Keep your eyes and ears open for fellow Cranfordian Michael Nigro! Cranford’s own is currently in rehearsals with the rest of the cast of The Sound of Music, which stars Carrie Underwood and will appear as a LIVE production (how cool is that?!) on NBC from 8:00 – 11:00 this Thursday, December 5th. Keep a special look-out for Friedrich . . . . that’s our boy! A star in our midst!
Michael is a 15 year old freshman at Cranford High School. Upon hearing about The Sound of Music Live project, he attended an open call audition, along with hundreds of other hopeful kids, in mid-September. After several call backs over the two weeks that followed, he was given a final callback at the end of the month. That’s when he learned the part of Friedrich was his!
Rehearsals started in October in Manhattan, and then moved to Grumman Studios in Bethpage, Long Island in November. It’s a big commitment! The rehearsals are 5 to 6 days a week, and run for 8 or 9 hours a day. Children of the cast are tutored for a minimum of 3 hours a day. The tutoring is actually referred to as a work exchange program, since the work is coming directly from his teachers at Cranford High School, and is then returned to them when it is completed, enabling Michael to stay current with his classmates. Needless to say, with this schedule, Michael is working very hard, but he is having a great time thanks to the support he is getting from his friends, their families, his teachers, and the people of Cranford.
The seeds of Michael’s performance career were planted the day he saw Cranford High School’s production of Les Miserable when he was 5 years old. He became hooked! Later, in fifth grade, he played the part of Gavoche in Union Catholic’s production of that same musical. Over the next few years, Michael has appeared in the Orange Avenue School’s productions of Guys and Dolls, Damn Yankees, and Wanda’s World, and last year actually toured for 10 weeks with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!
In addition to all of this performance success, Michael has also managed to participate in wrestling (his very first public singing performance was when he was in 4th grade at a Cranford PAL/South Plainfield wrestling match, where he sang the National Anthem), and played on the freshman soccer team. You know, with all of that FREE time he has!
Be sure to tune in to NBC this Thursday at 8:00 PM, and support one of our own in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! And, given the route his career has been taking, it is doubtful we’ll be saying “auf Wiedersehen” to this talented young man any time soon!
Break a leg, Michael! We are all so proud of you!