Buffalo Grove teen wins national theater award

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A big standing ovation needs to go to Jonah Rawitz. The Buffalo Grove resident and student at Adlai E. Stevenson High School was awarded the very coveted Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor Monday night at the sixth annual National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York. Jonah represented the Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards in the competition.

The Jimmy Award for the best actress went to Georgia’s entry: Jai’Len Josey.

The Jimmy Award is named in honor of James M. Nederlander, the famous Broadway theater owner and producer, who presented both Jonah and Jai’Len with a check for $10,000 to further their education. They also will be eligible for a four-year merit and need-based scholarship to attend the New Studio on Broadway, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama — contingent upon being accepted into the program.

The Monday evening ceremony was hosted by the 2011 Jimmy Award winner, Ryan McCartan, who recently starred in the Off-Broadway musical hit, “Heathers,” and is a regular on the “Liv & Maddie” show on the Disney Channel and recurs on “Royal Pains” on the USA Network.

We interviewed Jonah Rawitz last week as he was preparing to compete.

The Nederlander Organization has a strong Chicago connection. It’s Broadway in Chicago operates out of five local venues, including The Bank of America Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Oriental Theatre, Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and the Auditorium Theatre.

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