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Arts and Entertainment

Blumey season takes the stage
High school theater's biggest show
 
Published Thursday, May 9, 2019 12:01 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

FILE PHOTO
The Blumey Awards is the top high school theater awards program in the Charlotte region.

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Awards season is back in Charlotte. High school theater awards season that is.


The eighth Annual High School Musical Theater Awards, commonly referred to as the Blumey Awards, takes the Belk Theater stage May 19 at 7 p.m. The event is sold out.


“It’s way beyond our wildest dreams that the program would have the impact that it has had,” Blumenthal Performing Arts President Tom Gabbard said. “It’s now the premier high school theater awards program in the country, and I say that from the vantage of somebody who is the Chairman of the National High School Theater Awards. I know all of these programs. Especially cities who are looking to start one of these, they look at Charlotte as a best practice example.”


David Dabbon returns as the music director and orchestrator for the Blumeys. The Grammy-nominated orchestrator has been with the program since its inception in 2012. Charlottean Linda Booth choreographs the opening and closing numbers featuring two students from each of the 48 participating theater programs, in addition to the medleys performed by the nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress.  Each of the six schools nominated for Best Musical will also perform on May 19. Winners of Best Actor and Best Actress advance to the Jimmy Awards—The National High School Musical Theater Awards—in New York City, which takes place on June 24. The trip includes a weeklong stay in New York, which is at no cost to the students.


“When I think about not only what it has done for us here in Charlotte, but Broadway business in general, I’d say it’s probably the best diversity program we have out there, because it has given real opportunity to these kids,” Gabbard said. “They may have the talent, but they need some doors open. The Blumey Awards gives them that door opening for that talent to be recognized.”


Blumey alumni have gone onto perform all over the world, from Broadway to London’s West End to returning to Belk Theater with national tours. For instance, Central Academy of Technology and Arts’ Nkeki Obi-Melekwe currently plays Tina Turner in “Tina” in London. Eva Noblezada, an alumna who won Best Actress at the Blumeys in 2013, has since been nominated for two Tony Awards: 2017 for the lead in “Miss Saigon” and 2019 for the lead in “Hadestown.”
“We have two talented young women of color who are starring in major musicals, one in New York, one in London,” Gabbard said. “The Blumey Awards are part of opening doors for those young women and helping their talent to be seen.”


2019 nominees:


Best Student Orchestra
East Mecklenburg High School- “Anything Goes”
Hickory Ridge High School- “Little Shop of Horrors”
Northwest School of the Arts- “Freaky Friday”
Northwestern High School- “Newsies”
Providence High School- “Newsies”
William A. Hough High School- “Fiddler on the Roof”


Best Set Construction
Ardrey Kell High School- “Curtains”
CFA Academy- “Hello, Dolly!”
Gaston Day School- “Fiddler on the Roof”
Lake Norman High School- “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”
Providence High- “Newsies”
Stuart W. Cramer High School- “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”


Best Costume Creation
Central Academy of Technology and Arts- “Rock of Ages: High School Edition”
CFA Academy- “Hello, Dolly!”
Nation Ford High School- “Young Frankenstein”
Piedmont Community Charter School- “Mary Poppins”
Pine Lake Preparatory School- “Bright Star”
Stuart W. Cramer- “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”


Best Choreography Execution
Ardrey Kell- “Curtains”
Charlotte Country Day School- “Catch Me If You Can”
Nation Ford- “Young Frankenstein”
NWSA- “Freaky Friday”
Pine Lake Preparatory- “Bright Star”
Stuart W. Cramer- “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”


Best Ensemble/Chorus
Ardrey Kell- “Curtains”
Nation Ford- “Young Frankenstein”
NWSA- “Freaky Friday”
Pine Lake Preparatory- “Bright Star”
Providence High- “Newsies”
Stuart W. Cramer- “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”


Best Overall Direction
Ardrey Kell- “Curtains”
Lake Norman High- “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”
Nation Ford- “Young Frankenstein”
NWSA- “Freaky Friday”
Pine Lake Preparatory- “Bright Star”
Stuart W. Cramer- “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”


Best Supporting Actor
Cannon School- Griffin Jones as Man in the Chair- “The Drowsy Chaperone”
Fort Mill High School- Emmett Froebrich as Gideon- “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”
NWSA- Rixey Terry as Mike- Freaky Friday
Pine Lake Preparatory- J. T. Sutek as Billy Cane- “Bright Star”
Providence High- Brandon Szep as Davey- Newsies
Stuart W. Cramer- Alex Manley as Schroeder- “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”


Best Supporting Actress
Ardrey Kell- Sara Stone as Carmen Bernstein- “Curtains”
CFA Academy- Mia Rice as Irene Molloy- Hello, Dolly!
Lake Norman High- Emily Faria as Sally- “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”
NWSA- Carlyn Head as Katherine Blake- “Freaky Friday”
Pine Lake Preparatory- Amanda Foss as Margo- “Bright Star”
Hough- Julia Leeman as Hodel- “Fiddler on the Roof”


Best Featured Performer
Ardrey Kell- Richard Barker as Christopher Belling- “Curtains”
cfa Academy- Brittany Schell as Minnie Fay- “Hello, Dolly!”
Fort Mill- Spencer Dulin as Frank- “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”
NWSA- Brooke Watts as Ms. Meyers- “Freaky Friday”
Pine Lake Preparatory- Andrew Battalia as Daryl- “Bright Star”
Hough- Haley Vogel as Tzeitel and Grandma Tzeitel- “Fiddler on the Roof”


Best Musical – Tier 1
Nation Ford- “Young Frankenstein”
Pine Lake Preparatory- “Bright Star”
Stuart W. Cramer- “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”


Best Musical – Tier 2
Ardrey Kell- “Curtains”
NWSA- “Freaky Friday”
Providence High- “Newsies”


Best Actor
Ardrey Kell- John Parker Demos as Aaron Fox- “Curtains”
Cannon School- Cole Ventura as Aldolpho- “The Drowsy Chaperone”
Central Academy of Technology and Arts- Sayo Oni as Drew- “Rock of Ages: High School Edition”
CFA Academy- Asher Vanderburg as Cornelius Hackel- “Hello, Dolly!”
Charlotte Country Day- Jack Flowers as Carl Hanratty- “Catch Me If You Can”
Charlotte Latin School- William Kressner as Bert- Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s “Mary Poppins”
Covenant Day School- Luke Protasewich as Phantom- “The Phantom of the Opera”
Cuthbertson High School- Wesley Franks as Sam- “Mamma Mia!”
Forestview High School- Scout Stamey as Curly- “Oklahoma!
Fort Mill- Will Roque as Adam- “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”
Gaston Day School- Ben King as Tevye- “Fiddler on the Roof”
Lake Norman High- Ivan Dixon as Charlie Brown- “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”
Nation Ford- Jackson Ringley as Frederick Frankenstein- “Young Frankenstein”
NWSA- Izzat Monroe as Adam- “Freaky Friday”
Piedmont Community Charter- Tanner Bowers as Bert- “Mary Poppins”
Pine Lake Preparatory- Chris Hyslop as Jimmy Ray Dobbs- “Bright Star”
South Mecklenburg High School- Cavan Meade as Tom Thumb- “Barnum”
Stuart W. Cramer- Jacob Hooks as Charlie Brown- “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown”
Westminster Catawba Christian School- Luke Hancock as Jean Valjean- “Les Miserables”
Hough- Drew Colven as Tevye- “Fiddler on the Roof”


Best Actress
Ardrey Kell- Leigh Hrischenko as Georgia Hendricks- “Curtains”
Cannon School- Isabella Ortiz as Janet Van de Graff- “The Drowsy Chaperone”
Central Academy of Technology and Arts- Miia Harris as Sherrie- “Rock of Ages: High School Edition”
CFA Academy- Sarah Ann Burke as Dolly Levi- “Hello, Dolly!”
Charlotte Latin School- Arella Flur as Mary Poppins- Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s “Mary Poppins”
Christ the King Catholic High School- Gabriella DuPont as Peggy Sawyer- “42nd Street”
Covenant Day School- Kimmi Curcio as Christine- “The Phantom of the Opera”
Forestview High School- Grace Miller as Ado Annie- “Oklahoma!”
Fort Mill- Gillian Huntley as Milly- “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”
Gaston Day School- Sarah Wehmueller as Hodel- “Fiddler on the Roof”
Lake Norman High- Jordan O'Sullivan as Lucy- “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown”
Liberty Preparatory Christian Academy- Chrissa Weir as Orphie- “Orphie and the Book of Heroes”
Mallard Creek High School- Faith Hart as Olive Ovstrovsky- “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”
Nations Ford- Gracie Bentley as Inga- “Young Frankenstein”
NWSA- Zoe Freeman as Ellie Blake- “Freaky Friday”
Piedmont Community Charter-McKenna Lawler as Marry Poppins- “Mary Poppins”
Pine Lake Preparatory- Piper Loebach as Alice Murphy- “Bright Star”
Providence High- Kara Kucsma as Katherine- “Newsies”
Stuart W. Cramer- Marissa Garrison as Sally- “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown”
Hough- Sophia Leeman as Golde- “Fiddler on the Roof”

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