West Milford resident up for NJ Theater award

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  • Gabriella Crocco, a member of the West Milford Players, is up for a NJ Theater Perry Award. PHOTO PROVIDED

West Milford resident Gabriella Crocco, a member of The West Milford Players, has been nominated for a 2017 Perry Award in the Category of Outstanding Youth Actress in a Play.

The NJACT Perry Awards are given for outstanding achievements in New Jersey Community Theater.

At the beginning of each season, NJACT Member Theaters submit their shows for award considerations and two NJACT Reviewers attend each production. The reviewers evaluate all on-stage aspects of the performance, and provide separate numerical scores for over 50 different criteria across 10 different review categories.

More than 200 shows by theater companies around the state are submitted each year and gives nominations to 33 different theater areas. Candidates with the top seven scores in each category are considered nominees. The nominee with the highest score in each category receives the Perry Award in their category.

Gabriella performed the role of Cecilia Brady in The West Milford Players production of The Last Tycoon in November. A complex role which showed various depths of emotion was a highlight to Gabriella's acting career. At just 17 years of age, she portrayed a young girl trying to get the attention of a man (Mornoe Star) she is in love with never to receive the love back as he is mourning the death of his wife.

This adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's final unfinished novel is set In 1930's Hollywood in an era darkened by Depressions and the role of Cecilia for Gabriella proved to be challenging but worth everything she put into the character.

"I loved playing Cecilia," Crocco said. "She is complex and a deeply emotional character that is trying to get the love of a man she knows deep in her heart will never see her as a woman."

The character Cecilia narrates the show from the beginning and takes the audience in and out of the story line as she "Breaks the Fourth Wall" and speaks directly to the audience about her trials and tribulations of a man who will never see her the way she wants him to see her. In the end, only death gives Monroe his peace and leaves Cecilia alone with a broken heart. The popularity of this amazing story has sparked such interest that Amazon has released the series that started on July 28.

Another nomination the Players are thrilled with is the nomination of Turner Striffler for Outstanding Properties in a Musical. Though Turner was not nominated for his work with he WM Players and all the wonderful work he does for them, we are pleased that he was recognized for his expert prop making for last years production of "Into The Woods" for St. Catherine's.

The 44th Annual Perry Awards will be on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. at UCPAC Mainstage in Rahway. It is an evening of red carpets, interviews, performances and anticipation as each person awaits to hopefully hear their name called as a winner.

The WM Players wish both Gabriella and Turner a BREAK A LEG moment as they hopefully will hear their names called as winners for all they do in the Theater Community.

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Jeanne E. Hulst
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West Milford, NJ