A night to remember at the Kelly Awardds

Saturday, 28 May 2011 11:33 PM Written by 

Bill Wade/Post-Gazette
Luke Halferty of Central Catholic, crowned best actor at the Kelly Awards.

Congratulations to Pittsburgh Schenley, Hampton and Woodland Hills, winners of the best musical Kelly Awards three budget categories at tonight's ceremony at the Benedum Center. I just got home from the show and I have to say, do yourself a favor next spring and get yourself to a high school musical. If you could see the talent and the energy and the joy onstage at the Benedum Center tonight for the annual Kelly Awards celebration of high school musicals, you'd understand.

I was a Kelly judge for the first time this year, and the process was eye-opening, intense and rewarding. It culminates in the showcase tonight that's a tribute to all the people involved, from the 3,000 students in 29 Allegheny County schools, the faculty members and parents and community volunteers, to the folks at Pittsburgh CLO, the judges and the accountants at Deloitte Touche who donate their time and know-how to make the Kellys a mini-Tonys here in Pittsburgh.

My favorite parts of the Kellys is the production numbers that are just for the Kellys. There's a production number at the top of the night featured the nominees from all the individual acting categories singing a mash-up of "Once in a Lifetime" and "Rain On My Parade." Later in the show, the best actor and actress nominees perform numbers from their individual shows, but re-created as a team effort. Then there's the stirring "Eyes on the Goal" finale, a big production number that includes two performers from each of the 29 eligible schools, including one of Schenley's Things from Seussical -- the bouncy balls of energy known as .

For more on the big night, images and a list of winners, visit Post-Gazette.com/theater.

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