- Associated Press - Monday, June 27, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Teenagers from Minnesota and upstate New York have won the top honors at the National High School Musical Theater Awards.

Ryan McCartan, of Minneapolis, and Shauni Ruetz, of Rochester, were named the best actor and actress Monday night following a national competition capped by performances at a Broadway theater.

The 18-year-olds were picked out of an estimated 50,000 students from 1,000 schools competing for the honor, nicknamed the Jimmy Awards after theater owner James Nederlander.

Fifty finalists were given one-on-one coaching lessons and master classes from “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” star Nick Adams and “Baby It’s You!” actress Beth Leavel.

Celebrities who hosted the event included Harvey Fierstein, Tommy Tune, Nikki M. James, Aaron Tveit and Gregory Jbara.

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Online: http://www.nhsmta.com