Amina Faye and Justin Rivers walked away Sunday night with Best Actress and Best Actor nods at The Blumeys – Charlotte’s version of the Tony awards, recognizing high school musical theater talent in an array of categories.
The two, both from Union County’s Central Academy of Technology and Arts, advance to the June 27 National High School Musical Theater Awards competition (aka the Jimmys), and will travel and stay for a week in New York City as part of their prize. (You may recall Eva Noblezada, Blumey winner from a few years ago, is now an international star.)
Named for the hosting Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, the Blumeys also honor Best Musicals in two production-budget categories. Central Academy snagged one, in the $10,000-or-more category, for its “Ragtime,” while cfa Academy from Cabarrus County made the most of less than $10,000 with “Mary Poppins.”
Sunday night’s awards, the fifth annual, also announced two students winning $10,000 annually renewable scholarships from The Doctor Family Foundation: Sawyer Newsome, also of Central Academy, and Sean Mason of Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology.
Eighteen high schools in the region had nominees in the 12 Blumey categories, and another nine were represented among top-20 actors and actresses. Sarah Dahlberg of Covenant Day won the Charlotte Observer Student Critic Award, and Connor Bright of Providence Day was awarded the new Technical Achievement award.
“I’m proud of the talent we saw on our stage tonight,” said Tom Gabbard, Blumenthal president and CEO. “We are honored to be a part of that incredible experience and to celebrate blooming talent.” The show, emceed by WBTV’s Maureen O’Boyle and WTVI’s Amy Burkett, will be broadcast on WTVI June 14.
A three-judge panel viewed each competing school’s musical to arrive at the awards, and 43 schools took part.
And the winners are...
Wells Fargo Best Musical: Tier 1 (production budget of under $10,000): cfa Academy’s “Mary Poppins”; Tier 2 (production budget of $10,000 and greater): Central Academy of Technology and Arts’ “Ragtime”
Best Actor: Justin Rivers of Central Academy of Technology and Arts, as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in “Ragtime”
Best Actress: Amina Faye of Central Academy of Technology and Arts, as Sarah in “Ragtime”
Best Supporting Actor: Ethan Holtzman of Charlotte Latin, as Pirate King in “The Pirates of Penzance”
Best Supporting Actress: Libby Hatfield of Arborbrook Christian Academy, as Sally Brown in “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”
Best Featured Performer: Rickey-Levon Burch II of Butler, as Mr. Twimble in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”
Best Overall Direction: Central Academy of Technology and Arts’ “Ragtime”
Best Ensemble/Chorus: Ardrey Kell’s “Mary Poppins”
Best Choreography Execution: cfa Academy’s “Mary Poppins”
Best Student Orchestra: Ardrey Kell’s “Mary Poppins”
Best Costume Creation: Hickory Ridge’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”
Best Set Construction: cfa Academy’s “Mary Poppins”