Suburban students win state high school musical awards
Broadway in Chicago has named four suburban students as winners and runners-up in the 11th Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards.
Regan Wright of Elmhurst won Best Actress for her portrayal of Alice Murphy in York Community High School's production of the Steve Martin and Edie Brickell musical "Bright Star." Joseph Kotze of Frankfort won Best Actor for his take on the title role of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" at Lincoln-Way East High School.
Wright and Kotze are slated to represent Illinois at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards showcase in New York on June 27, which marks the weeklong culmination of an all-expense-paid trip featuring intensive coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals. The national awards, informally known as The Jimmy Awards, are named in honor of the late Broadway theater owner and producer James M. Nederlander.
But if Wright and Kotze cannot attend, two runners-up will take their place: Juliet Simon of Deerfield High School and Josh Fermin of Barrington High School.
Each of these Illinois students received their award designations at a Chicago ceremony held on Monday at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, which is currently hosting a touring production of "The Play That Goes Wrong."
Twenty-four students out of 76 participating state high schools were nominated for this year's Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. The nominees also spent the day working with theater professionals, culminating with a ceremony group number called "One Short Day" from "Wicked," the hit musical that tours back to Chicago from Sept. 28 through Dec. 4.