Tony Time: Wagner College Theatre Scores Big With Tony Nominations

For the little school on a hill in New York City, Wagner College sure is making its name known through out the theatre community. The little school that could certainly is adding more credit to its theatre degree then ever before. Between the adding of Tony Award Winner Michele Pawk to their staff and over 10 alums currently on Broadway, Wagner College theatre has still seemed to top themselves once again. Four Alumni are in Tony nominated shows for the 2011 Tony Awards.

With all the pride and excitement  surrounding the 2011 awards season, the grand finale of all announcements is the Tony Awards. Regarded as the highest night of theatre in America, the Tony Awards takes the highest honors for all Broadway shows in each category and awards those whose work is the best of the best. This season on Broadway is exceptional. And the Wagner College has gained new bragging rights with four alumni being in Tony nominated shows.

Matt Lenz who graduated from Wagner College in 1986 is one of those four. Matt is the associate director of Catch Me If You Can on Broadway. Catch Me If You Can was nominated for 4 Tony Awards. The following were the nominations for Catch Me If You Can; Norbert Leo Butz for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, Steve Canyon Kennedy for Best Sound Design of a Musical, Marc Shaiman & Larry Blank for Best Orchestrations and The Nomination for Best Musical. I was lucky enough to have seen Catch Me If You Can not too long after it began previews. Click here to view my review of Catch Me. Luner on Theatre would like to wish a big congratulations to the entire cast and crew of Catch Me If You Can for all of their Tony nominations!

Brian Sgambati  graduated from Wagner College in 1997 and he is the second of those four. He was recently in The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino. He was in the show as various understudies. The Merchant of Venice scored seven Tony nominations. The following were the nominations for The Merchant of Venice; Al Pacino for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, Lily Rabe for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Mark Wendland for Best Scenic Design of a Play, Jess Goldstein for Best Costume Design of a Play, Kenneth Posner for Best Lighting Design of a Play, Daniel Sullivan for Best Direction of a Play and the production itself was nominated for Best Revival of a Play. Luner on Theatre wishes a big congratulations to Brian and the rest of the cast and crew of The Merchant of Venice for all of their Tony nominations!

Christina DeCicco only graduated form Wagner College in 2002 but has already found herself on Broadway in a Tony nominated production. She is in the ensemble of Sister Act and is the understudy for Sister Mary Robert. Sister Act was nominated for five Tony Awards. Those nominations include; Cheri Steinkellner, Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane for Best Book of a Musical, Alan Menken (Music) and Glenn Slater (Lyrics) for Best Original Score Written for Theatre, Patina Miller for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, Victoria Clark for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical and Sister Act itself has been nominated for Best Musical. Luner on Theatre would like to wish a big congratulations to the entire cast and crew of Sister Act on all of their nominations!

Scott Barnhardt only graduated from Wagner College in 2001 but seems to have already found himself a home in Broadway’s biggest blockbuster this season. Scott is featured as mormon in, yes you guessed it, The Book of Mormon on Broadway. The Book of Mormon scored 14 Tony nominations. Those nominations include; David Thompson for Best Book of a Musical,Music & Lyrics: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone for Best Original Score Written for Theatre, Andrew Rannells & Josh Gad for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, Rory O’Malley for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical, Nikki M. James for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, Scott Pask for Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Ann Roth for Best Costume Design of a Musical, Brian MacDevitt for Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Brian Ronan for Best Sound Design of a Musical, Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker for Best Direction of a Musical, Casey Nicholaw for Best Choreography, Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus for Best Orchestrations and The Book of Mormon itself was nominated for Best Musical. Luner on Theatre would like to wish a big congratulations to the entire cast and crew of The Book of Mormon on all of their nominations.

Of course, Wagner College is proud of all of its current alumni currently on Broadway. To check out an article featuring other Wagner alum currently on Broadway, click here to view our previous article “Wagner Theatre Alumni Lighting Up Broadway”.

So thats all our news! Very exciting of course for Wagner College as the theatre department starts to gain more recognition now then ever. I think what Wagner’s theatre department should be proud of is the training and preparation they give they students which helps them succeed in the real world. And if you question the success of a Wagner College degree, re-read this article or read the article in the link posted above. Wagner College theatre has successfully taught their students for the real world experience they get in theatre and that their education, whether it be on Grymes Hill or not, will always continue.

Will a Wagner Alum Take Home a Tony?

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