Clear Springs High School Sweeps While Nyles Washington and Emily Lewis Grab Top Honors at 2014 TOMMY TUNE AWARDS - All the Winners!

Clear Springs High School Sweeps While Nyles Washington and Emily Lewis Grab Top Honors at 2014 TOMMY TUNE AWARDS - All the Winners!
L to R: Stephen Louis, Emily Lewis, Tommy Tune,
Nyles Washington, Amber Scott, Kyle Legacion,
Emily Scott & John Breckenridge.

Last night, Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) celebrated the talents and achievements of local children with the 12th annual Tommy Tune Awards. Pulling up to the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, all I could see was hundreds of well-dressed and excited young adults. Their enthusiasm and nervous energy filled the air. The anticipation for the TONY's-inspired awards show was incredibly high, and everyone wanted to know who would win.

Musical Director, Michael Moricz, lead the talented Tommy Tune Orchestra and the Best Lead and Supporting Actor/Actress Nominees through a high-energy rendition of "We'll Take a Class Together" from GRAND HOTEL. The audience cheered vociferously for each and every nominee as they took the stage to sing and dance. The performance ended with a delightful cameo by nine-time Tony Award Winner and this award ceremony's namesake Tommy Tune.

Following the number, Bruce Lumpkin, TUTS' Artisitc Director, surprised Tommy Tune by leading the audience in singing "Happy Birthday" to celebrate Tommy Tune's recently turning 75. Full of mirth and cheer, Tommy Tune introduced the packed to capacity house to the evenings co-hosts, performer and bookwriter/lyricist Jim Bernhard and HOT 95.7 radio personality Sarah Pepper.

Throughout the evening, many recognizable personalities from around Houston and members of the TUTS family presented awards. This delightful group of Houston's prominent talent included TUTS President and CEO John Breckenridge , Miller Outdoor Theatre's Managing Director Cissy Segall Davis, CBS' Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan, The Alley Theatre's Paul Hope, KUHT's Ernie Manouse, composer and musician Michael Moricz, ABC 13's Don Nelson, TUTS Scholarship Committee Chairperson Amy Pierce, and the Houston Ballet's director Stanton Welch. Additionally, Beth Broderick, an actress best known for playing Zelda Spellman on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch presented the awards for Best Leading Actor and Best Leading Actress, and the evening featured a special video appearance from three time Tommy Tune Award winning actress Alison Luff, who is currently playing Elphaba in the First National Tour of WICKED.

The first Best Musical Nominee to perform was the cast of Cinco Ranch High School's production of SPAMALOT. The students gave an enthusiastic performance of "Knights of the Round Table." With skilled tap chorepgorahy, a lot of wit, and a hilarious male dance duet, these talented youngsters charmed the audience while tickling our ribs.

Next up to perform was the select members of Best Musical Nominee cast from High School for the Performing and Visual Arts' production of AVENUE Q (School Edition). Singing "If You Were Gay," these Broadway stars in the making from HSPVA left the audience rolling in the aisles with their perfectly timed comedy.

The Best Musical Nominee cast of Klein Oak High School's production of GUYS AND DOLLS, performed a charismatic rendition of "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat." This huge ensemble blended their voices well and sold the number by having a blast performing it.

The fourth Best Musical Nominee cast to perform was Pearland High School's cast of HELLO, DOLLY. The cast performed a sparkling medley of "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" and "Hello, Dolly!" With a large cast, skillful dance, inspiring vocal talent, and a lot of pizzazz, this company easily reminded us why HELLO, DOLLY! is such a tried and true crowd pleaser.

Clear Springs High School Sweeps While Nyles Washington and Emily Lewis Grab Top Honors at 2014 TOMMY TUNE AWARDS - All the Winners!
The cast and crew of Clear Springs High School's
URINETOWN.

Closing the first act of the 2014 Tommy Tune Awards, the Best Musical Nominee cast of Clear Springs High School's production of URINETOWN pristinely performed "Run, Freedom, Run!" With energy that electrified the room, precise and perfect vocals, and adorable choreography, these talented youths owned the stage with their spotless and clean performance.

G. W. Carver Magnet High School's Best Musical Nominee cast of their production of IN THE HEIGHTS left the audience cheering uproraiously with their magnetizing and enigmatic high-energy performance of "Carnaval del Barrio." Lead by the sensational Amber Scott, the passion for performance and the remarkable liveliness of the enthusiastic cast masterfully affected every member of the audience, earning the performance a long-lasting standing ovation.

The seventh Best Musical Nominee cast from Episcopal High School performed "Gay or European" from their production of LEGALLY BLONDE - THE MUSICAL. It was obvious that the cast was having a blast performing the cute and humorous number, and their peppy rendition of the catchy tune left the audience laughing and smiling from ear to ear.

The next performance was Michael Moricz's cleverly arranged medley of key songs from each show that had a Best Leading Actor Nominee. This enchanting number was proudly performed by each of the young men nominated for Best Leading Actor. With touching professionalism, each nominee performed well as an ensemble member and individually on his solo.

Next, the Best Leading Actress Nominees took the stage to perform Michael Moricz's winning medley of their key songs. Their excitement, poise, and grace was inexplicable, and each young lady soared with their powerhouse solo performances and blended beautifully as an ensemble.

The eighth and final performance of a Best Musical Nominee cast was "Gaston" from Houston Christian High School's production of Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Filling the stage with eye-catching choreography and singing with vocal powress, this cast truly entertained the entire audience.

The 2014 Tommy Tune Awards closed with a marvelous rendition of Michael Moricz's original song "Eyes on the Goal." Two joyful students from each of the award 45 eligible schools performed and reminded everyone to follow their dreams.

For the 2014 Tommy Tune Awards, a panel of 29 Houston-based theatre professionals carefully reviewed and evaluated the 45 participating Houston-area high school productions during the 2013-14 school year. Collectively, they made 151 nominations in 15 categories. The winners of the 2013 Tommy Tune Awards are as follows:

Best Featured Performer:

  • Kyle Legacion and Emily Scott as the Boy/Girl Bears in High School for the Performing and Visual Arts' AVENUE Q (SCHOOL EDITION)

Best Scenic Design:

  • Clear Springs High School - URINETOWN

Best Lighting Design:

  • Clear Springs High School - URINETOWN

Best Costume Design:

  • Klein Oak High School - GUYS AND DOLLS

Best Orchestra:

  • G. W. Carver Magnet High School - IN THE HEIGHTS

Best Musical Direction:

  • Clear Springs High School - URINETOWN

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Stephen Louis as Officer Lockstock in Clear Springs High School's URINETOWN

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Amber Scott as Daniela in G. W. Carver Magnet High School's IN THE HEIGHTS

Best Ensemble/Chorus:

  • Clear Springs High School - URINETOWN

Best Crew & Technical Execution:

  • Clear Springs High School - URINETOWN

Best Choreography:

  • G. W. Carver Magnet High School - IN THE HEIGHTS

Best Direction:

  • Clear Springs High School - URINETOWN

Best Leading Actor:

  • Nyles Washington as Usnavi in G. W. Carver Magnet High School's IN THE HEIGHTS

Best Leading Actress:

  • Emily Lewis as Hope Cladwell in Clear Springs High School's URINETOWN

Best Musical:

  • Clear Springs High School - URINETOWN

Additionally, TUTS will cover the expenses of Best Leading Actor and Actress winners Nyles Washington and Emily Lewis as they go on to compete at the national level for the Jimmy Award, named after James M. Nederlander, Broadway theater owner and producer, at the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City.

Annually, the National High School Musical Theater Awards program brings the country's best high school performers together to compete on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre. This year's ceremony will be held on Monday, June 30, 2014. While in New York City, each of the Jimmy Award participants will participate in rehearsals and master classes, receive one-on-one coaching from theater professionals, be seen by casting agents, meet and converse with Broadway actors, and compete for scholarships and other prizes. At the end of this amazing and intensive week of study and hard work, there is a live awards show where the Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress is presented.

In addition to the awards for achievement in theatrical arts, TUTS also encourages future development in the arts by awarding invaluable scholarships to outstanding participating students of the Tommy Tune Awards. TUTS presented Tanith Albright (Manvel High School), Chyanne Cristensen (Kingwood High School), Katherine Fester (Memorial High School), Madeline Garvis (St. Agnes Academy), Mary Kate Goss (Stratford High School), Samantha McHenry (Friendswood High School), Tori Robertson (Foster High School), Amber Scott (G.W. Carver Magnet High School) and Hayley Talkington (Episcopal High School) with scholarships. This year TUTS was able to give $5,000 to Sean Hardin of George Ranch High School, the recipient of the Ruth Denney Scholarship, which is named in honor of Tommy Tune's mentor and legendary Lamar High School drama teacher.

If you missed this stunning celebration of Houston area talent you can watch the 2014 Tommy Tune Awards when they air on Houston's ABC 13 on Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:05 p.m. Set your DVRs, you don't want to miss the stars of tomorrow!

Finally, BroadwayWorld Houston would like to offer heartfelt and sincere congratulations to each and every winner and nominee. Your hard work is truly astounding, and the future of live theatre never looked brighter.

Photos by David Clarke.

high res photos

Clear Springs High School Sweeps While Nyles Washington and Emily Lewis Grab Top Honors at 2014 TOMMY TUNE AWARDS - All the Winners!
Tommy Tune and John Breckenridge with Scholarship winners.

Clear Springs High School Sweeps While Nyles Washington and Emily Lewis Grab Top Honors at 2014 TOMMY TUNE AWARDS - All the Winners!
L to R: Tommy Tune, Sean Hardin & John Breckenridge.

Clear Springs High School Sweeps While Nyles Washington and Emily Lewis Grab Top Honors at 2014 TOMMY TUNE AWARDS - All the Winners!
L to R: Tommy Tune, Emily Scott, Kyle Legacion & John Breckenridge.

Clear Springs High School Sweeps While Nyles Washington and Emily Lewis Grab Top Honors at 2014 TOMMY TUNE AWARDS - All the Winners!
L to R: Tommy Tune, Stephen Louis & John Breckenridge.

Clear Springs High School Sweeps While Nyles Washington and Emily Lewis Grab Top Honors at 2014 TOMMY TUNE AWARDS - All the Winners!
L to R: Tommy Tune, Amber Scott & John Breckenridge.

Clear Springs High School Sweeps While Nyles Washington and Emily Lewis Grab Top Honors at 2014 TOMMY TUNE AWARDS - All the Winners!
L to R: Tommy Tune, Nyles Washington & John Breckenridge.

Clear Springs High School Sweeps While Nyles Washington and Emily Lewis Grab Top Honors at 2014 TOMMY TUNE AWARDS - All the Winners!
L to R: Tommy Tune, Emily Lewis & John Breckenridge.

Clear Springs High School Sweeps While Nyles Washington and Emily Lewis Grab Top Honors at 2014 TOMMY TUNE AWARDS - All the Winners!
L to R: Stephen Louis, Emily Lewis, Tommy Tune, Nyles Washington, Amber Scott, Kyle Legacion, Emily Scott & John Breckenridge.

Clear Springs High School Sweeps While Nyles Washington and Emily Lewis Grab Top Honors at 2014 TOMMY TUNE AWARDS - All the Winners!
The cast and crew of Clear Springs High School's URINETOWN.

high res photos

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