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Monday, 03 June 2013 16:03

Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana Host 5th Annual National High School Musical Theater Awards

Tony-nominated CINDERELLA stars Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana
announced as hosts of the
5th Annual National High School Musical Theater Awards
July 1 at Minskoff Theatre on Broadway

The Tony-nominated stars of the Broadway musical Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA -- Laura Osnes (Cinderella) and Santino Fontana (the Prince) --will host the 5th Annual National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA) on Monday, July 1 at the Minskoff Theater on Broadway.  Student winners from 31 regional awards will compete in the national event for the Jimmy™ Awards, named after Broadway theater owner and producer James M. (“Jimmy”) Nederlander.

Each year more than 50,000 high school students participate in musical theater competitions sponsored by professional theater organizations in cities across America.  The National High School Musical Theater Awards was founded in 2009 by the Pittsburgh CLO and Nederlander Alliances to create “a connection between the talented students in the amateur arena of high school musicals and the professional theater world,” says Pittsburgh CLO Executive Producer and NHSMTA President Van Kaplan. 

Laura Osnes has been nominated for the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for performance in the title role of CINDERELLA, having already won the 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical.  Santino Fontana has been nominated for the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical in CINDERELLA.  The Rodgers + Hammerstein musical has been nominated for 9 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.  The production has already won 3 Drama Desk Awards and an Outer Critics Circle Award.

CINDERELLA marks Ms. Osnes fifth Broadway musical, starting with GREASE, SOUTH PACIFIC, ANYTHING GOES and BONNIE & CLYDE, for which she was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.  Mr. Fontana has previously appeared on Broadway in BILLY ELLIOTT, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, BRIGTHON BEACH MEMOIRS and THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, and Off-Broadway at Roundabout Theater in SONS OF THE PROPHET. 

Ms. Osnes graduated from Eagan High School in Eagan, Minnesota and performed in the school's productions including FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, PETER PAN and THE MIRACLE WORKER.  Mr. Fontana, who graduated from Richland High School in Richland, Washington and performed in the school's productions including LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM and OTHELLO. 

CINDERELLA has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and original book by Oscar Hammerstein II.  The musical is directed by Mark Brokaw.  Josh Rhodes is choreographer.   Written for television in 1957, CINDERELLA is one of the most popular titles by the legendary musical theatre composing duo of Rodgers + Hammerstein, along with THE SOUND OF MUSIC, OKLAHOMA!, CAROUSEL and SOUTH PACIFIC.  Mr. Beane's book for CINDERELLA offers a new romantic twist on the ultimate makeover story of a maid-turned-princess, mixing fresh comedy and wit with the beloved tale's classic elements -- the pumpkin, glass slipper, masked ball and more.   For performance and ticket information to CINDERELLA visit www.cinderellaonbroadway.com.

Since its inception, the education-focused NHSMTA has been the catalyst for more than $750,000 in college and conservatory scholarships awarded to deserving young performers.  Over the past five years, the program has been supported by industry leaders and generous donors including NYU Tisch School of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Shubert Organization, The Broadway League, Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc., Disney Theatrical Productions, Barry & Fran Weissler/BWF Foundation and Jujamcyn Theaters.

Tickets to The National High School Musical Theater Awards on Monday, July 1, 2013 at Minskoff Theater can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.

NHSMTA is funded by the Broadway Education Alliance (BEA), the non-profit theater, performing arts and live entertainment industries service organization dedicated to building coalitions that supporttheatre arts education and cultural studies for audiences of all ages.  To help support the NHSMTA, please visit The Broadway Education Alliance.