And the nominee is ... Meghan McGorry
Meghan McGorry has earned a much sought after Freddy Award nomination for outstanding performance for an actress in a small ensemble role. McGorry is being acknowledged for her portrayal of Brooke Wyndham in Northwestern Lehigh’s production of “Legally Blonde.”
McGorry said she learned the news with her fellow cast members.
“We all met in the library and watched the announcement on WFMZ 69,” she said. “I didn’t really process it at first. I felt kind of shocked.
“It was completely overwhelming. Then my friends turned around yelling and screaming.
“My mom texted me and when I got home. There was an overwhelming atmosphere, an all-around ecstatic feeling.”
McGorry said the play’s director, Bill Mutimer texted her mom and was just so happy.
“He said I was being recognized for the work I put into the role and it was a great way to represent Northwestern in the theater and arts department,” McGorry explained.
The awards program is the only high school musical awards program in the nation that produces a live television show.
“I really want to thank the cast and crew of ‘Legally Blonde,’” McGorry said. “They motivated me every day. Without them I wouldn’t have gotten this nomination.”
McGorry has been building her acting credentials since she was 8, working with local theater groups such as the Civic Theater, the Pennsylvania Youth Theater and the Jewish Community Center, playing Fiona in “Shrek,” and in “Legally Blonde” and “High School Musical.”
As an eighth grader, McGorry had the title role in the middle school’s production of “Hello Dolly.”
“I just auditioned for the Northampton Community College presentation of ‘Ragtime,’” McGorry said. “I’ll hear back sometime this week.
“I used to get really nervous before auditions but it’s become second nature.”
McGorry said theater teaches the really important communicative skills kids need in college and the work force to be a member of society.
“It teaches you how to present yourself in front of people,” McGorry said.
Not surprising, McGorry is a die-hard theater fan.
During the interview, she barely could contain herself as she and her family were soon to leave for New York to see “Hamilton.”
“I can’t even express how ecstatic I am to see the show,” she said. “Lin Manuel Miranda is such a brilliant writer, actor and singer.
“He’s such a role model for everyone. I’m honored to be part of the audience.”
McGorry said the show sends a great message.
“Hamilton never really got the recognition he probably deserved,” McGorry said. “Then, Lin Manuel Miranda decided to write a show about him and now everyone knows his name.”
McGorry is ever the optimist.
“[The message is] wait. The good is going to come, if not right now, then in the future.”
McGorry said she will wear the “lacy lilac dress she wore for Easter” to the Freddy’s.
“They’ll announce who wins in my category about the third or fourth in,” she said. “Honestly, it would be great to win but it’s such an honor to be nominated that I’m going to have bragging rights for a while.”
The high school junior said she is considering applying to Lafayette College.
“I want to do a dual major in environmental science and theater,” she said smiling.
Though McGorry will not be performing Thursday evening during the Freddy Awards, four other Northwestern students will.
Emily Witt, Julia Haas, Adam Lebrecht and Aaron Green will join other area students who have performed in high school musicals this year in two choral numbers.
“Four students from each school participate,” Witt said. “Usually, Bill (Mutimer) picks two leads and two seniors.”
Dressed in the costumes, they wore for “Legally Blonde,” the four students will join their theater peers in performing the opening and closing numbers featuring various Broadway tunes.
“It’s actually a medley of Broadway songs,” Witt explained. “We had two weeks of rehearsal leading up to the award show.”
“We open with ‘My Shot’ from ‘Hamilton’ and close with ‘One Day More’ from ‘Les Mis’ in the opening number,” Green said. “There’s more of a variety in the opening number than in the closing one.”
Frank Anonia, Parkland’s musical director, is also directing the Freddy’s.
“He’s amazing,” Lebrecht said. “He can run around the room and play all of our parts.”
The four students couldn’t say enough about their upcoming performance at the Freddy’s.
“Everyone is super friendly because we all love theater and love to perform,” Haas said. “We’re all there to have a good time.”
“I was really excited to be performing because I watched [the Freddy’s] every year,” Green said. “It’s just so cool to see all those different schools perform together.”
“I’m crazy excited about performing [at the State Theater] and being on TV,” Lebrecht said. “I’ve never really been in a choral group of that size.”
The chorus will consist of 120 students.
The Freddy Awards, which airs live 7 p.m. May 25 on WFMZ, “is designed to recognize and reward exceptional accomplishments in the production and performance of musical theater in local high schools.”
A total of 21 categories will be awarded.
In addition to the opening and closing numbers, nominees for leading actors and actresses will also perform before the actual award presentations.
“In terms of size, the State Theater is not all that massive, but looking at all the seats, which are going to be filled with screaming kids, it’s going to be insane,” Lebrecht said.