Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals

Photo-Coverage-The-2013-First-Night-Honors-Red-actually-Orange-Carpet-Arrivals-20000101

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

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trish Crist, Jim Manning, Robyn Berg, Cary Street

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Cary Street and Jonathan Pinkerton

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Hugh Britt, Jeremy Maxwell, Cary Street

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Hugh Britt, Amanda Lamb, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Hugh Britt, Maggie Pitt, Macon Kimbrough, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Neely O'Brien Green and Corrie Miller

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Hugh Britt, Bakari King, Angela Gimlin, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Wesley Paine, Greg Greene, Wes Driver, Caroline Davis

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Hugh Britt, Ed Amatrudo, Luckie Westlund, Angela Gimlin

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Jackie Welch, Mark Schlicher and daughter

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Hugh Britt, Elizabeth Walsh, Angela Gimlin

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Hugh Britt, Kirby Hade, Melissa Hade, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Hugh Britt, Chris Clarke, Maryanna Clarke, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Lynda Cameron Bayer, David Bayer

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Honoree Mary Jane Harvill and her husband

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Betsy Sullenger, Chambers Stevens

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Angela Gimlin, Delaney Amatrudo, Gina D'Arco, Blair Allison, Jennifer Richmond, Cary Street

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Angela Gimlin, Delaney Amatrudo, Gina D'Arco, Blair Allison, Jennifer Richmond, Cary Street

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Hugh Britt and Memory Strong

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Joe Stinemetz, Jennifer Debs Tankersley, Hugh Britt, Sara Stinemetz, Cary Street

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Joe Stinemetz, Jennifer Debs Tankersley, Hugh Britt, Sara Stinemetz, Angela Gimlin, Jennifer Richmond and Cary Street

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Hugh Britt, Laura Crockarell, Josh Waldrep, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Angela Gimlin, Hugh Britt, Cat Arnold, Darin Richardson, Taylor Tracey, Kevin Mead, Cary Street

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Darin Richardson, Taylor Tracey, Kevin Mead

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Hugh Britt, Rosemary Fossee, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Angela Gimlin, Delaney Amatrudo, Gina D'Arco, Blair Allison, Jennifer Richmond, Cary Street

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Maggi Bowden, Lynn Bowden, Jennifer Richmond, Cary Street

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, Maggi Bowden

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, Jennifer Bennett

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, RandAl Cooper, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Whitney Vaughn, Leslie Marberry

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Jeff Ward, Angela Gimlin, Phyllis Courtney, Hugh Britt

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, Caroline Sandrell, Karissa Wheeler, Cary Street

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Cary Street, Julia Nettles

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, Britt Byrd, Layne Sasser, Corrie Miller, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Jennifer Richmond, Corrie Miller, Britt Byrd, Trey Palmer

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Regan Featherstone, Bailey Hanks, Ryan Bowie, Jeffrey Ellis, Lital Abrahams, Rob Rodems

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Layne Sasser, Jeffrey Ellis

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, Ryan Garrett, Spencer Dean, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, Blandina Vergara-Cruz

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, Caleb Reynolds, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Blandina Vergara-Cruz

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Whitney Vaughn and her mom

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, Will Butler, Stephen Michael Jones, Matt Hunter, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, Emily Hughes, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, Cary Street, Angela Gimlin, Jennifer Richmond, Hugh Britt

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Jeffrey Ellis, Christian Albright-Redden

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Hugh Britt, Cary Street, Jeffrey Ellis, Angela Gimlin

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, Jeffrey Ellis, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Trey Palmer, Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals
Jennifer Richmond

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals

Photo Coverage: The 2013 First Night Honors Red (actually Orange) Carpet Arrivals

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.


 
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