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BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

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View exclusive photos from inside the big event!

"WE DID IT!" could be heard all the way from Broken Arrow, OK Sunday night. And the person yelling it the loudest was Kristin Chenoweth.

Exhausted and elated, She told us that it was worth everything that went into it: the planning, the nerves, the technology she had to become familiar with, the rehearsals, the classes she taught, panels she hosted, the GOOD MORNING CAMPERS live show, every morning at 9 A.M. CDT, which she hosted with her camp co-directors, Richard Jay-Alexander and John McDaniel, the long days and nights .... ALL OF IT! She also told us, "There is NO WAY I could have done this without a remarkable group of people. And I hope everyone will take the time to look at our PROGRAM from Sunday night and read about all these incredible and talented people, on both sides of the stage and on both sides of all the computer screens and televisions. I am so very grateful." The program she is referring to is BroadwayWorld's STAGE MAG and you can check it out here. BWW has always been a supporter of KCBBC and we were thrilled to be a part of it this year, in such a new and unique way of offering support and informing the audience, fans and participants of this growingly popular camp.

According to everything we're hearing and reading online, this year's KRISTI Awards, presented LIVE and VIRTUAL went, pretty much, without a hitch. They only had to stop once, for 5 minutes to re-boot all their engines. They hope that the reason is because so many people tuned in and, yes, it was impressive.

KCBBC social media was jumping all week for Kristin Chenoweth's Broadway Bootcamp and, Sunday evening, hit a fever pitch. We found out that the level of engagement for the popular program on social media platforms skyrocketed by hundreds of percentiles daily, due to the number of students, the spread across the globe and one Lindsay Brooks, who was on site and spearheaded the socials for them all week long.

Before the show even began, they had a "virtual" PINK CARPET hosted by friend and NY 1 Entertainment Journalist, Frank DiLella, who served similarly in NETFLIX's The Prom earlier this year, talking to legendary actress Meryl Streep, as the character of Dee Dee Allen.

Ms. Chenoweth joined Frank to kick off the evening, from her dressing room, where she and longtime pal and director, Richard Jay-Alexander, were going over some final notes. Richard joined in and DiLella had friendly and direct conversation with the star and her director. What shone through was the dedication to these young people and how talented and inspiring they are.

The kids did the PINK CARPET, too, on Instagram Live and it was a blast.

The show kicked off from the stage of the Kristin Chenoweth Theatre in the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center and it was a smooth combination of video, live feeds into the faculty's homes, as well as the campers' homes and plenty to watch on stage, as well as imaginative and fantastic video packages that had been pre-shot, produced and edited.

The show kicked off their videos with a little dazzler named Joel Crump. Apparently, this kid took the entire team by storm during the week and seems to be on a path to stardom.

Kristi Dawn's parents, Junie & Jerry Chenoweth were present, in the safe-distanced audience, as was a Co-Founder of the camp, Jack Wallace's Mom and the parents of the late John Sawyer (another original co-founder, lifelong childhood friend to KC and a Broadway thesp himself), who would have an inaugural award, in his name, presented to them, and a surprise presentation of the same inaugural award, from Kristin, to Wallace, who was John's partner in life and business. It was very, very moving.

17 KRISTI Awards were handed out, reaching as far away as the Philippines, Australia, Colombia and across the United States and Canada. 8 countries and 33 states were represented. The fun was infectious to watch and each recipient seemed to be surprised, overwhelmed and had nothing but praise and gratitude to share with fellow campers, staff and viewers. Some parents even popped into their kids' screens to get a look at the diminutive star/fearless leader of the prestigious camp.

Kristin told us that what kept her spirits up, on site, were the interns, past graduates of the camp. She had a private session with them, before the show, to express her gratitude and we were told everyone, pretty much, was wrecked (in a good way) by that special time with her alone in their greenroom and what they shared together.

Observation shows that is very much how the week played out. Lots of contact, communication, sharing, creating a safe environment and a world of their own. Try to imagine all these young people, class after class - singing, dancing, choreography, coaching, filming, a myriad of evening social activites and getting to a place of "authenticity." It became the word, for this year, that Chenoweth instilled in them: AUTHENTICITY.

The more we learned and heard, the more we got just a little jealous.

A huge highlight of the evening was listening to Chenoweth, her friend and first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Robert (Bob) Greenblatt, and this year's recipient of the award, Neil Meron talk "shop" and how much they love what they do and how they all speak the "language" of musicals. Greenblatt honored his colleague, Meron, and you could see Meron was clearly moved and humbled and spoke very passionately about his work. Also, from the heavens, and in the conversation was fellow producing partner, Craig Zadan. Zadan and Meron produced many things that Chenoweth appeared in on television and the stage. Also, Bob and Neil are doing the upcoming ANNIE Live! together. The award itself is stunning. A beautiful piece of hand blown art that is uniquely artistic. This and all the other "special" awards were done, personally, by Chris McGahan of Bella Forte Glass and were created locally.

Another big moment came when camper Kat Gedmin performed live from the stage an original composition, titled "Superhero" about her mom. This year, for the first time, the camp offered a songwriting class led by Guitarist/Songwriter Josh Bryant and Singer/Songwriter Victoria Shaw. It was a big hit with the kids and a song written by Gedmin was chosen to work on, tweak and perform in the show. By coincidence, the talented young girl lives in Norman, OK, and Josh & Kristin invited her to come to the theatre and perform it live, with an assist from Bryant on the guitar. A highlight for sure.

The full list of names of KRISTI Award winners:

Juliana Pinho
Evie Higgins
Holly Connor
Kalil Black
BrynLee Lott
Ashlyn Buchanan
Isabella Rose Sky
Skylar Miller
Martin Kamm
Gaby Villamizar
Finn Douglas
Carson Pemberton
Rebekah Freeland
Tatum Hopkins
Arabella Enriquez
Makenzie Goodwin

The musical numbers, the shout outs, Jay-Alexander interviewing Kristin's parents, John McDaniel coming to us from his home in Ft. Lauderdale ... all of it, really well executed, and, along with all the fun, some real heartbreak and unbridled tears.

The Florence Birdwell Award was created this year, after losing the legendary vocal instructor recently and Kristin and Lara Teeter (both students of Birdwell) presented to Birdwell's daughter and son.

After a moving video of camps past, set to a performance of KC singing "Yesterday Once More" from Broadway's FOR THE GIRLS .... It segued into a heart-wrenching memorial for her lost best friend, John Sawyer. The song was "Days Of Plenty" from the musical LITTLE WOMEN, with a beautiful video package of a handsome young man who left us way too soon. When the cameras picked up live again, Kristin, Jack Wallace and John's parents, were pretty much reduced to water and the mood was beautifully softened with a SMULE edition of "For Good" from WICKED with young people from everywhere. It was a gentle recovery.

Along the way, Jason Robert Brown introduced his song "Do The Work" with inspiring words about the late Harold Prince. Arranged by Kevin Stites and staged by Kyle Garvin, it was very inspiring to hear the words come out of the mouths of all thos young faces, representing the future. The large cast was beautifully edited by Heather Gershonowitz. Kristin performed "My Best Girl" from MAME, with camper Evan Turnley and it was just perfect. There was also a fantastic finale medley of "Tomorrow", "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning" and "Everybody Rejoice", arranged by Joe church and staged by Tyler Hanes and MiMi Scardulla, closing the evening's celebration of a week's work well done. In this instance, the remarkable editing was done by Michael Hull.

The most unexpected SHOWSTOPPER came from Lara Teeter and his daughter Elizabeth Teeter, as they led the "company" in a version of "Moses Supposes." The setup was ridiculously clever and then we were transported into bedrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, all kinds of spaces, with cutaways to tapping thespians on their floors, portable tap boards and just about any surface you could imagine.

Kristin, of course, is grateful to Richard Jay- and John McD who led the week and to EVERYONE who made this happen, but asked us to please shout out to Bryan Farina, Laurie Green and Nellie Beavers (who received The CHENO Award from KC). Also, props to Mike Croiter (with an epic assist by Camilo Gonzalez & Kolby Cardwell) delivered the complex soundmixes. They, together with endless interns and longtime friend and collaborator, Matt Berman, are the people that made it all happen. Also, Mark Frie and Kim Vento (who received an UNSUNG HERO Award from RJA & McD) have played a big part in this annual camp, since it's inception 7 years ago.

Congratulations to ALL.

BroadwayWorld is happy to share these exclusive images from Sunday Night.

Photo Credit: Merrill Mitchell/KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC

BWW Exclusive: This Year's KRISTI Awards Were Smooth Sailing for Kristin Chenoweth and KCBBC


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