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Blumey Winner Eva Noblezada to Star in West End's MISS SAIGON

World renowned theater producer, Cameron Mackintosh, has cast 17-year-old Eva Maria Noblezada of Charlotte as Kim in the London West End revival of Miss Saigon.

Noblezada, a senior at Northwest School of the Arts, won Best Actress in the 2013 Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater Awards in May at Belk Theater. She was one of the top four finishers in the Best Actress category at the 2013 Jimmy Awards in New York this summer. Noblezada was discovered by casting director Tara Rubin during the Jimmy Awards.

"I attended the first Jimmy Awards and left the show realizing that our kids in Charlotte had no way to participate because we did not have a feeder program to the Jimmy Awards," explained Blumenthal President Tom Gabbard. "We soon got to work to start our own program which became the Blumey Awards. As a result, now, our talented kids not only have a great program here in Charlotte, but the opportunity, as Eva did, to go to New York for the Jimmy Awards. We couldn't be more proud of her success and we look forward to watching her career flourish."

Sponsored by Wells Fargo, "The Blumey Awards" were created by Blumenthal Performing Arts two years ago to recognize, celebrate and nurture the talents of high school theater students in the Charlotte region, as well as offer area students a pathway to the national competition in New York.

Noblezada recently attended Blumenthal Performing Arts' Annual Meeting where she performed two songs and personally thanked Blumenthal and the many supporters of the Blumey Awards for helping aspiring students to reach for their dreams.

The 2014 Blumey Awards are set for May 18 and 40 Charlotte regional high schools are participating. "We are thrilled with how Charlotte has embraced this program and are very grateful for the individuals and the companies, particularly Wells Fargo, who have supported The Blumey Awards," Gabbard said. "Eva's achievement is proof of what can happen when students work hard and we as a community come together to provide our kids with the opportunity to shine on a big stage."

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. Blumenthal Performing Arts receives operating support from the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council. Blumenthal Performing Arts is also supported through the generous aid of its sponsors including, Duke Energy, sponsor of the Duke Energy Broadway Lights Series; and PNC Bank, sponsor of the PNC Celebrity Series.

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