Tag Archives: Hairspray

Burroughs Graduate Josh Strobl Wins Best Actor In National Musical Theater Competition

Recent John Burroughs High School graduate Josh Strobl won Best Performance by an Actor at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) Monday evening, June 27, in New York City. He received a $10,000 scholarship and was offered a full scholarship to NYU/Tisch School of the Arts.

Strobl gave an impassioned performance of “Maria” from West Side Story in the finals, going last in the group of eight male finalists. He had prepared the song in advance of the competition, working with Kenny Ortega, a Los Angeles movie producer and choreographer for Michael Jackson.

Best Actor winner Josh Strobl performs "Maria" during the finals of the 2016 National High School Musical Theatre Awards at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City on June 27, 2016.  Photo Courtesy of Henry McGee

Best Actor winner Josh Strobl performs “Maria” during the finals of the 2016 National High School Musical Theatre Awards at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City on June 27, 2016. Photo Courtesy of Henry McGee

“It felt incredible,” he said about the performance on the Minskoff Theatre stage. “It was because of the audience propelling me forward and from the other 61 nominees support, I was able to give one of the best performances ever.”

Since June 19, Strobl and the other nominees – 31 male and 31 female in all – spent long days of rehearsals with Broadway professionals and auditions in front of the judging panel.

First the competitors learned an eight-minute opening number, including choreographed dancing and singing. Then they were separated into two groups – medley and production.

Strobl was part of the medley group, during which he performed part of “It Takes Two,” which his character Link Larkin sang in the Burroughs’ production of Hairspray.

Best Actor Josh Strobl and Best Actress Amina Faye at the 2016 National High School Musical Theatre Awards After-Party at John's Pizzeria in New York City on June 27, 2016.  Photo Courtesy of Henry McGee

Best Actor Josh Strobl and Best Actress Amina Faye at the 2016 National High School Musical Theatre Awards After-Party at John’s Pizzeria in New York City on June 27, 2016. Photo Courtesy of Henry McGee

Strobl credits his coach during the NHSMTA competition, Eden Espinosa, who performed as Elphaba in Broadway’s Wicked, with helping him prepare for the finals.

“She taught me really valuable things about performance and how to be a real person on the stage,” he said, “Which I was then took to the finals.”

Winners were selected by a panel of judges comprised of notable theater professionals including Tony Award-winning producers, award-winning casting experts and industry professionals such as Kent Gash, Rachel Hoffman, Alecia Parker, Tara Rubin, Nick Scandalios and Kate Shindle.

Additional judges who selected the groups in which the students performed were Paul Canaan, Wayne Cilento, Kent Gash, Stephanie Klapper and Cesar Rocha.

The 2016 National High School Musical Theatre Awards Red Carpet at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City on June 27, 2016.  Photo Courtesy of Henry McGee

The 2016 National High School Musical Theatre Awards Red Carpet at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City on June 27, 2016. Photo Courtesy of Henry McGee

Amina Faye won Best Performance by an Actress. A number of other competitors in the 2016 finals won recognition and scholarships as well.

Strobl won Best Actor in the regional Jerry Herman Awards, held at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, in May 2016. He was nominated for his role of Link Larkin in the Burroughs 2016 production of Hairspray by Southern California judges.

His win at the Jerry Herman Awards in May qualified him to travel to New York City and compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards.

Held on the stage of the Minskoff Theatre, current home of The Lion King, the NHSMTA was hosted by Zachary Levi, who currently stars on Broadway in Roundabout Theatre Company’s She Loves Me at Studio 54.

NHSTMA’s prestigious annual competition is also known as The Jimmy™ Award; it’s named in honor of James M. Nederlander, Chairman of Nederlander Producing Company of America.

Best Actress Amina Faye, host Zachary Levi and Best Actor Josh Strobl at the 2016 National High School Musical Theatre Awards After-Party at John's Pizzeria in New York City on June 27, 2016.  Photo Courtesy of Henry McGee

Best Actress Amina Faye, host Zachary Levi and Best Actor Josh Strobl at the 2016 National High School Musical Theatre Awards After-Party at John’s Pizzeria in New York City on June 27, 2016. Photo Courtesy of Henry McGee

The annual Broadway-focused talent showcase featured performances by all 62 nominees and solos by select finalists. Their debut on a Broadway stage followed 9 days of rehearsals and private coaching with faculty at the New Studio on Broadway, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama and other professionals. Students also enjoyed a performance of On Your Feet! including a talkback with the cast.

The 2016 National High School Musical Theatre Awards introduced a new format for the program in order to accommodate more regional awards programs and provide opportunities for more students to experience Broadway and New York City. This year there were 62 students representing 31 programs, compared to last year’s 52 students representing 26 programs.

Strobl not only played the lead role of Link Larkin in JBHS Drama’s production of Hairspray this past year as a senior, but he also was a soloist and president of the award-winning Powerhouse, the top mixed show choir of JBHS’ Vocal Music Association.

Although Strobl did win a full scholarship to NYU/Tisch, he will attend his first choice school, University of Michigan, and begin studies towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater in the fall.

JBHS Students Entertain With “Hairspray”

Students in the drama, musical theater, vocal and instrumental music and dance programs at John Burroughs High School entertained nearly two thousand attendees over three shows this past weekend, February 5-7, with the musical Hairspray.

Directed by JBHS Drama Director Guy Myers, the student stage production of the musical adaptation of John Waters’ movie Hairspray, took audiences back to the early 1960s Baltimore, complete with overt racism and strict gender roles.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Junior Aubrianna Rohan, in the role of protagonist Tracy Turnblad, impressed with her vocal skills and acting chops.

Students from JBHS’ world-renowned vocal music program, directed by Brendan Jennings who also provided vocal direction for Hairspray, wowed the crowd with their singing and harmonizing.

Many of the students gave stand-out performances, including junior Zach Guerrero in the role of Tracy’s mother Edna Turnblad, made famous on the screen and stage by Divine and John Travolta.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

As Edna’s husband Wilbur, junior Sully Zack provided spot-on comic moments and an eye-popping array of colorful garb from the 1960s.

Senior Madison Mayer, as the antagonist Velma Von Tussle, was in excellent form as well.

A live orchestra conducted by JBHS Instrumental Music head Taylor Arakelian included many students from the high school instrumental music program.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Tech, lighting and stage support, under the direction of Jon King, was carried out by JBHS students in the Tech Crew program. Tech Crew put together the actual sets from the Las Vegas production of Hairspray, complete with lights, doors, engines and mechanical parts.

Burroughs High School’s Drama and Musical Theater program puts on two plays and one musical every year. Next up for the thespians will be George Washington Slept Here on May 6, 7 and 8.

JBHS “Hairspray” Opens With High Energy, Upbeat Attitude

John Burroughs High School students present the musical Hairspray at the high school auditorium Friday through Sunday, February 5 – 7. Hairspray tells the story of high school outcast Tracy Turnblad who realizes her dream of becoming a regular dancer on the popular Corny Collins Show.

Tracy uses her newfound popularity to try to change the segregation in her local 1960s Baltimore society, while going head to head with the reigning Teen Queen and turning the teen scene and the status quo upside down.

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Directed by JBHS Drama head Guy Myers, with vocal direction by Vocal Music Director Brendan Jennings and a live orchestra conducted by high school Instrumental Music teacher Taylor Arakelian, the musical adaptation is based on the John Waters’ movie Hairspray.

Hairspray is high energy fun onstage, but there is just as much going on backstage during the show with complicated sets, multiple costume changes and almost 50 wigs!” commented Myers. “The cast and crew have been incredibly professional in dealing with the rented sets from the Vegas production of Hairspray, which was part of the national tour.”

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“This production is more than just another high school musical; it is going to be an event!” he added.

Members of the JBHS drama, musical theater, vocal music and dance programs have spent an intense month of preparation for the performance.

“The drama program at John Burroughs High School is honestly so amazing and unlike anything I have come across in my years of acting,” commented junior Zach Guerrero, who portrays the witty and outspoken Edna Turnblad, Tracy’s mother.

“I had recently moved from Arizona to pursue my dreams and the level of performance that Hairspray has to offer is beyond the standards of productions I have participated in.”

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“I am so excited to be playing my dream role as Edna Turnblad. I am so honored to be directed under Mr. Myers and to be working with such talented actors in the cast,” Guerrero added. “The show is extravagant and thrilling and I am excited to bring it to the public!”

“This production of Hairspray at JBHS is hands down one of the most amazing things I’ve ever had the pleasure of being apart of,” said junior Aubrianna Rohan. “Being able to portray the iconic role of Tracy Turnblad had been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember.”

“The outstanding director, Mr. Guy Myers, has allowed the entire cast to explore their creative ability as actors and actresses, as well as have a blast while doing it. We have all worked so hard on this show and I am so excited to welcome everyone to the 60s!”

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Hairspray has been an incredibly entertaining experience. I’ve loved playing the shockingly cruel villain named Velma,” said senior Madison Mayer about her turn as Velma Von Tussle. “The music, the message and the cast make for an environment that makes smiles multiply. It’s a beautiful story about the importance of equality told through the rhythmic music of the era.”

With music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and the book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, Hairspray won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score. The musical features popular songs “Good Morning, Baltimore,” “I Can Hear the Bells,” “Without Love” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat.”

Hairspray runs Friday, February 5, and Saturday, February 6, at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 7, at 12:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 for priority seating, $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students and are available in advance here or at the box office before the show.

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Helicopter Rescue For Bicyclist Injured in Fall By Nature Centure

Burbank Fire units stand by at Stough Canyon Nature Center during a rescue operation (Photo By Trent Welker)

Burbank Paramedics were called at 2:08 pm on Sunday for a report of a bicycle rider who had fallen on the trail above Stough Canyon Nature Center in Burbank.

Upon arriving at the Nature Center, they took their Patrol Unit up the fire road about a mile and found a 44 year-old man who had fallen and was unable to move his legs.  Feeling that bringing the victim back down in their patrol vehicle may hurt the victim more, they called for a helicopter to airlift the victim.

Air 5 from L. A. City Fire was called in the air lift a man who had fallen from his bicycle on a mountain trail (Photo By Trent Welker)

Burbank called L. A. Fire, with whom they have a reciprocal agreement , and asked for one of their helicopters to assist in the rescue.  The victim was then air lifted to County USC Medical Center where his injuries and condition have still not been released.

The entire rescue took about one hour.

Capacity Crowd Enjoys “Burroughs on Broadway”

Photso By Ross A. Benson

 

      Members of the John Burroughs High School’s Powerhouse, Sound Sensations, Sound Waves and Decibels, preformed “Burroughs On Broadway” Friday and Saturday evenings to capacity crowds.  Members preformed to numbers from Mary Poppins, Chicago,  Hairspray and In The Heights where students wowed the crowd and preformed to a technically stuffed show. The final performance will be on Sunday at 2:00pm and there are still tickets available. This event is one of the  Burroughs Vocal Music Association’s major fundraisers for the year.