Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Dressed to the nines-despite forecasts of thunderstorms and a tornado watch that hung over the region-theater people from throughout Tennessee gathered at Belmont University's Bill and Carole Troutt Theatre on Sunday night for the 2013 First Night Honors. Hosted by Holly Shepherd and Joel Diggs, the gala evening honored eight leading lights of Tennessee theater as they were recognized as members of the First Night Class of 2013 Honorees.
Founded by Jeffrey Ellis, who is a contributing editor to BroadwayWorld.com, in 1989, The First Night Awards were presented from 1989-1997, when they were discontinued. In 2009, Ellis revived the tradition as The First Night Honors and in 2010, the first eight Honorees were named: Shannon Wood, Paul Gatrell, Scot Copeland, Mac Pirkle, Kathleen O'Brien, Sean and Bob O'Connell and Barry Scott. Members of the 2011 Class of First Night Honorees were Pam Atha, Layne Sasser, Dan Brewer, Gary Hoff, Helen Shute-Pettaway and Danny Proctor.
The eight people honored in 2012 included: Maggi Bowden and the late Sue Stinemetz, Maryanna and Chris Clarke, Jackie Welch, Paul Vasterling, Mary Jane Harvill and Chambers Stevens. A cast of more than 100 performers paid tribute to them in a gala concert on Sunday night, witnessed by a capacity crowd at the Troutt Theatre.
A red carpet event, hosted by Jennifer Richmond and Trey Palmer-joined by Angela Gimlin, Hugh Britt and Cary Street-preceded the concert that also marked Ellis' birthday celebration. Photographer Johnny Benton, of Nashville's Studio Benton Photography, caught the vibrant and gorgeous attendees as they made their way on the red carpet (which was actually orange in recognition of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Middle Tennessee), which was moved inside the lobby of the Troutt Theatre after driving rain earlier in the afternoon.photos by Johnny Benton
Jackie Welch, Mark Schlicher and daughter
Honoree Mary Jane Harvill and her husband
Whitney Vaughn and her mom