accepting the award thanked the Metros for honoring musicians and for the creative staff and student musicians. "Music in schools matters," he said.

Metros performance: Northern Valley/Old Tappan’s “CATS”

And, just like that, the stage is full of felines, gathered for a Jellicle Ball and representing Northern Valley/Old Tappan High School's production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber's "CATS." They move in unison and somehow manage to find their own unique way to hold the stage. Great harmonies here. I know this musical has taken its lumps, but these kids are so committed to the material it kind of restores it, in a way.

Metro Award for female comedic performance

Staying on the make-em-laugh theme, the next award is comedic performance by a female-identifying performer.

Nominees: Blind Brook, Madilyn Klein as Rosie Mulligan, “Mamma Mia!”; Brewster, Ivelisse Arocho as Moonface Martin, “Anything Goes”; Fair Lawn, Lucy Bohossian as Paulette, “Legally Blonde”; Fort Lee, Sadhay Nunez as Karen Smith, “Mean Girls”; Hastings, Elianna Carvalho as Hope Cladwell, “Urinetown”; Ossining, Grace McGrath as Sister Mary Patrick, “Sister Act”; Pascack Valley, Mia Vazquez as Jack Scott, “High School Musical”; Ramapo (NJ), Gabriella Almanza as Kitty, “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

And the Metro goes to …

Brewster’s Ivelisse Arocho as Moonface Martin in “Anything Goes.”

This is an example of the category making an award possible, as Moonface Martin is typically played by a male performer, but director Nikki Sanders Siriani cast a Arocho, a strong comedic actress, in the role. Arocho, a senior with a history of meaty roles, played the comic Public Enemy # 13 to a Metro win.

"I'm too short for this mic," she said. "When our cast list first came out, I thought it was a joke." She thanked her director, her director's husband (who directs the fall drama), her voice teacher. She thanked her mom and dad and kid brother Lucas.

She then said: "I want to give a shoutout to my sister, Arianna," a nominee for overall production for Brewster and Stepinac tonight. "I would not be anywhere I am tonight without you. I love you."

Metro Award for male comedic performance

The eight nominees in this category – officially comedic performance by a male-identifying performer -- left them laughing. In this category, there were two nominees from different schools named Ramapo, one in New Jersey, the other in New York.

Nominees: Dumont, Joseph Floro as Damian Hubbard, “Mean Girls”; Glen Rock, Henry Finkenstadt as Cogsworth, “Beauty and the Beast”; Harrison, Ulysses Bravo Brown as Kevin G., “Mean Girls”; Hendrick Hudson, Jordan Cobb as Chef Louis, “The Little Mermaid”; Horace Greeley, Matthew Weissman as Fester, “The Addams Family”; Lodi, Oscar Lopez as Herbert, “Spamalot”; Ramapo (NJ), Leonardo Fornasieri as Aldolpho, “The Drowsy Chaperone”; Ramapo (NY), Benjamin Mejia as Officer Lockstock, “Urinetown.”

And the Metro goes to …

Ramapo (NJ)’s Leonardo Fornasieri, as Aldolpho, in “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Aldolpho, a role created by the great Danny Burstein, is an outrageous Latin lover whose namesake song is a showstopper in the right hands.

Leonardo called being on the stage tonight "a dream come true." He thanked his family for letting him explore his passion for theater.

Metro Award for graphic design

In keeping with design elements, the next award is for graphic design, which includes logo/poster design. These students were nominated by their teachers.

The nominees: Briarcliff, Allison Chu, “Chicago”; Glen Rock, Giulia Beaudoin, “Beauty and the Beast”; Hastings, Emma Gelman, “Urinetown”; Mahwah, Daleena Wong, “Les Misérables”; Ossining, June Salo, “Sister Act”; Rye Country Day, Ellen Chen, “Into the Woods”; Westlake, Eva Cangialosi, Jaiselle Medina, Kolby Moody, Adriana Pires, and Alyssa Yuan, “Beauty and the Beast”; Westwood, Joseph Fritz, “Annie.”

And the Metro goes to …

Mahwah’s Daleena Wong for “Les Miserables.”

A spotlight pans the crowd and a representative for the show represents the absent Daleena to thank the Metros for the honor.

Metro Award for Lobby Display

The night’s first award is for lobby display, the work that greets the audience and puts them in the mood of the show before they take their seats.

The nominees: Carmel High School, Raegan Sedlarcik, “How to Succeed…”; Clarkstown South, Michael Culver, Riley Schoales, and Hannah Sung, “Newsies”; Don Bosco, Sheri Dennehy, “Guys and Dolls”; Dumont, Brenda Arthur, Samantha Bautista, Denise Flaherty, Ana Lucia Guinto, Melanie Hammond, Kaitlyn Kwan, Angelina Job, Nicole McCabe, Khaled Nasr, John Pacana, Sophia Rosero, Reuben Thibault-Garnica, and Samia Tousif, “Mean Girls”; Hastings, Emma Gelman, “Urinetown”; New Rochelle, PAVE art students, “Young Kind of Love”; The Masters School, Jovelysa Molina and Lucy Vargas, “Into the Woods”; St. Joseph, Kim Buscher, “Les Misérables.”

And the Metro goes to ….

(It’s a tie!)

Hastings’ Emma Gelman for “Urinetown.” She thanked her mom for coming up with ideas and her cast for helping out.

And New Rochelle’s PAVE art students for “Young Kind of Love.” PAVE is a sort of arts conservatory within New Rochelle, with students auditioning for a course of study (including before and after school elements) in dance, music, theater and the visual arts. The Metro went to PAVE arts students.

Metros performance: Academy of the Holy Angels’ “Urinetown”

The night isn’t just about awards. The crowd will get to see what got the nominees here, with 21 performances: 7 by leading actresses, 7 by leading actors and 7 from productions nominated for outstanding overall production. First up in that category is Academy of the Holy Angels, a Catholic school in Demarest, New Jersey.

They start with the opening of the dystopian musical about a time when people have to pay to ... um ... pee. Officer Lockstock the narrator and Little Sally with Teddy Bear sing the title song. Then into "Run Freedom Run," which got the crowd into the mood to laugh.

Opening number

The house lights are out and the show is about to start. And you can hear a pin drop. Then about a dozen kids in sparkly gowns fill the stage. Then a dozen more. Then nominees for leading actor and actress join them. The song is "Shut Up and Raise Your Glass" from "Moulin Rouge." A spangly, shimmering, hand-clapping start to the night.

And the hosts JJ Niemann and Amber Ardolino. are brought to the stage. They were in "Back to the Future" together on Broadway. Ardolino is in "A Beautiful Noise" on Broadway. Neimann is now in "Back to the Future" after work in "Book of Mormon."

Fresh from the red carpet

I hope you enjoyed the blue carpet interviews. I'm still scratching from all those cats. So many highlights I'll want to go back and listen to and watch again. Some pretty smart kids, and the energy was through the roof. Just about five minutes till the show starts and from what I saw in rehearsal, it's gonna blow the roof off the place.

Warmups

Made it to the Purchase PAC, where kids are already warming up for the show. Watched the leading actors warm up and now the ladies are taking the stage.

Metro Awards: Our live blog put you at the show (2)

This just in: Tonight's show order

The Metros have released the order of show for tonight's ceremony, which will start with a production number featuring dozens of performers from more than 40 of the participating schools, joined by a special guest. But that's just the start of the performances.

After hosts JJ Niemann and Amanda Ardolino are introduced, Academy of the Holy Angels performs from "Urinetown." Then awards for lobby display, graphic design, comedic performance by a male, comedic performance by a female.

Then Northern Valley/Old Tappan performs from "Cats," followed by awards for orchestra, student pit musician, student critic, and small group number. Next, St. Joseph Regional performs from "Les Miserables," followed by awards for choreography, male dance performance, and female dance performance.

Then the actors in a leading role will take to the stage. In a new twist, producers Blake Spence and Jordan Singer enlisted Westchester musical wunderkind Michael Mastroianni to write a medley of songs from the nominated performances. All seven nominees will share the stage, with six actors singing backup while one performs lead. Then they'll switch. Should make for a fun dynamic.

Next, awards for stage crew, hair and makeup design, male acting performance, female acting performance. Then Brewster performs from "Anything Goes," followed by awards for technical merit, costume design, and production number. Next, Harrison performs from "Mean Girls," followed by awards for lighting design, duet, and music direction.

The lead actresses will then take the stage in the same format as the leading actors, taking and giving stage as they reprise their nominated roles. Then come awards for scenic design, child performer, chorus, male vocal performance, female vocal performance. After that, Bergen County Academies performs from "Something Rotten!" Then awards for male cameo, female cameo, featured ensemble group, and featured ensemble member.

Then a performance by Stepinac's "Catch Me If You Can," followed by the night's final six awards: supporting actor, supporting actress, director, lead actor, lead actress and outstanding overall production.

Metro Awards: Our live blog put you at the show (4)
Metro Awards: Our live blog put you at the show (2024)
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