Lehigh Valley

15 years has gone by fast for Freddy Awards

EASTON, Pa. - Hit the lights and cue the curtain. It's time for the biggest night in high school theater.

The 15th annual Freddy Awards will get underway at the State Theatre in Easton at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The city was buzzing earlier in the day with performers dressed in costume, which may make one want to bust out in song.

The show developed to salute high school music theater was born in 2003.

"It just became this overnight thing," said Shelley Brown, the president and CEO of the State Theatre. "It's grown, and grown and grown in ways that I never would have imagined."

Brown, who also hosts the show, said the format hasn't changed, but every show is different, because the kids are different and the back stories of how each person arrived on stage is different

"The moments never leave you, because they're amazing personal stories," added Brown.

Moments like in 2015, when the Just Born Peep fell into the spotlight.

"It went viral, so that great moment, of course, everyone loved it and no one got hurt."

Don't forget 69 News chief meteorologist and host Ed Hanna "singing in the rain". Speaking of rain and the Freddys, Mother Nature took center stage in 2010 when a lightning strike delayed the show for 40 minutes..

"You think when you have a weatherman as the host you're not going to have happen tonight what happened," said Brown as the show started.

It's all just part of doing a live show.

"The first year, the band got stuck on Route 22 in traffic," said Brown.

One thing has never changed, the talent of the performers, scholarship money awards, and the show must go on.

"Tonight's coming, whether we're ready or not."

Some $1 million in scholarships have been awarded over the years, and $200,000 will be given out Thursday night.

The three-hour show can be viewed live on 69-WFMZ-TV and on WFMZ.com.

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