Mr. Hawthorne 2019 Recap

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Mr. Hawthorne 2019 Recap

Abby Reicher and Rose Walsh

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For the eighth consecutive year, Mr. Hawthorne was a huge success once again, with the hard work day in and day out with the contestants, the crew, and of course Ms. Russo. To add, the judges are another big part of the whole production. This year’s judges were Mrs. Pasquale, Mr. McMann, Mr. Warner, Mr. Van Winkle, and Mr. Davidson. This year there were eight guys participating, seven being seniors and one being a junior. The eight brave guys were Chris Branagh, Andre Costa, Aidan Harmer, Janbi Kaghado, Luke Kowalski, Nick Manzi, Brian Reilly, and Nick Sokolofsky!

The show started off with all of the contestants appearing in the opening video. The video had the theme of Law and Order, with the police idea being the main theme throughout the entire show. Mr. McMann and Mr. Warner also made an appearance in the video as the detectives that were conducting the investigation. After the video, loud sirens and blue and red lights introduced the contestants, who came out in police outfits and began their group dance.

With the crowd laughing and excited to see the rest of the show, the judges were then announced. After that, the talent portion began. Each guy held their own, taking the stage and making the crowd smile and laugh the entire way through. After all of the talent acts concluded, it was time for the fashion show, which got the crowd even more involved in the show.  

Now this is the time of the show that got interesting; the judges had to go to work and make the hard decisions of which boys were deserving of the top 5. The top 5 contestants were Chris Branagh, Nick Manzi, Nick Sokolofsky, Brian Reilly, and Luke Kowalski. The question and answer round was also funny, as always. Now the winners were announced for both Mr. Hawthorne and Mr. Congeniality. The Mr. Hawthorne crown of 2019 was won by Luke Kowalski and Mr. Congeniality of 2019 was Nick Manzi.


The Clarion interviewed the contestants and Ms. Russo and asked a couple questions:


The Clarion: What inspired your act and costume for Mr. Hawthorne?

Chris Branagh: “What inspired my act was that Siri saying “lose yourself” by Eminem.  I wanted to act more like a poet so I decided to add two more poems/songs. Each one was completely different with a new approach which I liked. What inspired my costume was that it was a suggestion given to me by somebody and then once given the idea I was able to make it even more funny and make the idea better with ordering a slit in my dress, wearing a morphsuit, and then adding green pain to my face.”

Andre Costa: “Growing up I was always a dancer and Michael Jackson was one of my favorite artists. Everyone who knows me knows I’m always dancing here and there and I feel like it just brings in this good energy. Getting up on stage as Michael Jackson just took everyone back in time.”

Aidan Harmer: “My Mr. Hawthorne act was inspired by an original SNL song released in 2000. It is called ‘I wish it was Christmas today’ and features Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, and Tracy Morgan. I wrote some of my own lyrics and played the solo on my ukulele. My mom actually recommended I do this for my act. I have no idea why, I just went with it. My costume was Forrest Gump. I chose to dress up as him because people say I run a lot, which is true.”

Janbi Kaghado: “My culture and heritage really inspired my act and costume for Mr. Hawthorne. I’ve been doing cultural dancing from a very young age and I thought now since I’m going to be in front of the whole school, I can present my culture to the school.”

Luke Kowalski: “My act was a recreation of Chris Farley’s iconic “Matt Foley” skit on Saturday Night Live. I had always loved the skit since I was young and thought it would be great to perform it. My costume was based off of a Victoria’s Secret angel. My mom helped create a majority of the costumes and came up with a lot of the ideas.”

Nick Manzi: “Ever since last year’s show I knew I wanted to do magic for this year’s Mr. Hawthorne. At first, I was going to try to cut someone in half or make someone disappear, but I didn’t know how to. I kept the magic idea and ended up doing “tricks that were so obviously stupid.” For my last trick I got the idea of turning into the bear when I was out to dinner with my family one night and it just came to me. For my costume I was Superman. That was really last minute and I didn’t end up having my costume until the Wednesday before the show. However, it was completely homemade. I wanted to be Superman because I love superheros! The costume was super tight, but it was okay because it looked pretty good on stage.”

Brian Reilly: “Well for my act I have always loved ‘High Hopes’ by Panic at the Disco so I knew I wanted to do that, but I didn’t just want to play it on my sax like I did last year. Then I thought why not sing parts of it because that is not something people would be expecting. And then for the beginning I incorporated that because I wanted people to think I was doing the same thing I did junior year until Nick came out. I included Nick because who doesn’t love Nick? For my costume I got my idea in fall scrolling through Instagram. On there, I saw this video of the Iowa State University marching band dressed up like inflatable dinosaurs and at that moment I knew I had to do it.”

Nick Sokolofsky: “My act was inspired by my love for movies and acting, specifically the Godfather trilogy. I also thought it would be fitting since we just completed Cinderella, and I thought it would be a fun twist. My Princess Leia outfit was just because I thought I would look hot in it.”


The Clarion: Did you overall like being part of Mr. Hawthorne?

Branagh: “I did overall like being a part of the show because everyone there seems together and a part of something really good. We all got close because we had to work together to pull this show off. I got to know so many new people and now we are all closer because of it. It was a ton of work, but it all paid off and wouldn’t have chosen anyone else to work with me. It was such a fun show to do.”  

Costa: “I enjoyed every minute of Mr. Hawthorne, from the awkward auditions, fun dance practices, pre-show prep, and the show itself. It’s an amazing experience being a part of such a great production and spending time with the guys.”

Harmer: “It’s always great to be a part of a show like Mr. Hawthorne. It gets me out of my comfort zone and it is definitely a lot of fun. I enjoy making people laugh and at the same time supporting the town of Hawthorne.”

Kaghado: “I loved being in Mr. Hawthorne! It was a lot of fun being a part of it and joining this great family. If I could go back and do it again, I 100% would do it again.”

Kowalski: “I very much enjoyed being a part of Mr. Hawthorne. I had so much fun working with everyone and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had at HHS.”

Manzi: “I LOVED being in Mr. Hawthorne! I was a contestant both my junior and senior year and had so much fun. The hardest part both years was learning the dance. It was so hard and really fast this year. In rehearsal, I ended up ripping my pants three times and the night of the show I ripped them again! I am so happy I was chosen to be Mr. Congeniality and I’m very happy for Luke that he got Mr. Hawthorne. I wish I could be a part of the show another year, but my time is up.”

Reilly: “I did not just like it, I loved being a part of Mr. Hawthorne. I enjoyed every moment of it from the dancing, the photo shoot, to just spending time with the boys in the show as they are so much fun to spend time with and be around.”

Sokolofsky: “I really loved being a part of Mr. Hawthorne. The crowd was just electric and it was a fantastic feeling just being up there. I look forward to Mr. Hawthorne 2020 where I will be taking the crown. That’s a bibbiti bobbiti fact!”


The eighth annul Mr. Hawthorne was again a very successful and fun event!

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