Hampton, Pittsburgh Obama, Baldwin Win Best Musical Honors Pine-Richland, North Allegheny Students Take Top Kelly Awards

By Eberson, Sharon | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), May 28, 2017 | Go to article overview

Hampton, Pittsburgh Obama, Baldwin Win Best Musical Honors Pine-Richland, North Allegheny Students Take Top Kelly Awards


Eberson, Sharon, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Jake Pedersen of Pine-Richland and Chloe Rae Kehm of West Allegheny were named best actor and actress, while Hampton's production of "Big Fish" and Baldwin's "Zorro the Musical" were among the big overall winners Saturday at the Pittsburgh CLO's 27th annual Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater.

The best actor and actress will represent the Kellys at the eighth annual National High School Musical Theater Awards, founded by Pittsburgh CLO and Nederlander Alliances LLC, in New York City on June 26.

Hampton earned six awards, including best musical in Budget Level II, while Baldwin's three awards included best musical in Level III. Pittsburgh Obama Academy's "Sister Act" won in Level I.

Thousands of dollars in cash and university scholarships were awarded throughout the night at the Benedum Center, Downtown, including a Point Park scholarship for Ms. Kehm, and Pittsburgh CLO scholarships totaling $36,000 to nine students. Mr. Pedersen was awarded $5,000 from the Gene Kelly Awards scholarships.

The winners received their trophies at the Benedum Center in a musical celebration patterned after Broadway's Tony Awards. Van Kaplan, in his 20th year of leading Pittsburgh CLO, was once again the host, and Kiesha Lalama, a choreographer and Point Park University Conservatory of Dance Company faculty member, is in her 10th year of directing and choreographing the night of music, honors and school spirit.

Nominees and winners were chosen by a panel of 32 judges who attended the spring musicals presented by the following 27 Allegheny County high schools:

Avonworth, Baldwin, Bishop Canevin, Central Catholic, Chartiers Valley, Deer Lakes, Elizabeth Forward, Hampton, Keystone Oaks, North Hills, Northgate, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Pine-Richland, Pittsburgh Allderdice, Pittsburgh Obama Academy, Pittsburgh Brashear, Pittsburgh CAPA, Pittsburgh Perry, Plum, Quaker Valley, Riverview, Seton-LaSalle, Springdale, St. Joseph, West Allegheny, West Mifflin and Woodland Hills. …

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