Sunday night’s sixth annual Blumey Awards for high school musical theater had a little extra glow – the awards, often likened to the Tonys for musical theater, could claim an actual Tony nominee this year: Up for best leading actress in a musical in 2017 is Eva Noblezada, who took home the Blumey (for Northwest School of the Arts) in 2013.
Sunday, Anna Hertel of Ardrey Kell and Justin Rivers of Central Academy of Technology and Arts won the best actress and actor awards, and will advance to a national level of competition in New York, known as the Jimmys. Two musicals – “Thoroughly Modern Millie” by Stuart W. Cramer High in Cramerton and “All Shook Up” by Northwest School of the Arts – received top nods in the awards’ two production-budget tiers: less than $10,000 and $10,000-and-up.
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Another big winner: Dequarius Jackson from Hopewell, who won one of each of the significant scholarships awarded at the Blumeys; each of which names two recipients. Jackson took home both a $10,000 (and annually renewable) Mary Doctor Performing Arts Scholarship, and a $5,000 Gordon Hay Scholarship. Madeline Bame of South Point received the second Mary Doctor award, while Hannah Goforth of Myers Park won the second Gordon Hay scholarship.
Cecilia Whalen of East Mecklenburg High earned the Charlotte Observer Student Critic Award. This piece of the Blumeys gave 15 writers the opportunity to write reviews of the musicals in the competition. (Read her winning review at www.charlotteobserver.com.)
Tom Gabbard, president and CEO of Blumenthal, noted in a news release: “I’m proud of the talent we saw on our stage tonight. We are honored to be a part of that incredible experience and to celebrate blooming talent.”
Other winners among the 23 Charlotte-region schools nominated:
Best supporting actor: Rixey Terry, Northwest School of the Arts
Best supporting actress: Hannah-Kathryn Wall, Northwest School of the Arts
Best featured performer: Herbert White, Northwestern
Best overall direction, best ensemble/chorus and best choreography execution: Northwest School of the Arts
Best technical achievement: Ethan Martin, Providence
Best student orchestra: Central Academy of Technology and Arts
Best costume creation: Piedmont Community Charter School
Best set construction: Stuart W. Cramer High