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'Willy Wonka' up for Tommy Awards
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MHS' Tommy Award nominations for

Nick Fenn (Willy Wonka): Outstanding Lead Performance

Ruth Tuttle (Charlie Bucket): Outstanding Lead Performance

Paolo Lucas (Mike Teavee): Outstanding Supporting Performance

Nick Baum (Mr. Bucket): Outstanding Supporting Performance

Jennifer Moehn: Outstanding Direction

Kathryn Zastrow: Outstanding Choreography

Kathy King and Brenda Davis: Outstanding Scenic Design

Jennifer Bochar: Outstanding Lighting Design

Kathy King and Brenda Davis: Outstanding Costume Design

Jennifer Bochar and Joe Bochar: Outstanding Sound Design

Orchestra: Outstanding Orchestra

MONROE - The Monroe High School's production of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" received 11 nominations for Tommy Awards, which honor excellence in high school musical theater statewide.

The Tommy Awards are granted by the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison and are granted based on the reviews of industry professionals at more than 70 high schools in Wisconsin. The winners of the awards will be announced in May.

Among the nominations are two nods for Outstanding Lead Performance to stars Nick Fenn and Ruth Tuttle (who played Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket, respectively), Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Orchestra and a nomination for Outstanding Direction for director Jennifer Moehn.

"It's a positive end to this," Moehn said of the nominations.

Sophomore Gage Noble, who was originally cast to play Mr. Bucket, the father of protagonist Charlie Bucket, was killed in a car crash with two other high school students the afternoon of the production's premiere. The play was postponed three weeks, and Noble's role was filled by Juda High School senior Nick Baum, who received a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Performance.

"The kids dealt with it as best they could," Moehn said. "We tried our best to come together, and we rallied and put on a great show."

Moehn said she was impressed by Tuttle's resolve after the tragedy, as she worked closely with Noble throughout the production. The cast and crew honored Tuttle's dedication with a Spirit Award, which is given to a student who embodies the hard work and encouragement integral to musical theater.

In the judges' final critique of the performance, much praise was given to Tuttle's portrayal of Charlie Bucket, with one reviewer commending her "childlike innocence" and another calling her duet with Baum "especially lovely."

The judges also heaped praise upon Fenn, calling him "a standout among the cast" and "quite a showman." Moehn said she was "really pulling for him" to win, as the senior is hoping to continue his acting career after graduation.

Moehn was also quite pleased with the judges' recognition of the production design (the production received nominations for scene, lighting, costume and sound design), as well as that of Paolo Lucas, who portrayed both Grandpa Joe and Mike Teavee, receiving an Outstanding Supporting Performance nomination for the latter.

Of her own nomination, Moehn simply said she was "humbled to be recognized."