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Briarcliff's 'Music Man' Gets Eight Theater Nominations

The Briarcliff High School production of "The Music Man" has been nominated for eight Metropolitan High School Theater Awards.
The Briarcliff High School production of "The Music Man" has been nominated for eight Metropolitan High School Theater Awards. Photo Credit: Courtesy Syntax

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- For the second year in a row, Briarcliff High School's spring musical has received eight nominations for the 2013 Metropolitan High School Theater Awards.

This year's production of "The Music Man" matches last year's production of "Sugar," which received eight nominations in the 2012 Metropolitan High School Theater Awards. The Metropolitan High School Theater Awards began in 1998 “to shine a spotlight on the exceptional musical theater productions, talented actors and actresses and devoted creative teams who take to the stage every spring in our local high schools,” according to the Helen Hayes Youth Theatre, the company that hands out the awards.

Approximately 40 high schools from Rockland, Westchester and Bergen counties entered the competition this year.The awards presentation is set for June 3 at the Paramount Center For The Arts.

"I am absolutely thrilled that we matched last year," said the play's director Ian Driver. "I think it reflects very highly on the work that the students have done more so than anything else. I'm very proud of the work done on stage and behind the scenes as well."

Driver said he was especially proud of the nomination the production received for the show's stage crew.

"I think it was their teamwork but when you see the show, it was absolutely seamless and that's all their work," Driver said.

Lead actress Rebecca Simpson Wallack, lead actor Dan Levine, ensemble members Caroline Johnson, Matt Ellis, Jordan Ross, Russell Francis and Charlie Driver as well as Devon Levy and child actor Jasmine Bar also received nominations this year. Driver said the nominations are a testament to the high level of acting talent at Briarcliff High School.

"I think we've developed some very strong actors over the years and this is our culmination of that," Driver said, noting that Simpson-Wallack and Levine stood out in the superb cast. "The skill of acting is less is more and making that little bit that you do count for more. They both developed that and I think it's very noticeable and that's high praise for any actor."

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