It’s curtain up on the 10th Annual Basie Awards on Wednesday and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s (RFH) directors, actors, musicians and techies have already gotten a standing ovation in nominations.
Among its 11 nominations, RFH is up for Outstanding Overall Production in both the Drama and Musical categories for its Miracle on 34th Street and Young Frankenstein. In the acting categories, senior Julia Mosby also garnered nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in both the drama and musical categories for her roles in Miracle on 34th Street and Young Frankenstein.
RFH was also nominated for:
• Outstanding Set/Scenic Design in a Drama, Miracle on 34th Street, Matthew Leddin;
• Outstanding Lighting Design in a Drama, Miracle on 34th Street, Matthew Leddin;
• Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama, Julia Mosby, Miracle on 34th Street;
• Outstanding Direction in a Drama, Suzanne Sweeney, Miracle on 34th Street;
• Outstanding Overall Production – Drama, Miracle on 34th Street, Suzanne Sweeney;
• Outstanding Set/Scenic Design in a Musical, Young Frankenstein, Matthew Leddin;
• Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical, Young Frankenstein, Matthew Leddin;
• Outstanding Student/Adult Orchestra, Young Frankenstein, Vincent Mottern;
• Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical, Julia Mosby, Young Frankenstein;
• Outstanding Direction in a Musical, Suzanne Sweeney, Young Frankenstein;
• Outstanding Overall Musical Production, Suzanne Sweeney, Young Frankenstein.
Since 2005, the Basie Awards have served as a means to honor excellence in Monmouth County high school productions and performances.
The 2015 awards will be presented at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank on Wednesday night.
The three Count Basie Theatre Arts Impacts scholarships to be awarded to “high school seniors whose life, academic and career choice has been impacted by the arts” will also be announced at the ceremony: the Monmouth Medical Center/Barnabas Health Arts Impact Scholarship, the Monmouth County Freeholders’ Basie Scholarship for Continuing Education and the Moser-Taboada Arts Impact Scholarship.
Yes, Rumson-Fair Haven area theatergoers, there is a fall high school show.
The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players is aiming to make audiences believe in Santa Claus with its Dec. 12, 13 and 14 stage production of Miracle on 34th Street, The Play, a release from RFH said.
Based on the classic 1947 movie and novel by Valentine Davies, the Tower Players’ version of the story of a white-haired bearded man named Kris Kringle and his embattled, tradition-inspired journey as a 34th Street Macy’s Santa, has been dubbed “part nostalgic throwback and part cutting-edge entertainment,” by staff.
The show, according to the release, will feature 38 cast members bringing to life the original storyline of Kringle’s holiday trials and tribulations as he insists he is the real Santa.
The contemporary component of the RFH production manifests itself in large-scale dance numbers choreographed to a rock-based soundtrack, the release said.
The popular plot, the release said, unfolds like this: A kind white-haired man is asked by Macy’s bigwig Doris Walker to portray Santa in the famous flagship store on 34th Street in New York City.
Trouble starts to brew when the man, who says his name is Kris Kringle, claims that he is the actual Santa Claus. His claims are seriously doubted by Doris Walker and her daughter Susan, both of whom don’t believe in the existence of Santa Claus.
As Kris’ sanity comes into question, his danger of being committed to a psychiatric institution grows. Doris, concerned for Kris, enlists her friend and neighbor Fred Gailey to defend Kris in court. The highly practical Susan befriends Kris as well and, in doing so, end up with the most precious gift of all – something to believe in.
In the RFH production, Kris Kringle is played by senior Laurence Morales. Doris Walker is played by senior Emily Mangiavillano, with senior EIise Roncace as Susan Walker. Senior Andrew Maris plays Fred Gailey.
Also featured, in a ballet performance of toys coming to life, are sophomores Sara Safarian and Rachel Makstein.
The Tower Players’ Miracle on 34th Street, The Play is directed by Suzanne Sweeney, with choreography by Patty McCarron and costumes and props under the direction of Carole Malik.
Tower Players alumna Kasi Ann Sweeney is assistant director and Stefania Flecca is production coordinator. Sets, sounds and lighting are provided by Matthew Leddin and his 30-student crew, with set design contributions from the RFH Stagecraft class as well.
Tickets — $10 general admission and $6 for senior citizens, children and students — may be purchased by visiting the RFH website (rumsonfairhaven.org) or by contacting Play Production Coordinator Stefania Flecca at 732-842-1597, extension 826.
Tickets will also be sold at the theater box office in the auditorium lobby from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 and 4. Tickets will be sold an hour before each performance as well, based on availability.
Curtain time for the production’s Friday opening night on Dec. 12 is 7:30 p.m., followed by a show on Saturday at the same time and a closing matinee on Sunday at 1 p.m.