MIHS musical nominated for 5th Avenue awards

Mercer Island High School’s production of “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” earned an award, two nominations and three honorable mentions when Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre announced nominees for its June 9 High School Musical Theatre Awards.

MIHS senior Leerán Raphaely was chosen for a special award honoring Student Achievement in Musical Composition. The musical score was written by Raphaely as his culminating project. Nominations also included the production’s orchestra and junior Ellen Zahniser for her performance as Betty Dullfeet in the Actress in a Featured Ensemble Role category.

Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre announced the nominees for its seventh annual 5th Avenue High School Musical Theatre Awards. The June 9 awards ceremony, described as a high school version of the Tony Awards, will honor the exceptional musical theatre productions presented during the 2008-2009 school year.

Mercer Island last won the coveted awards for the 2006 production of “The Cradle Will Rock” in Outstanding Music Direction (David Duvall) and shared an honor with Liberty High School for Outstanding Direction.

This year’s competition involves 82 productions and 8,200 students from a wide variety of towns and cities from across the state. A team of theatre professionals were sent by 5th Avenue to evaluate each school’s production.

Another 87 students will receive honorable mentions. Organizers estimate that 2,200 high school students are expected to attend, along with their families and friends. The annual awards were sponsored by Wells Fargo & Co. for the fifth consecutive year.

For a full list of Island nominees, visit 5th Avenue’s “2009 High School Musical Theatre Awards Nominees” Web site,

Tickets are available by contacting the drama departments of the nominated schools. Prices range from $27.50 for adults to $16.50 for students. For more information or tickets, call MIHS at (206) 236-3359.

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