The cast of Northwest School of the Arts’ “Shrek the Musical” took home nine of the 12 top prizes at the annual Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater Awards on Sunday, including best musical and best actor and actress.
Next up for the cast and crew: final exams.
Students from the top prize-earning Northwest School of the Arts and 39 other high schools in the Charlotte region were nominated for the awards, known as the Blumeys, which cover 12 categories of high school musical theater. Think the Tony Awards for high schools.
And like the Tonys, the Blumeys featured live performances – Providence Day opened the show with a number from “Little Shop of Horrors.” Charlotte Latin School performed a piece from “Hello, Dolly!” – and the finalists for best actor and actress also performed a medley of songs.
The annual awards show is produced by the Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Education Department and was held uptown at the Belk Theater.
Northwest School of the Arts, a magnet school for the performing arts off Beatties Ford Road, swept the top awards. In addition to the cast winning best musical, Abby Corrigan won best actress for her portrayal of Princess Fiona, and Mekhai Lee won best actor for his Shrek.
Hank Santos, who played Pinocchio in “Shrek the Musical,” was the first individual award winner. He showed up with black pants and a silver suit jacket and thanked a classmate who stepped in for some performances while he was sick.
“Wow, I wasn’t expecting this,” he said. “I wouldn’t have worn this tux if I was.”
Corrigan and Lee will receive an all-expenses-paid trip and weeklong stay next month in New York City, where they will train with other regional winners in the National High School Musical Theater Awards.
Each school’s musical was viewed and evaluated by a panel of qualified arts professionals. The six highest-scoring nominees in each of 12 categories were the finalists.
Charlotte is one of more than 40 cities, including Pittsburgh, Houston and Atlanta, that host annual high school musical theater awards programs.
Wells Fargo sponsored the black-tie event, and Maureen O’Boyle, a news anchor for WBTV, emceed. Local media personalities, community leaders and performing arts professionals presented the awards.
Along with their Blumeys, Lee and Jessica Braun of South Mecklenburg High School received the the Mary Doctor Performing Arts Scholarship, an annually renewable $10,000 scholarship.