Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Click Here for More Articles on 2021 AWARDS SEASON

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN Tops Rita Moreno California High School Musical Honors; Winners Announced!


A panel of nationally recognized judges, including Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award-winner, Rita Moreno; choreographer and Broadway dancer Michael Balderrama; director Michael Donovan; and producer, director and choreographer Andy Ferrara, announced the 2015 winners of The Rita Moreno California High School Musical Honors - formerly called The California High School Musical Honors - at San Jose's Center for the Performing Arts. Sponsored by Children's Musical Theater San Jose and Broadway San Jose, a Nederlander Presentation, this yearly regional awards competition recognizes outstanding achievement in high school musical theatre in the greater California region.

This year's winners are:

Young Frankenstein at Marin School for the Arts

Shrek the Musical at Valley Christian High School

Sam O'Byrne (Marin School for the Arts) as 'Frederick' in Young Frankenstein

Perry Borders (Marin School for the Arts) as 'Frau Blucher' in Young Frankenstein

Jordan Ford (Marin School for the Arts) as 'Colonel Kemp' in Young Frankenstein

Carley Madsen (Valley Christian High School) as 'Pinocchio' in Shrek the Musical

Sam O'Byrne (Outstanding Lead Actor) and Perry Borders (Outstanding Lead Actress) will now join regional winners from around the nation at The National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) - also known as the Jimmy™ Awards - in New York City, where they will perform on Monday, June 29 on Broadway's Minskoff Theatre stage before industry experts and compete for scholarship opportunities to New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. During this one-of-a-kind event, a panel of judges will choose two students for the coveted awards of 'Best Performance by an Actor' and 'Best Performance by an Actress.'

Participants in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards will be in New York City from June 24 - June 30, 2015. The week's rigorous schedule will include group rehearsals and individual vocal and acting coaching by Broadway industry professionals, visits from special guests and discussions with working actors, a night out in Times Square for dinner and a Broadway show, and a session with a Broadway casting agency.

This year's nominated schools included:

Coalinga High School - Coalinga, CA

Franklin High School - Franklin, CA

Frontier High School - Bakersfield, CA

The Harker School - San Jose, CA

Hillsdale High School - San Mateo, CA

Leland High School - San Jose, CA

Los Gatos High School - Los Gatos, CA

Marin School for the Arts - Novato, CA

St. Joseph Notre Dame High School - Alameda, CA

Sequoia High School - Redwood City, CA

Valley Christian High School - San Jose, CA

The National High School Musical Theatre Awards was established in 2009 to elevate the importance of theatre arts education in schools and reward excellence in student performance. The program impacts more than 50,000 students annually who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by presenters of Touring Broadway productions throughout the United States. Each year, winners of these regional programs travel to New York City to participate in the national competition.

Since its inception, NHSMTA has been the catalyst for more than $1,000,000 in educational scholarships awarded to deserving young performers. Also known as The JimmyTM Awards, named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, this year-round program is administered by The Broadway League Foundation, The Broadway League's charitable foundation. Its mission is to enlighten and increase the public's knowledge, appreciation and awareness of the theatrical arts and to provide a forum for the discussion of issues relating to the preservation and promotion of live theatre as a vital and culturally significant artistic medium.

Thanks to the support of its participating League member theatres and donors, NHSMTA continues to grow. In 2012, the program inspired preeminent broadcaster WGBH Boston to produce a 3-part documentary series called "Broadway or Bust," which followed students on a journey from their hometown competitions to their debut at the Minskoff Theatre. The series premiered in September 2012 and was showcased in 100% of PBS's Top 50 strategic markets, ranking as one of their most highly rated programs. It remains popular viewing at

The depth, scope, and education-centric mission of NHSMTA coupled with its extensive television and media exposure has made participating in the program an aspiration for a growing number of high schools. Based on feedback from participating theatres, school administrators are now directing both human and financial resources to improve the quality of theatre arts education in their districts. This renewed enthusiasm for the performing arts in schools is already helping to invigorate local theatres and the communities they serve. For more information, please visit

About Broadway San Jose - Broadway San Jose - the northern California affiliate of the Nederlander organization - presents touring Broadway musicals at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts in partnership with Team San Jose, and is a member of the Broadway League. (

About Children's Musical Theater San Jose - Currently in its 47th season, Children's Musical Theater (CMT San Jose) impacts over 10,000 youth per season through multiple educational programs. CMT produces 10 shows a season encompassing 107 performances at the Montgomery Theater in San Jose. (

About James Nederlander - The Jimmy™ Award is named for legendary Broadway theatre owner and producer, James M. Nederlander, or "Jimmy" as he is known on Broadway. Mr. Nederlander is the Chairman of the Nederlander Producing Company of America Inc., the owner/operator of a vast chain of theatres, including nine Broadway houses, and a producer of distinguished entertainment for more than 70 years. Jimmy and his son, James L. Nederlander, also present Broadway shows in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Jose, Tucson, Durham, and London. The Broadway League presented Jimmy with the Schoenfeld Vision for Arts Education Award in 2010 for establishing the National High School Musical Theatre Awards.

About Rita Moreno - Octogenarian Rita Moreno remains one of the busiest stars in show business. This past spring, Rita was the voice of Aunt Mimi in the animated film,Rio 2. Her first book, Rita Moreno: A Memoir, published by Celebra Books, instantly became a New York Times Bestseller. In 2011, she premiered her one-woman show, Life Without Make-up, an original play about her life and appeared regularly as Fran Drescher's mother in the TVLand seriesHappily Divorced. In addition, Ms. Moreno frequently travels for concerts and lectures. Such creative diversity has been the hallmark of Ms. Moreno's nearly 70-year career. She belongs to an elite group of only eight living performers who have won entertainment's grand slam of the industry's most prestigious awards: The Oscar, The Emmy, The Tony and The Grammy. Her Oscar win came in 1962 as Latina spitfire Anita in the film version of West Side Story for which she also won The Golden Globe. The Tony was for her 1975 comedic triumph as Googie Gomez in Broadway's The Ritz. The Grammy was for her 1972 performance on The Electric Company Album, based on the long-running children's television series. She won not one, but two Emmys--the first for a 1977 variety appearance on The Muppet Show and the following year for a dramatic turn onThe Rockford Files.

Over the decades, she has collected dozens of other show business awards, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995. A favorite of Chicago audiences and critics, Ms. Moreno received that city's coveted Joseph Jefferson Award in 1968 as Serafina in The Rose Tatoo and in 1985 was awarded the prestigious Sara Siddons Award for her hilarious portrayal of Olive Madison in the female version of The Odd Couple.

Ms. Moreno was born Rosa Dolores Alverio in Humacao, a small town near the Puerto Rican rain forest. At age 5, she moved with her mother to New York where the precocious child soon began dance lessons. She made her Broadway debut at just 13 in Skydrift, starring Eli Wallach. Then, in true Hollywood tradition, a talent scout spotted her and arranged for the teen to meet MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer, who signed her to a film contract.

Her Hollywood career advanced steadily, including early films with stars such as Richard Widmark, Esther Williams, Mario Lanza, Susan Hayward, Tyrone Power and Gary Cooper. She appeared in the delightful Singin' in the Rain starring Gene Kelly and was featured as Tuptim in the classic The King and I with Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. Although early roles sometimes found her typecast as a Mexican spitfire or Indian maiden, she also broke the Latina mold playing an Irish teacher, an Italian widow, a female evangelist, a proper Englishwoman and a Southern belle. After her Academy Award for West Side Story, Ms. Moreno was acknowledged as a major big-screen talent.

Other significant film appearances include: The Night of the Following Day with Marlon Brando in 1967; with James Garner in Marlowe; as Alan Arkin's girlfriend in Popi; and in Mike Nichol's production of Carnal Knowledge. She reprised the role of Googie Gomez in the film version of The Ritz, followed by Alan Alda's The Four Seasons, Columbia Pictures' acclaimed I Like it Like That and Angus with George C. Scott. More recently she starred in the indie feature Carlo's Wake with Christopher Meloni and in Blue Moon opposite Ben Cazzara. In addition, she appeared in the highly acclaimed movie Pinero starring Benjamin Bratt and in John Sayles film, Casa de los Babys.

Her long stage career has included starring roles on both sides of the Atlantic. In London, she appeared in Hal Prince's 1962 production of She Loves Me and in the 1997 West End run of Sunset Boulevard. In New York, she has starred in Lorraine Hansbury's The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, opposite Robert Shaw in Gantry and with Jimmy Coco in The Last of the Red Hot Lovers. She received a Tony Award nomination for her role in The National Health in 1974, followed by her 1975 Tony win for The Ritz. Other New York credits include: Anne Meara's After Play; Wally's Café with Jimmy Coco; Circle Rep's Size of the World; and more recently the female version of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple.

Ms. Moreno's diverse regional theatre roles include Lola in Damn Yankees, Anne Sullivan in The Miracle Worker, Doris in The Owl and the Pussycat and Mama Rose in Gypsy. At Berkeley Rep, she received rave reviews for her interpretation of Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's playMaster Class in 2004 and, two seasons later, she received similar acclaim for her portrayal of Amanda Wingfield in that company's The Glass Menagerie.

Ms. Moreno has guest starred on a wide variety of television productions in the U.S. and abroad. She is proud to have been a featured artist for many years on The Electric Company, the highly regarded educational show for children. She starred in her own TV series based on the film 9 to 5. Additionally, she played opposite Burt Reynolds in B.L. Stryker and was a series regular with Bill Cosby in the NBC Cosby Mystery Series. In 2007, she starred in the CBS series Cane and most recently she was one of the leads in the highly acclaimed HBO series OZ.

She performs concerts across the country and often appears as a guest artist with symphony orchestras. In January 1993, she was invited to perform at President Clinton's inauguration and later that month sang at the White House. In 2002 she appeared as the guest artist with the San Francisco Symphony in a production of Candide. Ms. Moreno's latest endeavor has been in cabaret where she has met with great critical success.

In addition to film, stage, television and concert commitments, Ms. Moreno fills her spare time by lecturing to various organizations and university audiences on such varied topics as The Value of Diversity to our Culture, The Power of Language, Getting Older without Getting Old and A History of the Arts in Film TV & Theatre. She is also involved with a number of civic and charitable organizations and events.

Ms. Moreno has served on The National Endowment for the Arts and as a Commissioner for The President's White House Fellowships. She has also served as a member of The President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. This past January, Rita was honored by her peers as the 50th recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

Pictured: Perry Borders (Outstanding Lead Actress), Rita Moreno, Sam O'Byrne (Outstanding Lead Actor) and Rodney Franz (Director of Theatre, Marin School for the Arts)

Related Articles

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You