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Blumenthal Performing Arts Announces Nominees for 2014 Blumey Awards; Ceremony Set for 5/18

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Blumenthal Performing Arts Announces Nominees for 2014 Blumey Awards; Ceremony Set for 5/18

Blumenthal Performing Arts has announced the 72 nominees - six each in 12 categories - competing in the 3rd annual Blumey Awards presented by Wells Fargo on Sunday, May 18, in the Belk Theater.

The Blumey Awards program recognizes and celebrates the best in high school musical theater and fosters even greater achievements in the future.

Maureen O'Boyle, anchor for WBTV, is emceeing the black-tie event.

Winners will be announced at The Blumey Awards Ceremony on May 18, at 7:00 p.m., in the Belk Theater. Tickets for The Blumey Awards Ceremony go on sale to the public on Thursday, May 1, at 10 a.m. Tickets range from $30 to $45 for premium seats, which include a VIP pre-show reception. Tickets will be available at BlumenthalArts.org, 704-372-1000 or from the box office in the Belk Theater lobby, 130 N. Tryon St.

Like the Tony Awards, The Blumey Awards Ceremony will also feature live performances by the six finalists for Wells Fargo Best Musical: Charlotte Latin School, Hello, Dolly!; Northwest School of the Arts, Shrek the Musical; Providence Day School, Little Shop of Horrors; Providence High School, The Drowsy Chaperone; South Pointe High School, Tarzan; Stuart W. Cramer High School, 13 the Musical.

"We're proud of the talent and hard work that is on display in these productions," says Blumenthal Performing Arts President Tom Gabbard. "Last year's Best Actress winner Eva Noblezada went on to compete in the Jimmy Awards in New York City, which opened doors for her to land the lead role in London's West End revival of Miss Saigon. We couldn't be more proud of her success and we look forward to celebrating and encouraging the budding talent of high schools students throughout our community, because that's what it is all about."

Award presenters include several local media personalities, community leaders and acclaimed performing arts professionals.

David Dabbon, a New York-based music director, conductor, orchestrator and composer, will once again be the musical director of the awards ceremony and lead an orchestra of local professional musicians that will accompany the competing schools on May 18. He has conducted shows and concerts throughout the country, including additional orchestrations for the Tony and Grammy-nominated Broadway musical, Sondheim on Sondheim. Dabbon has served as assisting arranger/orchestrator for The Gene Kelly Awards and most recently, the National High School Musical Theater Awards.

The Blumey Awards Ceremony will feature a medley of performances by the six finalists for Best Actor and for Best Actress; and two students from each production will be featured in opening and closing production numbers. Linda Booth, a professional choreographer will choreograph these musical numbers. She holds a BFA in dance performance from UNC-Greensboro. She is passionate about musical theater, and has choreographed over 100 productions in regional and educational theater. Recent credits include Hairspray, Chicago, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Drowsy Chaperone and Charlotte Squawks.

Along with The Blumey Awards themselves, The Doctor Family Foundation will award a $10,000 annually renewable scholarship to two student participants in The Blumey Awards. This year, The Mary Doctor Performing Arts Scholarship will be awarded to Mekhai Lee, Northwest School of the Arts, and Jessica Braun, South Mecklenburg High School. A special scholarship committee chose these winners. The scholarship recipients will be awarded the scholarships live on May 18 during The Blumey Awards Ceremony.

Blumenthal Performing Arts will again participate in the National High School Musical Theater Awards. The national show and ceremony takes place in New York on June 30, 2014. The two students named Best Actor and Best Actress at The Blumey Awards will receive an all-expenses-paid trip and weeklong stay in New York City where they will train and compete with other regional winners in a national competition known as The Jimmy Awards (named after famed Broadway producer, James M. Nederlander).

Twelve student critics are also participating in the Student Critic Program in association with the 3rd Annual Blumey Awards presented by Wells Fargo. The Student Critic Program is launched as a part of The Blumey Awards with support from The Charlotte Observer. Of these twelve Student Critics, one will be awarded "The Charlotte Observer Student Critic Award" at The Blumey Awards, chosen by the editors at The Charlotte Observer.

"Wells Fargo was the inaugural corporate underwriter for this performing arts program in 2012," said Jay Everette, Community Affairs Manager for Wells Fargo. "The Blumeys are all about showcasing the amazing talent of students in our region. It's a 'Glee meets the Tony's at the intersection of Fame' kind of evening. We are thrilled to be part of the presentation again in 2014."

"Congratulations to each of this year's talented nominees," says Gabbard. "We also want to thank the teachers and parents who work behind the scenes to make these shows happen. A school musical is a major undertaking that builds teamwork, self-esteem, as well as showcasing amazing talent. The Blumey Awards is a night these kids, and their families, will long remember as students perform on the stage where they've seen the Best of Broadway shows and other big events."

This year's nominees for The Blumey Awards:

Best Set Construction

Carmel Christian School - The Sound of Music

Central Academy of Technology and Arts - Pippin

Central Cabarrus High School - Back to the 80's

Providence High School - The Drowsy Chaperone

South Pointe High School - Tarzan

Stuart W. Cramer High School - 13 the Musical

Best Costume Creation

Ardrey Kell High School - Seussical

Central Academy of Technology and Arts - Pippin

Cuthbertson High School - Shrek the Musical

Marvin Ridge High School - Barnum

Providence Day School - Little Shop of Horrors

South Pointe High School - Tarzan

Best Student Orchestra

Ardrey Kell High School - Seussical

Cox Mill High School - Once Upon a Mattress

Jay M. Robinson High School - Hairspray

Providence High School - The Drowsy Chaperone

Sun Valley High School - The Drowsy Chaperone

Weddington High School - The Sound of Music

Best Choreography Execution

Central Academy of Technology and Arts - Pippin

Charlotte Christian School - Fiddler on the Roof

Charlotte Latin School - Hello, Dolly!

Northwest School of the Arts - Shrek the Musical

South Mecklenburg High School - Kiss Me, Kate

South Pointe High School - Tarzan

Best Ensemble/Chorus

Butler High School - Avenue Q: School Edition

Charlotte Christian School - Fiddler on the Roof

Charlotte Latin School - Hello, Dolly!

Covenant Day School - Curtains

Northwest School of the Arts - Shrek the Musical

South Pointe High School - Tarzan

Best Overall Direction

Ardrey Kell High School - Seussical

Marvin Ridge High School - Barnum

Northwest School of the Arts - Shrek the Musical

Providence Day School - Little Shop of Horrors

Providence High School - The Drowsy Chaperone

South Pointe High School - Tarzan

Best Featured Performer

Charlotte Latin School - Brendan Paschal as Barnaby Tucker (Hello, Dolly!)

Jay M. Robinson High School - Isabel Gonzalez as Jail Matron (Hairspray)

Northwest Cabarrus High School - Emily Absher as Caprice Nova (Sympathy Jones)

Northwest School of the Arts - Hank Santos as Pinocchio (Shrek the Musical)

South Mecklenburg High School - Wesley Fields as Riley/Hortensio (Kiss Me, Kate)

South Pointe High School - Justin Norwood as Terk (Tarzan)

Best Supporting Actor

Butler High School - Austin Mejia as Nicky (Avenue Q: School Edition)

Central Academy of Technology and Arts - TJ Schmidt as Charlemagne (Pippin)

Charlotte Christian School - Evan Ector as Perchik (Fiddler on the Roof)

Charlotte Latin School - Michael Julliard as Cornelius Hackl (Hello, Dolly!)

Northwest School of the Arts - Phillip Johnson as Donkey (Shrek the Musical)

South Pointe High School - Jordan Davis as Kerchak (Tarzan)

Best Supporting Actress

Ardrey Kell High School - Rachel Buksbazen as Jojo (Seussical)

Lake Norman High School - Sydney Anderson as Dragon/Gingy (Shrek the Musical)

Northwest School of the Arts - Keston Steele as Dragon (Shrek the Musical)

Providence High School - Meredith McNairy as The Drowsy Chaperone (The Drowsy Chaperone)

South Mecklenburg High School - Jessica Braun as Lois/Bianca (Kiss Me, Kate)

Southlake Christian Academy - Alexa Wallace as Lion (The Wizard of Oz)

Best Actor

CFA Academy - Joshua Little as Scarecrow (The Wizard of Oz)

Charlotte Christian School - Graham Baker as Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof)

Northwest School of the Arts - Mekhai Lee as Shrek (Shrek the Musical)

Providence Day School - Thomas Laub as Seymour (Little Shop of Horrors)

Providence High School - Jonathan Walls as Man in Chair (The Drowsy Chaperone)

Southlake Christian Academy - KyleHammill as Scarecrow (The Wizard of Oz)

Best Actress

Ardrey Kell High School - Mckenzie Wilson as The Cat in the Hat (Seussical)

Carmel Christian School - Ashlyn Uribe as Maria Rainer (The Sound of Music)

Central Academy of Technology and Arts - Nkeki Obi-Melekwe as Leading Player (Pippin)

Covenant Day School - Evan Bertram as Georgia Hendricks (Curtains)

Northwest School of the Arts - Abby Corrigan as Princess Fiona (Shrek the Musical)

Stuart W. Cramer High School - Ashlyn Glass as Patrice (13 the Musical)

Wells Fargo Best Musical

Charlotte Latin School - Hello, Dolly!

Northwest School of the Arts - Shrek the Musical

Providence Day School - Little Shop of Horrors

Providence High School - The Drowsy Chaperone

South Pointe High School - Tarzan

Stuart W. Cramer High School - 13 the Musical

The Blumey Awards is produced by Blumenthal Performing Arts' Education Department and is presented by Wells Fargo. US Airways, The Doctor Family Foundation and The Leon Levine Foundation provide additional support. Charlotte joins more than 30 other cities, including Pittsburgh, Houston and Atlanta, in hosting annual high school musical theater awards programs.

The schools competing include: A. L. Brown High School, Ardrey Kell High School, Butler High School, Carmel Christian School, Central Academy of Technology and Arts, Central Cabarrus High School, CFA Academy, Charlotte Christian School, Charlotte Country Day School, Charlotte Latin School, Covenant Day School, Cox Mill High School, Cuthbertson High School, Gaston Day School, Hickory Ridge High School, Highland School of Technology, Jay M. Robinson High School, Kings Mountain High School, Lake Norman High School, Lincolnton High School, Marvin Ridge High School, Myers Park High School, Nation Ford High School, North Gaston High School, North Lincoln High School, Northwest Cabarrus High School, Northwest School of the Arts, Northwestern High School, Olympic High School, Parkwood High School, Providence Day School, Providence High School, South Mecklenburg High School, South Point High School, South Pointe High School, Southlake Christian Academy, Stuart W. Cramer High School, Sun Valley High School and Weddington High School.

For more information: BlumenthalArts.org/BlumeyAwards.

ABOUT BLUMENTHAL PERFORMING ARTS: Blumenthal Performing Arts serves the Carolinas as a leading cultural, entertainment and education provider. For more information, call (704) 372-1000 or visit BlumenthalArts.org.

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