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Freddy Awards: Emmaus, Nazareth sweep Freddy Awards, Parkland wins outstanding musical production

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The Freddy Awards was held on May 23, 2024 and broadcast on WMFZ.

EASTON, PA. — Divine decadence, darling!

Dieruff High School's Cabaret was among the big winners at the Freddy Awards on Thursday night.

The Allentown-based school took home three awards.

However the biggest winners — and tiebreakers of the evening — were Emmaus High School (“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Broadway Version”), Nazareth Area High School (“Disney's The Little Mermaid,” and Parkland High School (SpongeBob the Musical.”)

The secondary schools won four Freddy Awards respectively.

Freddy Awards turns 22

Hundreds of talented high school students from 29 schools across the Lehigh Valley and Warren County, New Jersey, were honored at the show now in its 22nd year.

The lively show kicked off with an enthusiastic number from musicals such as “Mean Girls: High School Version” “Cabaret” and “42nd Street,” which was met with roaring applause from the audience at the State Theatre Center for the Arts.

The live ceremony was broadcast on WMFZ.

The Freddys program was created by the State Theatre in 2003 to recognize excellence in high school musical theater.

Not a 'Mean Girl' in sight

Feeling overwhelmed after her fetching Freddy for best actress in a leading role, Hailey Lara, of Whitehall High School, thanked the cast of “Mean Girls High School Version.”

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Hailey Lara, of Whitehall High School, took home best actress in a leading role at the Freddy Awards on May 23, 2024.

“Last year, I was feeling so lost and you all welcomed me,” Lara, who portrayed 'Mean Girl' Regina George, said.

“We didn't think we were going to win'

Melo Rodriguez scored two awards for his portrayal as Herr Schultz in Dieruff High School's “Cabaret.”

He touched on social messages behind the musical, which historically addresses the Holocaust and Nazis in the 1930s.

“Be kind to your fellow man and don't ignore the troubles of the world,” Rodriguez said onstage while accepting his Freddy Award for supporting actor.

He also took home a Freddy Award for Outstanding Small Ensemble performance (shared with Mayrali Melendez).

The pair did not write an acceptance speech.

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Dieruff High School's Mayrali Melendez, Melo Rodriguez accept their Freddy Award for their roles in "Cabaret."

“We didn't think we were going to win,” Rodriguez said, before Melendez gave a special shoutout to her family.

“I love you all," she said. "I missed my cousin's wedding for the show, so thank you so much."

College bound

Two high school theater students did go home with Freddy Awards, but still left with honors.

Seniors Ayden Gonzalez of Dieruff High School and Robert Morgan of Southern Lehigh High School — hugged their respective friends and family after it was announced they won scholarships to attend West Virginia University.

Complete list of the Freddy Award winners

Outstanding performance by an orchestra

  • Nazareth Area High School, “Disney's The Little Mermaid”

Outstanding Use of Scenery

  • Bangor Area High School, “Mean Girls High School Version.”

Outstanding use of costumes

  • Freedom High School, “42nd Street.”

Outstanding performance by a male ensemble member

  • Charles Kenney as Jean Michel, Emmaus High School, “Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella Broadway Version.”

Outstanding performance by a female ensemble member

  • Tori Davis as Alice Beinecke, Southern Lehigh High School, “The Addams Family School Edition.”

Outstanding use of lighting

  • Dieruff High School, “Cabaret.”

Education and Community Impact Award presented by Air Products

  • Nazareth Area High School, “Disney's The Little Mermaid.”

Outstanding Small Ensemble Performance

  • Anna Edwards and Kaysiana Yeager, “Stepsisters Lament,” Allentown Central Catholic High School, “Rogers and Hammerstein, Cinderella, The Enchanted Edition.”
  • Mayrali Melendez, Melo Rodriguez, Dieruff High School, “It Couldn’t Please Me More, “Cabaret.”

Outstanding use of choreography and musical staging

  • Freedom High School, “42nd Street.”
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Outstanding performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Addison Giesler, as Ursula, Nazareth Area High School, “Disney’s The Little Mermaid.”

Outstanding performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Melo Rodriguez as Herr Schultz, Dieruff High School, “Cabaret.”

Outstanding performance by a featured dancer

  • Amelia Roberto as Acrobat, Warren Hills Regional High School, Rolled Dolls, “Matilda the Musical.”

Outstanding Ensemble

  • Parkland High School, “SpongeBob the Musical.”

Outstanding Featured Performance by an Actor

  • Noah Hover as Sebastian, Emmaus High School, “Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cinderella, Broadway Version.”
  • Agidio Poloni as Patrick Star, Parkland High School, “The SpongeBob Musical.”

Outstanding Performance by an Actress

  • Skyler Young as Olive Ostrovsky Belvedere, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Outstanding Production Number

  • Emmaus High School, “The Prince is Giving a Ball,” (“Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cinderella, Broadway Version”).

Outstanding performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Hailey Lara, as Regina George, Whitehall High School, “Mean Girls High School Version,”

Outstanding performance by an actor in a leading role

  •  Vasilis Motsenigos as SpongeBob, Parkland High School, “The SpongeBob Musical”

Outstanding overall production by a smaller school

  • Wilson Area High School, “Newsies”

Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical

  • Parkland High School, “SpongeBob the Musical”

Vic Kumma Award for Outstanding Solo Vocal Performance

  • Anna Chavolla “There’s Music In You” Emmaus Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Broadway Version)

Outstanding Stage Crew In memory of Capt. Christopher Seifert

Bangor Area High School, “Mean Girls High School Version.”

For more info on the Freddy Awards, click here.