High School Musical 'Nine' Wins 2 Metropolitan Awards
"Nine," directed by John Giresi was up for 12 Metropolitan Awards and two Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards.
Two actors in Fair Lawn High School's production of the musical "Nine" took home hardware Monday at the annual Metropolitan High School Theater Awards ceremony held at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill, N.Y.
Senior Sean Dabney, who played the show's afflicted protagonist Guido Contini, shared the award for Outstanding Leading Actor with an Archbishop Stepinac student, and Sabrina Leibowitz, who played Little Guido, won outright for Outstanding Child Actor.
Dabney excelled as Guido both because of his strong singing ability and refined acting skills.
“For that role it had to be a combination of the vocals and the acting because it is a big part,” director John Giresi said in March. “When you’re playing a difficult adult-type role in a very adult-type piece, the acting has to be believable. If the acting is not strong and believable, the show would fail.”
Giresi said he chose to put on "Nine," a Federico Fellini spin-off that follows an international film director (Guido Contini) who faces crises of both personal and professional confidence heading into his 40th birthday, to challenge his student performers after a three-year run of comedies.
"When I cast this show back in June of last year, if someone said to me, 'Here is a DVD of what your show will look like in the end. Do you want it, yes or no?' I would have signed up for it in a second," said Giresi, who applauded the way his students responded to the challenging material.
See below for a complete list of nominations:
Metropolitan High School Theater Awards
Outstanding Overall Production
Outstanding Leading Actor - Sean Dabney (Guido Contini) -- Winner
Outstanding Production Number
Outstanding Featured Ensemble Member - Celinda Ortega (Lady of the Spa)
Outstanding Child Actor - Sabrina Leibowitz (Little Guido) -- Winner
Outstanding Direction - John Giresi
Outstanding Musical Direction - Steven Bell
Oustanding Stage Crew
Outstanding Costume Design - Bradford Harlan
Outstanding Lighting Design - Travis McHale
Outstanding Scenic Design - John Giresi & Daniel Vincent Panessa
Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards
Outstanding Supporting Actress - Ilana Kitaigorodsky (Claudia)