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Baldwin wins Gene Kelly Awards, including Best Musical

| Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 3:54 p.m.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Nick Cortazzo as Zorro (right) and Katie Savage, a member of the ensemble, perform during a rehearsal for Baldwin High School's production of 'Zorro the Musical' on Thursday, March 23, 2017. The show runs April 5-8.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Nick Cortazzo as Zorro (left) and David Johnston as Ramon perform during a rehearsal for Baldwin High School's production of 'Zorro the Musical' on Thursday, March 23, 2017. The show runs April 5-8.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Nick Cortazzo as Zorro and Katie Zemaitis as Inez perform during a rehearsal for Baldwin High School's production of 'Zorro the Musical' on Thursday, March 23, 2017. The show runs April 5-8.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Katie Zemaitis as Inez (left) and Morgan Traud as Luisa perform during a rehearsal for Baldwin High School's production of 'Zorro the Musical' on Thursday, March 23, 2017. The show runs April 5-8.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Students perform as gypsies during a rehearsal for Baldwin High School's production of 'Zorro the Musical' on Thursday, March 23, 2017. The show runs April 5-8.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Mikayla Davic, as a gypsy, (center) performs with castmates during a rehearsal for Baldwin High School's production of 'Zorro the Musical' on Thursday, March 23, 2017. The show runs April 5-8.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Katie Zemaitis as Inez (left) and David Johnston as Ramon perform during a rehearsal for Baldwin High School's production of 'Zorro the Musical' on Thursday, March 23, 2017. The show runs April 5-8.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Nick Cortazzo as Zorro performs during a rehearsal for Baldwin High School's production of 'Zorro the Musical' on Thursday, March 23, 2017. The show runs April 5-8.

For the second straight year, Baldwin High School has received the Pittsburgh CLO Gene Kelly Award for Best Musical in the Budget level III division.

Baldwin's production of “Zorro: The Musical” received 12 nominations, including best musical. Last year, the Baldwin cast and crew earned Best Musical for “Big Fish.”

In addition to best musical, “Zorro” also garnered top honors for Best Execution of Direction and Best Execution of Music Direction.

Baldwin director Jason Coll said this was only the fourth time “Zorro: The Musical” was performed in the United States.

“We were excited to bring a new show to the community,” Coll said. “The kids embraced it and they pushed their creativity.”

While every musical has its challenges, Coll said there wasn't a blueprint for how the show should be executed. From costumes and set design to sword fighting and flamenco dancing, Baldwin cast and crew members learned from scratch.

“We really transported the audience to a different time and place,” Coll said.

Baldwin High School senior Nick Cortazzo was one of nine students to receive a $4,000 scholarship from the Pittsburgh CLO Guild. The scholarships are given to students who are pursuing a college education in theater arts.

Cortazzo, who was nominated for Best Actor for his role of Zorro, plans to attend Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio.

“I'm enormously proud of him,” said Coll, who also received the Guild scholarship when he was in high school.

Coll laughs when asked how he can top the past two years.

“I'll relax for a couple months and look at it in the fall.”

Jim Spezialetti is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5805, jspezialetti@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribJimSpez.

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