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Briarcliff's 'Sugar' Gets Eight Theater Nominations

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Briarcliff Manor High School is one of only six schools out of about 40 to be up for Outstanding Overall Production in the 2012 Metropolitan High School Theater Awards .

“I was thrilled with our cast and crew for the nominations,” said Briarcliff High School Director Ian Driver. “We had so many who worked so hard for the nominations. But the Overall Production nomination is so important because it recognizes all of us. I find that very satisfying.”

Briarcliff High School received a total of eight nominations for the March production of “Sugar.” 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. Around 40 high schools from Rockland, Westchester and Bergen counties entered the competition this year. Pleasantville High School received 14 nominations, Ossining High School received 10 nominations and Hastings High School received two.

Driver said Briarcliff Manor students did not set out to win awards.

“It’s not competitive sport, but it’s very nice to be recognized,” Driver said. “I’m very proud of what we managed to do and I’m very proud of what the students managed to achieve.”

The winners will be announced during a June 4 awards ceremony modeled after the Tony Awards at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill. The six schoold nominated for Outstanding Overall Production, similar to Best Musical, also will perform a number from the show during the ceremony. With “Sugar” based on the 1969 film “Some Like It Hot,” Junior Dan Levine and senior John Alecci may need to dress up like women one more time and perform their nominated duet for the show.

“I can’t wait to dress up like a woman again,” Dan said, with a laugh. “It really takes everyone in the show to get nominated for best production. Everyone working together really made this play great so I’m excited to be able to put that together one more time.”

Dan said he wanted all recognition for the show to go to everyone involved.

“We had so many great people working together on this show that made it great,” he said. “Working with Mr. Driver was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in the arts and in life. And I’ve always watched John as the role model in Briarcliff High School Theater because he’s always been the high point.”

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