Kelly Awards: Big Night for Baldwin's 'Show People'

Baldwin High School takes the top honor at the Gene Kelly Awards for "Curtains."

took home a Gene Kelly Award for "Best Musical, Budget Level III" for its production of the musical mystery comedy

The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and the University of Pittsburgh presented the 22nd Annual Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater on Saturday night. The event, held at The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, selected performers from 32 participating high schools that produced a spring musical.

The award, named for iconic Hollywood movie star and Pittsburgh native Gene Kelly, was given to promote excellence in high school musical theater. Kelly is most notably remembered for "Singin' in the Rain," the titular song of the classic musical comedy.

Like many televised award shows, one musical number from each of the schools nominated for Best Musical perform a signature song from their show.

Baldwin High performed "Show People," a popular ditty from "Curtains." The song was later reprised by the cast. The song extols the virtues of performing, declaring that people from all walks of life dream of becoming actors, dancers, singers and other performers:

"We're a special kind of people known as show people. We live in a world of our own; our days are tied to curtains. They rise and they fall. We're born every night at half-hour call."

Truer words were never sung. The audience, mostly cast and crew from participating high school musicals around western Pennsylvania, was energized by the evening's events.

A grand finale number, "Eyes on the Goal," was performed by a collaboration of students from each of the participating schools.

Ryan Lubin, formerly of Bethel Park High School, a non-competing school, attended the event to cheer on his friend, , of Baldwin.

"We met doing shows at South Park's Children's Theatre, and we've been friends ever since. It's really exciting."

Doran was nominated for Best Actor. Though he lost that contest, he was a huge part of Baldwin's overall win.

Patricia Ward Kelly, widow of Gene Kelly, was a presenter at the event. She spoke fondly of her husband and his talents. This year's award ceremony marks Kelly's 100th birthday. Ward Kelly discussed his humble beginnings.

"He and his brother Fred performed dance routines in local talent contests around Pittsburgh," she said. "He never took his fame for granted, and he believed that the pursuit of excellence is a good thing—a very good thing.

"Don't just be good; be the best. I can't think of a better birthday present for him."

The recipients of the 2012 Gene Kelly Awards are:

Best Scenic Design

Budget Level I: Quaker Valley

Budget Level II: Avonworth

Budget Level III: Woodland Hills

Best Costume Design

Budget Level I: St. Joseph

Budget Level II: Hampton

Budget Level III: Winchester Thurston

Best Lighting Design

Budget Level I: Quaker Valley

Budget Level II: Avonworth

Budget Level III: Woodland Hills

Best All-Student Orchestra


Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Benjamin Torisky, Quaker Valley, as "Nathan Detroit" in "Guys and Dolls"

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Emma Baker, Avonworth, as "Beggar Woman" in "Sweeney Todd"

Best Ensemble


Best Crew/Technical Execution

Woodland Hills

Best Choreography


Best Direction


Best Actor

Nathan Pool, Avonworth, as "Sweeney Todd" in "Sweeney Todd"

Best Actress

Brooke Tate, Avonworth, as "Mrs. Lovett" in "Sweeney Todd"

Best Musical

Budget Level I: Quaker Valley, "Guys and Dolls"

Budget Level II: Avonworth, "Sweeney Todd"

Budget Level III: Baldwin, "Curtains"


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