Philip Weisgold and two other Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School students joked that they were the

E! Hollywood

fashion reporters, as they welcomed high school students into last night's Greater Philadelphia Cappies Gala at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center.

"Everyone's real dolled up," said Weisgold, dressed in a black tuxedo with a gold vest and bowtie. Holding a prop microphone in his hand, he waved to another set of students and called, "Come on down the red carpet." A classmate held a camera that wasn't turned on.

There are 333 high schools from 19 regions across the United States and Canada that participate in the Critics Award Program for High School Theater and Journalism, or Cappies.

"It's good because a lot of schools just focus on sports, whereas this can focus on other talents," said Weisgold. "It gets everybody involved."

With 33 involved high schools, the nine-county Philadelphia region has the second most participants, falling behind only the Washington area where satirist Bill Strauss founded the program in 1999.

Strauss, an author and playwright, died in December, and Greater Philadelphia Cappies program director Harry Dietzler honored his impact last night.

In the Philadelphia region's third year of the program, 205 students wrote 996 reviews of high school performances. They also selected the award recipients last night.

Awards were presented in 38 categories. The four students honored as lead actor and actress in the musical and play categories also qualified to perform this summer at the Cappies International Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, Unionville High School, and Cheltenham High School each won four awards.

Cheltenham'

s

A Chorus

Line

won the Cappie Award for Musical, and Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy won in the play category.

After Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts students accepted a Cappie for a rendition of "Sunrise, Sunset" from

Fiddler on the

Roof,

audience members yelled, "Mazel tov!"

Greg Clark, a Ridley High School student who received the vocalist award for playing Tony in

West Side Story,

thanked "every kid who's ever had the courage to get up on stage and sing."

Other winners expressed their love for fellow cast and crew members. One shared a birthday wish, and another righted a past wrong.

"Last year, I forgot to thank my parents," said Derek Schauer, who shared the senior male critic award with fellow Hatboro-Horsham High School student Jimmy Knowles. Journalist awards are based on how many reviews a student wrote, and how many were published in local newspapers.

Schauer, who won a critic award last year, plans to major in journalism and minor in theater at Northeastern University in Boston next year.

"It's good for people that have a passion for journalism and theater," Schauer said of the Cappies. "I think it's a great experience. You get to know other theater kids from all around the area."

Cappies Winners

Underclass Female Critic:

Julie Zauzmer, Upper Dublin.

Underclass Male Critic:

Jack Newman, Delaware County Christian.

Senior Female Critic:

Emily Nagel, Agnes Irwin.

Senior Male Critic:

Jimmy Knowles, Hatboro-Horsham, and Derek Schauer, Hatboro-Horsham (tie).

Critic Team:

Upper Dublin (Tom Donahue, Rebecca Roth, Carly Siegler, Heather Spangenberg, John Weiss Jr., Emily Winters, Julie Zauzmer).

Sound:

A.J. Carli, Upper Merion,

Diary of Anne Frank

.

Lighting:

Eli Cassel, Jamie Clark, CJ Lannutti, Dan Stepinov, Cheltenham,

A Chorus Line

.

Sets:

Jordan Patterson, Rebecca Regelado, Okie Regelado, Nicole Wiswall, Unionville,

Arsenic and Old Lace

.

Costumes:

Lauretta Ambe, Gabriela Flores, Mariela Flores, Lindenwold,

Alice in Wonderland

.

Makeup:

Katie Banning, Meghan Chambers, Bonnie Kissinger, Methacton,

The Tempest

.

Props and Effects:

Dana Marcolina, Upper Dublin,

Beauty and the Beast

.

Stage Crew:

Jim Kimsey, Meghan Anderson, Ridley,

West Side Story

.

Orchestra:

Creative and Performing Arts Orchestra, Creative and Performing Arts,

Fiddler on the Roof

.

Choreography:

Dana DeMarco, Megan Ort, Methacton,

The Tempest

.

Creativity:

Matt Hazzard, directing, Springfield (Delco),

Proof

.

Ensemble in a Play:

Brewster Sisters, Unionville,

Arsenic and Old Lace

.

Ensemble in a Musical:

The Line, Cheltenham,

A Chorus Line

.

Cameo Actress:

Gabrielle Kramer, Creative and Performing Arts,

Fiddler on the Roof

.

Cameo Actor:

Ben Freedman, Barrack Hebrew Academy,

Barefoot in the Park

.

Female Dancer:

Rachel Lindsay, Academy of the New Church,

42nd Street

.

Male Dancer:

Simon Daum, Academy of the New Church,

42nd Street

.

Female Vocalist:

Brittany Arnao, Ridley,

West Side Story

.

Male Vocalist:

Greg Clark, Ridley,

West Side Story

.

Comic Actress in a Play:

Savannah Hankinson, Unionville,

Arsenic and Old Lace

.

Comic Actor in a Play:

Brian Tochterman, Methacton,

The Tempest

.

Comic Actress in a Musical:

Anne B. Wechsler, Merion Mercy,

Into the Woods

.

Comic Actor in a Musical:

Dan Dorff, West Chester East,

Oklahoma!

Featured Actress in a Play:

Ariana Katz, Barrack Hebrew Academy,

Barefoot in the Park

.

Featured Actor in a Play:

Joe Cilio, Haverford School,

The Andersonville Trial

.

Featured Actress in a Musical:

Maria Rizzo, Merion Mercy,

Into the Woods

.

Featured Actor in a Musical:

DJ Fortine, Cheltenham,

A Chorus Line

.

Lead Actress in a Play:

Ariel Warmflash, Barrack Hebrew Academy,

Barefoot in the Park

.

Lead Actor in a Play:

Tim O'Brien, Unionville,

Arsenic and Old Lace

.

Lead Actress in a Musical:

Gianna Yanelli, Merion Mercy,

Into the Woods

.

Lead Actor in a Musical:

Jake Zumoff, Creative and Performing Arts,

Fiddler on the Roof

.

Song:

"Sunrise, Sunset," Creative and Performing Arts,

Fiddler on the Roof

.

Play:

Barefoot in the Park

, Barrack Hebrew Academy.

Musical:

A Chorus Line

, Cheltenham High School.