Two of Hillcrest High’s show-stopping productions have earned multiple nominations in Utah’s top awards program for high school musical productions.
In fact, if all of the nominated cast and crew of Hillcrest’s “Oliver!” and “Catch Me If You Can” win their categories, then the school’s theater department will make a total of 10 trips to the stage at the Utah High School Musical Theater Awards.
The list of nominees was released on Monday, April 3. More than 60 shows at 45 schools were eligible for nominations in 19 categories, according to the officials who oversee the annual awards show.
The cast and crew of Hillcrest’s “Catch Me If You Can” and its leading actor, Jaren Ruff, nabbed nominations in the big categories — Best Musical and Best Actor. As a Best Musical nominee, the cast of “Catch Me If You Can” is scheduled to perform a number from the show during the awards ceremony, said Josh Long, Hillcrest’s Performing Arts Chair.
Alta High also won a nomination for Best Student Costume Design for “The Addams Family.”
Hillcrest, which recently claimed the first-place trophy in the region drama competition, is a third of the way to winning the so-called “triple crown” of high school theater.
In the fall, Hillcrest won the Sweepstakes Award at the 46th annual Shakespeare Competition at Southern Utah University. If the student-artists snag the trophy for Best Musical, plus the first-place award at the 5A Utah High School Activities Association’s 5A drama competition, they’ll repeat the accomplishment they achieved in 2018.
If Ruff is announced as the winner in the acting category, he’ll be invited to attend the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City. There, he would compete for national honors among the country’s best Broadway-bound talent.
Here’s a list of Hillcrest’s other nominations:
Best Ensemble Cast — “Oliver!”
Best Orchestra — “Oliver!”
Best Director — “Catch Me If You Can”
Best Choreography — “Catch Me If You Can”
Best Costume Design — “Oliver!”
Best Lighting Design — “Oliver!”
Best Student Set Design — “Catch Me If You Can”
Best Student Lighting Design — “Catch Me If You Can”
This year’s Utah High School Musical Theater Awards ceremony will be May 13 at the Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City.