Category Archives: Events

2017 Jerry Herman Award Moments

Each year we bring more than 30 high schools together to celebrate theatre arts education. See some of our favorite Jerry Herman Award Moments of 2017

Opening Number Rehearsals

Each participating school sends on male and one female participant to the Jerry Herman Awards to audition for the Best Actor/Actress category. In addition, these participants perform the opening number the night of the award show.

JHA participants begin working through the opening number music early Saturday morning.

Boys begin auditioning for opening number solos

Boys working through the opening number music

Girls take turns auditioning for opening number solos

Participants begin learning opening number choreography

The JHA welcome back Josh Strobl to help open the show

Participants listen closely to choreography instructions

Finalist, Sully Zack waits in the wings while his fellow participants learn a block of choreography

 

 

Jerry Herman Awards Night

The night of the show the Best Actor/Actress participants open the show and are immediately narrowed down to 6 finalists. From there, finalists perform one more time in front of our judges. The judges then select two winners move on to the Jimmy Awards competition in NYC.  In addition to the 6 finalists’ solos, 12 category awards given away and a few schools are asked to perform a number from their production.

Participants pose for a quick photo with Music Director, Michael Orland, before the show begins.

2016 JHA Winner Josh Strobl returns to help open the 2017 JHA

Amaris Griggs on right performs her opening number solo.

Television Personality George Pennacchio emcee’s the Jerry Herman Awards

Finalist Ariana Prappas from San Marino High School performs Light in the Piazza

Finalist Cameron Vargas from Crescenta Valley High School performs Music of the Night

Finalist Brezae Weeks from HArts Academy performs I’m Here

Finalist Sully Zack from John Burroughs High School Performs Extraordinary

Finalist Brighton Thomas from John Burroughs High School performs With You

Finalist Robert Diehl from Mira Costa High School performs Oh What a Beautiful Morning

Palos Verdes Peninsula performs 76 Trombones from The Music Man

Palos Verdes Peninsula performs 76 Trombones from The Music Man

Mira Costa High School performs The Farmer and The Cowman from Oklahoma!

Mira Costa High School performs The Farmer and The Cowman from Oklahoma!

Saugus High School performs Tradition from Fiddler on the Roof

Saugus High School performs Tradition from Fiddler on the Roof

2017 JHA Winners pose with the judges. From left: Josh Strobl (2016 JHA winner) Kenny Ortega, Cathy Rigby, Cameron Vargas, Brighton Thomas, Nancy Dussault, John Bowab, and Lewis Wilkenfeld

 

 

The 2017 Jerry Herman Awards Winners

On Monday, June 5 the 6th Annual Jerry Herman Awards took the stage at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. This year a total of 37 schools submitted their productions for consideration. Congratulations to all of the winners.

Scenic Design

Milken Community Schools- Les Miserables

Lighting Design

Diamond Bar High School- In the Heights

Costume Design

The Archer School for Girls- The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Students from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School perform “76 Trombones” from The Music Man

Orchestra

Mira Costa High School- Oklahoma!

Ensemble/Chorus

Saugus High School- Fiddler on the Roof

Students from Saugus High School perform “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof

Technical Crew

Providence High School- The Addams Family

Staging/Choreography

New Roads High School- In the Heights

Students from Mira Costa High School perform “Farmer and the Cowman” from Oklahoma!

Musical Direction

Saugus High School- Fiddler on the Roof

Supporting Actor

Chaminade College Preparatory- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee: Carter Skyers “Mitch Mahoney”

Oaks Christian School- Cinderella: Jake Mouchawar “Sebastian”

Palos Verdes Peninsula High School-The Music Man: Lucas Grenda “Marcellus Wasburn”

For the first time ever a three way tie for Best Supporting Actor. From the left Lucas Grenda Palos Verdes Peninsula, Jake Mouchawar Oaks Christian, and Carter Skyers Chaminade Preparatory

Supporting Actress

Los Angeles County High School for the Arts- A Chorus Line: Shaila Essley “Shelia”

Shaila Essley from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts takes home the prize for Best Supporting Actress

“No Small Parts”

New Roads School- In the Heights: Caleb McGee “Piragua Guy”

Best Actor

Crescenta Valley High School – Phantom of the Opera: Cameron Vargas “The Phantom”

Cameron Vargas from Crescenta Valley High School wins Best Actor winner moves onto the Jimmy Award’s in NYC

Best Actress

John Burroughs High School – Pippin: Brighton Thomas “The Leading Player”

Brighton Thomas from John Burroughs High School wins Best Actress and moves on to the Jimmy Awards in NYC

Best Production

Mira Costa High School-Oklahoma!

The cast of Mira Costa’s Oklahoma! Wins Best Production.

#HamilTipsLA

We want you to be in the room where it happens! Check out our tips for getting your Hamilton tickets on Sunday, April 30th at 10am.

  • There are 3 ways to buy Hamilton tickets on Sunday, April 30 at 10am: online, at box office, or call Ticketmaster.
  • Regular prices for HAMILTON are $85, $95, $125, $175, $195 & $650.
  • Holiday dates for HAMILTON are Nov 24 -26 & Dec 22 – 30.  Prices are $95, $125, $175, $195, $225 & $750.
  • Try searching for dates after October 1 for best availability.
  • For list of all performance dates, check our website.
  • Have several dates in mind in the event that your first choice is unavailable
  • Need assistance with ASL, Open Caption, Audio Description, and accessibility seating? visit our website.
  • Buying ONLINE?  Download the TM App & create Ticketmaster account ahead of time.
  • To see all ticket prices DE-SELECT BEST AVAILABILITY on Ticketmaster.com. This function only displays highest priced tickets.
  • Once tickets are selected, DON’T REFRESH YOUR BROWSER or you’ll lose your place in line.  Wait times could be over an hour.
  • Use only one browser or tab when searching for tickets. Using multiple browsers can make you look like ticket bot!
  • Plan to call for your Hamilton tickets? The ONLY number is Ticketmaster 800-982-2787.  You MUST have your date ready for the automated system.
  • Coming to the Box Office?  Line on Sunday, April 30 begins no earlier than 6am at the stage door on Argyle Ave.
  • A Photo ID is required for all Box Office purchases – including cash or credit card.
  • Plan your parking!  Click Here.
  • Go Metro!  Check Sunday Schedule.
  • IN LINE at Pantages for your Hamilton Tickets?  Be in 2 lines at once!  Download the TM App on your phone.
  • Buying at the box office? Celebrate with one of our Restaurant Partners.
  • Make a day of it! Explore Hollywood
  • Don’t forget to check out the Hollywood Farmers’ Market

We’re Not Gonna Pay!

Last week we announced that there will be a lottery for the Rent 20th Anniversary tour at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre January 24 – 29. The lottery has become an important part of the theatre going experience for the last 20 years. Would you believe that the tradition started with Rent?

Patrons anxiously await for their name is called for the Wicked lottery outside of the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

On April 29, 1996 Rent opened on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre in NYC. It quickly became the show everyone had to see. As tickets became more expensive and scarce, many complained that they simply could not afford to attend the show.

Lottery hopefuls fill the box office lobby as names are called out.

The show’s producers offered 34 seats in the front two rows of the orchestra for $20 each on a first come first serve basis on the day of the performance. Jumping at the opportunity for discounted tickets, people began to form lines at the break of dawn. Suddenly, a new model was born.

Cody Jamison Strand (Elder Cunningham) from the cast of The Book of Mormon calls out the names of the lottery winners

On September 7, 2008, over 10 years after the first lottery names were called, Rent on Broadway held it’s final lottery. The video below shows the events of that day. Do not stand in between a Renthead and their tickets!

 

Today, many are still taking advantage of the opportunity to wait in line for inexpensive tickets. The phenomenon not only occurs on Broadway but in touring houses all over the United States. Tickets for the upcoming engagement of the Rent 20th Anniversary Tour are selling quickly. For details about the lottery CLICK HERE

 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story World Premiere

On Saturday, December 10, the Hollywood Pantages played host to the world premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  It is a rare occasion to turn this theatrical house into a state of the art movie house but Disney did just that and to stunning effect.  With a seventy foot screen, a digital laser projector and over 300 speakers, the historic Hollywood Pantages roared back to life and restored its movie house glory.

Hollywood Pantages General Manager Jeff Loeb and Daughter Cady stand in front of an X-Wing Fighter prop from the film.

From where I sat, with Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) to my left and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) behind me, the little kid who watched the very first Star Wars with his Mom was now about to watch the latest movie with his own daughter.  I was both a fan of the movie and excited to see a movie play once again in the theatre.  As the movie started to roll, the glow from the screen illuminated the entire audience who were all transfixed, eagerly awaiting the first look at the next Star Wars installment.  But for me, I was taken at first not by the movie, but something hard to describe.  The theatre felt different for me.  I don’t know what the feeling was but it was wonderful.  We, the staff, so often take for granted the musicals we present on stage and our ability to present show after show.  We forget what a quiet roll the theatre itself plays.  But at the premiere, we were allowed to simply admire a wonderful movie, being shown in one of the most beautiful venues in the country.  It is a moment I can’t adequately describe and one I won’t soon forget.

Large Rogue One posters line the red carpet of the premiere.

We don’t know when we will host a premiere again, but I, for one, hope it is sooner rather than later.  For now, we look forward to the theatrical release of Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical, filmed here at the Hollywood Pantages last September.  For a brief moment, the theatre will get to be a part of movie history again.

Jeff Loeb

General Manager

Hollywood Pantages

Costumes from Rogue One are displayed on the red carpet for the premiere.

A tent covers the length of the red carpet due to a threat of rain.

The cast of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story pose for photos in the X-Wing Fighter

The Pantages marquee is just visible through the tenting on Hollywood Blvd

Rogue One banners cover the front of the Pantages.

A life size TIE-Fighter stands above the bar at the Rogue One after party.

The Pink Carpet

The 2016-17 Season has officially begun. There is nothing more fun than kicking off a new season than with a red carpet opening night. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a special show that deserved a special PINK carpet. In this blog, see how we do everything from pink carpet set up to the celebs that joined us for the opening.

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Zelda Williams (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

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Judy Greer (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

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From Left: Scout Willis, Tallulah Belle Willis, Arianne Phillips, and Demi Moore (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

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Margaret Cho (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

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Courtney Love (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

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John Stamos (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

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Vincent Rodriguez III (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

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Rider Strong (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

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Ross Matthews (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

 

2016-17 Season Ticket Holder Open House

Welcome to the 2016-17 Hollywood Pantages Season! We invited our new Season Ticket Holders to make their Pantages Theatre debut at our annual open house. Guests explored the theatre learning about the history and architecture as well as sampling small bites from local area restaurants.  We would like to thank  all of our neighborhood and restaurant partners for helping us out. A special thank you to Chelsea Lauren for the beautiful photos.

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The Ultimate TBT

Enjoy an ultimate Throw Back Thursday photo collection of our historic theatre. Most of the photos below were taken in the 1950’s. Imagine the people you would have seen walking through the doors at that time.

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Ladies mirrored lounge on house right near the lower bar.

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Lounge now used as offices for our Front of House Manager.

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Looking over the mezzanine.

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The Grand Chandelier inside of the theatre.

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A view of the center colonnade from the lobby. Currently the location of the concessions stand.

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Original box office located in the center of the outer lobby..

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Poster windows still utilized today.

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Front door entrance hallway.

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Original lobby chandelier.

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Original center mural pictured above the stage.

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A view of the theatre seats from behind the side stage curtain.

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Another look at the poster windows.

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Front doors to the theatre from the outer lobby.

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Plush couches and benches line the colonnade.

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Mezzanine staircase landing. Currently home to one of the theatre’s bars.

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Mezzanine staircase landing.

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Chairs located outside the center mezzanine doors.

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The theatre lobby.

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Decorated drinking fountain located near door 5 in the colonnade.

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Exterior of theatre taken in 1930 shortly after the theatre’s opening.

One Night Only

On September 11, 2016, The Hollywood Pantages made history once again by hosting the live filming of the musical Newsies. The show will be aired as a Fathom event in movie theaters across the country next year. In addition to the excitement of a live filming nine original cast members from the Broadway production of Newsies lent their talent for One Night Only.

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The event was invite only but a standby line was available to hardcore Fansies who started lining up at 1am Sunday morning.

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11 cameras were brought in for the filming

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Broadway cast members spent an entire week together rehearsing before the live filming.

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Special merchandise was available for this one time only event.

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The cast dressed and ready to go. From Left Andrew Keenan-Bolger ‘Crutchie’, Kara Lindsay ‘Katherine’, Ben Fankhauser ‘Davey’, and Jeremy Jordan ‘Jack Kelly’

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The audience waiting for the filming to begin

UPDATE!

Disney’s Newsies Live, filmed at the Hollywood Pantages, opens in select theaters Feb 16, 18, and the 22. Check out the video below as Newsies goes behind the scenes at the Hollywood Pantages.

 

Hollywood Pantages Season Ticket Holders were invited to a screening of Newsies and surprised by a Q&A afterwards with Nico DeJesus, a Newsie from the filming.

Jeff Loeb, General Manager of the Hollywood Pantages conducts a post screening Q&A with Nico DeJesus, Newsies cast member.

 

Two more chances to see Newsies. February 18 and 22, 2017

Nico DeJesus discusses his experience filming a live theatrical production.

Update Update

You can now purchase Newsies live on iTunes. This digital version includes 11 minutes of special features, a sing a long version, and a theatrical version with a built in intermission. Not to mention the beautiful sweeping shots of the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

Jerry Herman Awards 2016

By Evan Henerson

The stage was set. The players, clad in a mixture of rehearsal tights and hoodies, were locked in on the task at hand. Actor Sage Cobos idly twirled a plunger like a baton. Their 45 minutes of on-stage preparation time were dwindling away, and the company of de Toledo High School’s “Urinetown” still had vocal warm-ups to execute and a run through to run through.

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Sage Cabos (right) directs the “Urinetown” cast with his plunger

The actual performance was not due to start for another two hours, but the company’s director  spoke up with a final note of advice/warning.

“If you do not dance this to the point of exhaustion,” Diane Feldman told her ensemble, “I will seek vengeance upon you.”

The line may sound threatening, but Feldman – de Toledo’s drama, musical theater and vocal instruction teacher — knows her company, and nobody was intimidated. If a segment of your high school production is going to “graduate” from an auditorium or gymnasium to a one night showcase on the historic Hollywood Pantages Theatre, every member of your company will need to bring his or her A-game.

Feldman and the De Toledo “Urinetown-ers” did, and that’s why they were furiously blocking out the number “Run, Freedom, Run” which opened the second act of the 5th Annual Jerry Herman High School Musical Theatre Awards of Los Angeles. De Toledo, located in West Hills, was one of four schools selected to restage a portion of the musical staged during the year during the awards show.

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The Archer School for Girls performs a medley from “Spring Awakening”

Joining de Toledo were The Archer School for Girls performing a rocking medley from its all-female production of “Spring Awakening,” Oaks Christian School’s rendition of “We’ve got Magic to do” from “Pippin” and Village Christian School’s tap-happy, chimney sweep-laden medley from “Disney’s Marry Poppins.” Each of the four productions ended up capturing at least one Jerry Herman Award during the evening.

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Oaks Christian High School performing the opening number from “Pippin”

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Village Christian High School performing a medley from “Disney’s Mary Poppins”

Those performance numbers barely constituted an appetizer on the Herman Awards’ menu of entertainment. Think you’ve seen casts of thousands represented on the Pantages stage? How about 50 young men and women belting out selections of songs from “42nd Street,” “A Chorus Line” “Hercules,” and “Dreamgirls” during the production’s opening number  – “One Night. Once Chance”?

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Jerry Herman Award’s opening number “One Night One Chance”

And that was just for starters during an evening full of celebrity presenters and awardees across all the theatrical disciplines. Three young men and three young women were selected from that group of 50 to perform a solo number for a panel of judges, with a trip to New York to participate in the National High School Musical (AKA The Jimmys) awarded to the best actor and best actress winners. During the auditions held two days before the event, each of the 50 actors had their work reviewed by industry veteran judges including McCoy Rigby Entertainment Services producer Cathy Rigby and hit-making director-choreographer Kenny Ortega.

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Participants wait their turn to audition in front of the judges.

More than 30 public and private high schools from Conejo Valley to Orange County submitted productions for consideration across a variety of performance and technical categories.  School administrators filled out forms at the beginning of the school year. The Hollywood Pantages sent volunteer adjudicators to all of the performances. In the spring, a team at the Pantages, working from the adjudicators’ notes and a DVD of the production, determined the nominees.

For two days leading up the show, the best actor and actress nominees auditioned before the panel of five judges. In sessions that lasted 10-15 minutes, each of the nearly 50 nominees got to sing one or two songs in front of Ortega, Rigby and fellow judges John Bowab, Lewis Wilkenfeld and Nancy Dussault. Following the audition, the judges offered encouragement and constructive professional feedback.

For Hamilton High School senior Emma Griffone, getting a taste of what a Broadway audition will be like was an invaluable experience.

“It’s so important,” she said. “Between the long rehearsal process we had this weekend and the auditions, it’s really great to know what it’s like to walk into an audition. The whole rehearsal process was almost like Chorus 101 for me, learning how to wait, how to stand there and to put together a number in a really short period of time. I think it’s really a lot about building your confidence about standing out but also working together on a collaborative experience.”

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Emma Griffone (right) in rehearsals for the opening number

As participants and show producers continuously noted, opportunities for young artists to strut their stuff are rare. School arts programs are in constant jeopardy of losing funding forcing high school drama teachers and students alike to be creative in order to keep interest in the performing arts alive. The validation of a sold out theater full of students, teachers, parents, mentors and working theater folks can work wonders.

Wilkenfeld, the artistic director of the Cabrillo Music Theatre, knows this only too well. Working with many young performers at the start of their careers, Wilkenfeld joined the Jerry Herman Awards judging panel in 2015 in part because he understood the importance of keeping that spark alive.

“They were bussing us to shows when I was a kid, and now they don’t even do that,” Wilkenfeld said. “To see these kids falling in love with the arts, it’s keeping them focused. It’s keeping them in love with school. Even if they’re not a math whiz, even if their English theater bores them and they don’t understand science, they’re still coming to school for this.”

Broadway veteran Gregory Jbara echoed the sentiment. Jbarra attended the Herman awards both to present the award for Best Supporting Actor and to support the efforts of his son, Zachary, who is completing his first year at Hamilton High School’s performing arts magnet.

“I realize how lucky these kids are that there’s a situation like this where they get to be celebrated,” said Jbara, a Tony Award-winner for “Billy Elliott.” “I’m proud to be in the company of a community that says ‘This is important, and we will back you.’”

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Greg Jbara (left) James L. Nederlander (right) pose on the red carpet for the 2016 Jerry Herman Awards

While only two performers will emerge from the experience bound for New York and a shot at the Jimmys, the general consensus among the participants is that every nominee – on stage or otherwise – is a winner.

“I don’t feel like it’s a competition at all,” said Cobos a leading actor candidate for de Toledo’s “Urinetown. “(All the nominees) rehearse for eight hours together. Everyone is so attentive and happy to be singing together. They’re singing, harmonizing, dancing – all the things we love to do.  You just hear some of these kids’ voices and you think, ‘Oh my God, I want to sing with you!’”

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Participants creating new friendships over lunch break on rehearsal day

“That we even managed to get here was a huge hurdle for us,” added Verdugo Hills High School Orchestra Director Victoria Lopez whose production of “Hairspray” was nominated for best orchestra. “We’re sharing a stage with the top schools in and around southern California. That in itself is a big award for us. This is a learning experience, and it will motivate the students to keep working and to keep trying to raise our standards.”

As celebratory as the entire event is, the event is not without its share of tension. For the judges, who spend concentrated time with nearly 50 hopeful actors and actresses ages 14 to 17, the auditions are a mixture of boostering, reassurance and maybe even scouting talent for future productions. Future Disney Channel star Ryan McCartan won the 2011 Jimmy Award for best actor before moving on to such projects as “Royal Pains,” “Liv and Maddie” and the upcoming TV adaptation of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” directed by Ortega.

“It’s a great growing opportunity for every single participant,” Ortega said. “Every single kid that comes in here, they’re open and they’re thirsty. Some have never been in a situation like this before, standing in front of five people in the industry that are making a choice as to whether they’re going to move forward. We do our best to try to get them to relax, let them know ‘This is your home. We’re in your space.’”

Easier said than believed, sometimes. During her audition, San Marino High School’s Lauren Hickey –  her hair still sporting the dye job from playing Audrey in SMHS’s spring production of “Little Shop of Horrors” – confessed to experiencing some nerves. After she displayed a bell-like soprano voice unleashing the satiric wistful “Somewhere That’s Green,” Hickey fielded an assortment of suggestions from the judges — be proud of your furniture covered in plastic, convey your amazement at owning a “big 12-inch (TV) screen.”

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Lauren Hickey (pictured in stripes) rehearsing for the opening number

“Walking into this room, it might feel kind of cold,” Ortega told Hickey, “but you went somewhere with this song. I would like you to just shake it out, trust yourself, believe in the people who know what you have and go to that place where you went when you did this on stage. Bring us there.”

Hickey performed the song a second time, incorporating the notes, and eliciting a parting “brava!” from the judges. That same evening, the judges heard a completely different rendition of “Somewhere That’s Green” from Canyon High School’s Abby Heywood whose character evoked comparisons to actress Megan Mullally. Heywood’s portrayal of “Little Shop’s” Audrey was markedly different from Hickey’s and the actress received a completely different set of notes.

Two nights later at the awards ceremony, Hickey advanced to the finals, joining fellow actresses Griffone and Antonia Vivino of Santa Susana High School. The three qualifying actors were Chaminade High School’s Alejandro Navarro, Zane Sipotz of Los Angeles County High School of the Arts (LACHSA) and Joshua Strobl of John Burroughs High School.

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(From left) Antonia Vivino, Zane Sipotz, Lauren Hickey, Alejandro Navarro, Emma Griffone and Josh Strobl await to hear who will move onto New York for the Jimmy Awards.

Having gone through the Minneapolis Spotlight Awards five years earlier en route to winning the 2011 Jimmy, McCarten said he understood how the six finalists were feeling backstage as they prepared for the final vote. “They are freaking out right now,” he told the audience before presenting the No Small Parts award to de Toledo’s Brennen Klitzner.

And “freaking out” covered the range of emotions, agreed Griffone who said she spent a substantial portion of her time backstage waiting for the final award announcement pacing or slamming back glasses of water to keep from getting dehydrated. Griffone, who will attend Northwestern University in the fall, capped off her high school musical career with a mighty rendition of Evillene’s song “No Bad News” from “The Wiz.”

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Emma Griffone (right) and Josh Strobl (left) give the performance of their lives to move onto the Jimmy Awards in NYC.

As the Herman Awards came to an end, the news was good for Griffone who won the Best Actress award. Strobl took the Best Actor prize. De Toledo’s “Urinetown” was awarded the Best Production.

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Kenny Ortega presents the award for Best Production to the cast of de Toledo’s “Urinetown”

“For me, what’s important is not the awards,” de Toledo’s Feldman said. “It’s the fact that somebody came in and said ‘We like the story you told.’ It’s about being here collectively with all these people who are here for the same reason: because theatre speaks to them, because theater empowers them, because theater enlightens them, because we love it.”

Evan Henerson has been writing about theater in Los Angeles for more than 20 years. He was the Theater writer and critic for the Los Angeles Daily News for nine years and has written for Playbill Online, Backstage, American Theatre and Stage Directions.You can read his reviews on TheaterMania, CurtainUp and Examiner.com.

Evan Henerson has been writing about theater in Los Angeles for more than 20 years. He was the Theater writer and critic for the Los Angeles Daily News for nine years and has written for Playbill Online, Backstage, American Theatre and Stage Directions.You can read his reviews on TheaterMania, CurtainUp and Examiner.com.