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M'town Scores Big with Basie Awards

Nominations for the seventh annual Basie Awards were announced earlier this week.

For the seventh year, the Count Basie Theatre is recognizing high school performing arts with the Basie Awards, a program that's committed to fostering an appreciation of the arts and honoring excellence in high school theater.

The nominations have been announced; and, this year, Middletown South and North high schools scored several nominations for the Rimers of Eldritch and Bye Bye Birdie productions. Mater Dei also won a few of its own nominations for Almost, Maine.

Last year, an all-time high of 25 Monmouth County private, public, and vocational high schools participated in the Basie Awards.

The show will be held on May 23, at 7 p.m.

A complete list of the nominations:

Outstanding Set Design in a Drama

• Asbury Park High School - Backstage - Robert Rutt & Gary Kilmer

• Ocean Township High School - Noises Off - Tom Collins 

• Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - It’s a Wonderful Life - Dino Pagano • Monmouth Regional High School - The 39 Steps - Anthony Greco

Middletown High School South - The Rimers of Eldritch - Alexis Kozak

Mater Dei Prep - Almost Maine - John Budzyna

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Drama

Middletown High School South - The Rimers of Eldritch - Cory Golusinski 

• Raritan High School - Alice in Wonderland - Michael Jacoby

• Marlboro High School - Maybe Baby, It’s You - Kevin Gunther

• Monmouth Regional High School - The 39 Steps - David Ahlers

• Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - It’s a Wonderful Life - Dino Pagano

Outstanding Costume Design in a Drama
(The Carole Malik Award for Outstanding Costume Design)

• Monmouth Regional High School - The 39 Steps - Jacquie Revier

• Manalapan High School - A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Meghan Reeves

• Raritan High School - Alice in Wonderland - Melanie Taylor

Middletown High School South - The Rimers of Eldritch - Jacqueline Mazza

• Ranney School - And Then There Were None - John Doyle

Outstanding Direction in a Drama

• Robert Angelini - Ocean Township High School - Noises Off

• Alexis Kozak - Middletown High School South - The Rimers of Eldritch

• Anthony Greco - Monmouth Regional High School - The 39 Steps

• Melanie Taylor - Raritan High School - Alice in Wonderland

• Suzanne Sweeney - Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - It’s a Wonderful Life

• Jesse Grabowski - Manalapan High School - A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

• Raritan High School - Alice in Wonderland - Melanie Taylor

• Monmouth Regional High School - The 39 Steps - Anthony Greco

• Manalapan High School - A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Jesse Grabowski

• Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - It’s a Wonderful Life - Suzanne Sweeney

• Ocean Township High School - Noises Off - Robert Angelini

Middletown High School South - The Rimers of Eldritch - Alexis Kozak

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama

• Alyssa Figueroa - Asbury Park High School - Backstage

• Victoria Keiser - Raritan High School - Alice in Wonderland

• Caroline Palsi - Communications High School - Rumors

• Suzie Hicks - Colts Neck High School - Isn’t It Romantic

• Krista Skribner - Mater Dei Prep - Almost, Maine

• Kim Alexis Kallok - Ocean Township High School - Noises Off

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama

• Dan Hamm - Raritan High School - Alice in Wonderland

• CJ Marsini - Middletown High School South - The Rimers of Eldritch

• Nate Fields - Asbury Park High School - Backstage

• Phil Limeri - Mater Dei Prep - Almost, Maine

• Matt Melleby - Mater Dei Prep - Almost, Maine

• Shaun Nerney - Mater Dei Prep - Almost, Maine

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama

• Melissa Albert - Marlboro High School - Maybe Baby, It’s You

• Dani Gordon - Monmouth Regional High School - The 39 Steps

• Kelly Lozo - Middletown High School South - The Rimers of Eldritch

• Alicia Moeller - Red Bank Regional High School - Midsummer Night’s Dream

• Nicole Friedman - Manalapan High School - Midsummer Nights’ Dream

• Julie Ripple - Matawan Regional High School - Gramercy Ghost

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama

• Patrick Leeman - Matawan Regional High School - Gramercy Ghost
• Chris Dubrow - Red Bank Regional High School - A Midsummer Night’s Dream • Noah Goldstein - Ranney School - And Then There Were None
• Robert Resnick - Marlboro High School - Maybe, Baby It’s You

• Kevin Karol Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - It’s a Wonderful Life
• Nick D’Ambrosio - Monmouth Regional High School - The 39 Steps

Nominees for Musical Presentations:

Outstanding Set Design in a Musical

• Mater Dei Prep - Flat Stanley - D. Horowitz & M. Cahill

• Monmouth Regional High School - Seussical - Anthony Greco & Jack Pensabene

• Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - Jekyll & Hyde - Dino Pagano & Suzanne Sweeney

• Red Bank Catholic High School - Into the Woods - Fred Sorrentino

• Ocean Township High School - Miss Saigon - Tom Collins

• Shore Regional High School - Annie Get Your Gun - Scott Naef

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical

Asbury Park High School - The Wiz - Robert Rutt Ocean Township High School - Miss Saigon - George Ripley & Victoria Cascaes Howell High School - Cabaret - Travis Popiel Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - Jekyll & Hyde - Matthew Hervilly & Suzanne Sweeney Shore Regional High School - Annie Get Your Gun - Scott Naef & Todd Aikens Red Bank Catholic High School - Into the Woods - Frank Bell

Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical
(The Carole Malik Award for Outstanding Costume Design)

Asbury Park High School - The Wiz - Trina Peduto Colford Howell High School - Cabaret - Jacquie Revier Mater Dei Prep - Flat Stanley - Cindy Dwyer & Jacquie Revier Middletown High School South - Bye Bye Birdie - Jacqueline Mazza & Laura Mazza Red Bank Catholic High School - Into the Woods - Fred Mayo, Debra Thime, & Fred Sorrentino Monmouth Regional High School - Seussical - Jacquie Revier

Outstanding Musical Direction

Howell High School - Cabaret - Regina McAllen Red Bank Catholic High School - Into the Woods - Shawn Mack Mater Dei Prep - Flat Stanley - Cindy Dwyer Monmouth Regional High School - Seussical - Mary Mindas Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - Jekyll & Hyde - Bill Grillo & Vincent Mottern Mater Dei Prep - Once Upon a Mattress - Cindy Dwyer

Outstanding All Student Orchestra

Freehold High School - Little Shop of Horrors - Pamela Massimini High Technology High School - Little Shop of Horrors - Lisa Zahray Manalapan High School - The Wedding Singer - Adam Glenn

Outstanding Student/Adult Orchestra

Howell High School - Cabaret - Regina McAllen Ocean Township High School - Miss Saigon - Mark Cook Red Bank Catholic High School - Into the Woods - Shawn Mack Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - Jekyll & Hyde - Bill Grillo & Vincent Mottern

Outstanding Choreography in a Musical

Howell High School - Cabaret - Lisa Twamley Matawan Regional High School - Guys and Dolls - Julie Takacs McKurth Middletown High School South - Bye Bye Birdie - Jacqueline Mazza Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - Jekyll & Hyde - Alexis Marinov Monmouth Regional High School - Seussical - Donna Battaglia Raritan High School - The Wizard of Oz - Lisa Catena

Outstanding Ensemble Group

The Gamblers - Matawan Regional High School - Guys and Dolls The Kit Kat Girls - Howell High School - Cabaret Sweet Apple Teens - Middletown High School South - Bye Bye Birdie Hot Box Girls - Matawan Regional High School - Guys and Dolls The Gospeleers - Neptune High School - Finian’s Rainbow

Outstanding Featured Ensemble in a Musical

Uzo Amuzie - Matawan Regional High School - Guys and Dolls Emily Mitro - Shore Regional High School - Annie Get Your Gun Kelly Lozo - Middletown High School South - Bye Bye Birdie Erin McGuiness - Middletown High School South - Bye Bye Birdie

Outstanding Chorus in a Musical

Raritan High School - The Wizard of Oz Red Bank Catholic - Into the Woods Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - Jekyll & Hyde Howell High School - Cabaret Middletown High School South - Bye Bye Birdie

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical

Brianna McDonald Vitale - Red Bank Catholic High School - Into the Woods Kayla Ryder - Matawan Regional High School - Guys and Dolls Michaela Farrell - Red Bank Catholic High School - Into the Woods Briana Luguori - St. John Vianney High School - Legally Blonde Samantha Sayah - Howell High School - Cabaret

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical

Patrick Leeman - Matawan Regional High School - Guys and Dolls CJ Marsini - Middletown High School South - Bye Bye Birdie Jake Cameron - Shore Regional High School - Annie Get Your Gun Mark Regan, Jr. - Red Bank Catholic High School - Into the Woods Conall McNelis - Red Bank Catholic High School - Into the Woods

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical

Sarah Bartosh - Ranney School - Drood Hannah Simpson - Ranney School - Drood Chloe Chalakani - Shore Regional High School - Annie Get Your Gun Amanda Lefkowitz - Howell High School - Cabaret Julia Whary - Ocean Township High School - Miss Saigon

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical

Harrison Best - Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - Jekyll & Hyde Shaun Nerney - Mater Dei Prep - Flat Stanley Ari Beller - Red Bank Regional High School - Forum - Richard Huy - Ocean Township High School - Miss Saigon
Lucas Manfredi - Ocean Township High School - Miss Saigon

Outstanding Direction in a Musical

Cindy Dwyer - Mater Dei Prep - Flat Stanley Stephen Kazakoff - Howell High School - Cabaret Andrew De Prisco - Red Bank Catholic High School - Into the Woods Suzanne Sweeney - Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - Jekyll & Hyde Anthony Greco - Monmouth Regional High School - Seussical Robert Angelini - Ocean Township High School - Miss Saigon

Outstanding Musical Presentation

Red Bank Catholic High School - Into the Woods - Andrew De Prisco Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School - Jekyll & Hyde - Suzanne Sweeney Howell High School - Cabaret - Stephen Kazakoff Monmouth Regional High School - Seussical - Anthony Greco Ocean Township High School - Miss Saigon - Robert Angelini

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