Pearland High School Sweeps While Ryne Nardecchia and Allison Anderson Grab Top Honors at 2013 TOMMY TUNE AWARDS - All the Winners!

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Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) celebrated the incredible and phenomenal high school talent in Houston last night with their 11th Annual Tommy Tune AWARDS. Walking into Sarofim Hall, the energy in the room was palpable. The electricity of excitement and sheer nerves ricocheted off the walls of the auditorium, and erupted into cheers as the lights dimmed and the TONY's-inspired awards show began.

Musical Director, Michael Moricz, lead the Tommy Tune Orchestra and the Best Lead and Supporting Actor/Actress Nominees through a rousing medley of tunes from APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE. As each of these gifted kids sang and danced their hearts out, the audience couldn't help but smile, cheer, and applaud their efforts and charming charisma. The performance ended with a surprise cameo by nine-time Tony Award Winner and this award ceremony's namesake Tommy Tune.

Following the number, Tommy Tune revealed to the audience he is now in his 55th year of working in show business. Radiantly Tommy Tune said, "Tonight is filled with magic, energy, and talent," and he couldn't have been more correct. He then 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, and graciously kicked off the 2013 Tommy Tune AWARDS.

Throughout the evening, prominent figures from TUTS' past and present and recognizable personalities from around Houston presented awards. This delightful group of Houston's homegrown and influential talent included Carrie Adamian, who appeared in several TUTS shows and was TUTS' first Annie in ANNIE, TUTS' current Artistic Director Bruce Lumpkin, Miller Outdoor Theatre's Managing Director Cissy Segall Davis, KUHT's Ernie Manouse, known for his hit PBS shows Manor of Speaking and InnerVIEWS, NPR's The Front Row's St. John Flynn, ABC 13's Eye Witness News Sports anchor Bob Slovak, Michelle DeJean, who is a graduate of TUTS' Humpreys School of Musical Theatre, a Broadway veteran, and star of TUTS' recent productions of THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS and MAN OF LA MANCHA, and TUTS Scholarship Committee Chairperson Amy Pierce.

The first Best Musical Nominee to perform was the cast of Stratford High School's production of CRAZY FOR YOU. The students gave a rousing performance of "I've Got Rhythm." The entire ensemble was full of life and amazingly skilled at dancing, especially tap. They also filled the performance with mesmerizing and fantastical stunt work, such as creating a breathtaking human carousel.

Next up to perform was the Best Musical Nominee cast of Klein High School's production of INTO THE WOODS. This ensemble did a gorgeous rendition of "Children Will Listen," expertly bringing out all of the important and lovely harmonies.

The Best Musical Nominee cast of Second Baptist School's production of ON THE TOWN, performed a rollicking and flashy medley of "Come Up to My Place" and "Ya Got Me." This high energy group infused great athleticism into their acrobatic choreography. They sold the number to the back row of the balcony with tangible pizzazz and passion for performing.

The fourth Best Musical Nominee cast to perform was Episcopal High School's cast of SEUSSICAL. The cast gave a lively and tremendously fun performance of "Biggest Blame Fool." The skilled group easily brought smiles to the faces of the audience and reminded us that "a person's a person, no matter how small."

Closing the first act of the 2013 Tommy Tune AWARDS, the Best Musical Nominee cast of Clear Springs High School's production of CURTAINS expertly showed us why we celebrate show people with a stirring and thrilling rendition of "Show People." Their choreography was fanciful and pristinely executed, matching the precision of their vocals.

G. W. Carver Magnet High School's Best Musical Nominee cast of their production of THE COLOR PURPLE brought the house down with their inspiring, immaculate, and amazing performance of "Push Da Button." The zealous and astounding energy of the frenetic and captivating number flowed off the stage and affected every member of the audience, earning a well-deserved standing ovation.

The seventh Best Musical Nominee cast from Pearland High School performed a medley of "There Is Nothing Like a Dame" and "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" from the their production of SOUTH PACIFIC. Each of the large male and female ensembles filled the stage physically and metaphorically with perfectly timed movement and grand vocals. Individually, every member of the company breathed fresh and fascinating life into the classic piece.

The next performance was Michael Moricz's skillfully arranged medley of key songs from each show that had a Best Leading Actor Nominee. This magical number was proudly performed by each of the young men nominated for Best Leading Actor. The dapper and beguiling gentlemen took the stage and preformed with professional magnetism both as an ensemble and individually on their solos.

Next, the Best Leading Actress Nominees took the stage to perform Michael Moricz's endearing medley of their key songs. Their exuberance was phenomenally enchanting, and they each provided powerhouse performances as individuals and blended beautifully as an ensemble. Each of these young women displayed wondrous poise and grace in the performance.

The eighth and final performance of a Best Musical Nominee cast was from Klein Oak High School's production of SWEENEY TODD: SCHOOL EDITION. This brilliant ensemble sang the final reprise of "The Ballad of Sweeny Todd," showcasing their ability to create an astonishing and powerfully lush wall of sound. Ranging from the lower bass notes to the highest soprano notes, there was not one pitch that was out of place. Their tuning and blending was impeccably clean and precise.

The 2013 Tommy Tune AWARDS closed with a fabulous bang. Two students from each of the 45 eligible schools performed Michael Moricz's original song "Eyes on the Goal." Each student was festive and cheerful, reminding everyone that there is no dream not worth dreaming.

For the 2013 TOMMY TUNBE AWARDS, a panel of 29 Houston-based theatre professionals carefully reviewed and evaluated 45 participating Houston-area high school productions during the 2012-13 school year. Collectively, they made 163 nominations in 15 categories. The winners of the 2013 Tommy Tune AWARDS are as follows:

Best Featured Performer:

  • Stephan Lewis as Christopher Belling in Clear Spring High School's CURTAINS

Best Scenic Design:

  • James E. Taylor High School - SEUSSICAL

Best Lighting Design:

  • Episcopal High School - SEUSSICAL

Best Costume Design:

  • Second Baptist School - ON THE TOWN

Best Orchestra:

  • Katy High School - JOESPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT

Best Musical Direction:

  • Klein Oak High School - SWEENY TODD: SCHOOL EDITION

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Nathan Agnew as Billis in Pearland High School's SOUTH PACIFIC

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Madeline Garvis as Paulette in St. Agnes Academy's LEGALLY BLONDE

Best Ensemble/Chorus:

  • G.W. Carver Magnet High School - THE COLOR PURPLE

Best Crew & Technical Execution:

  • Pearland High School - SOUTH PACIFIC

Best Choreography/Musical Staging:

  • Pearland High School - SOUTH PACIFIC

Best Direction:

  • Stratford High School - CRAZY FOR YOU

Best Leading Actor:

  • Ryne Nardecchia as Sweeny Todd in Klein Oak High School's SWEENY TODD: SCHOOL EDITION

Best Leading Actress:

  • Allison Anderson as Nellie Forbush in Pearland High School's SOUTH PACIFIC

Best Musical:

  • Pearland High School - SOUTH PACIFIC

Additionally, TUTS will cover the expenses of Best Leading Actor and Actress winners Ryne Nardecchia and Allison Anderson 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, July 1, 2013. 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 Alric Davis (G. W. Carver Magnet High School), Camila Devereux (The Woodlands High School), Madison Goeringer (The Kinkaid School), Jennifer Laporte (Episcopal High School), Amanda Melvin (James E. Taylor High School), Ryne Nardecchia (Klein Oak High School), Katherine Pepin (St. Agnes Academy), Jack Rodgers (Spring Woods High School) and Claire Stephen (Kingwood High School) with $3,000 scholarships. This year TUTS was able to give $5,000 to Morgan Starr of Klein Oak 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 dazzling night of "magic, energy, and talent" you can watch the 2013 Tommy Tune AWARDS when it airs on Houston's ABC 13 on Sunday, June 9, 2013 at 12:00pm. Set your DVRs, you don't want to miss the stars of tomorrow!

Finally, BroadwayWorld Houston would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees. Keep up the hard work. We look forward to seeing you all on the stage in the future.

All photos by Bruce Bennett. Courtesy of Theatre Under the Stars.


Tommy Tune, Best Featured Performer Winner Stephan Lewis, TUTS' Artisitc Director Bruce Lumpkin & TUTS' President and CEO John C. Breckenridge.


2013 Scholarship Recipients with Tommy Tune and TUTS' President and CEO John C. Breckenridge.


TUTS' President and CEO John C. Breckenridge, Ruth Denney Scholarship Recipient Morgan Starr & Tommy Tune.


Tommy Tune, Best Supporting Actor Winner Nathan Agnew, TUTS' Artisitc Director Bruce Lumpkin & TUTS' President and CEO John C. Breckenridge.


Best Leading Actor Winner Ryne Nardecchia as Sweeny Todd.


Tommy Tune, Best Leading Actor Winner Ryne Nardecchia, TUTS' Artisitc Director Bruce Lumpkin & TUTS' President and CEO John C. Breckenridge.


Best Leading Actress Winner Allison Anderson as Nellie Forbush.


Tommy Tune, Best Featured Performer Winner Stephan Lewis, Best Supporting Actor Winner Nathan Agnew, Best Leading Actress Winner Allison Anderson, Best Leading Actor Winner Ryne Nardecchia, TUTS' Artisitc Director Bruce Lumpkin & TUTS' President and CEO John C. Breckenridge.


Best Musical Winners and Cast of Pearland High School's SOUTH PACIFIC.


Best Musical Winners and Cast of Pearland High School's SOUTH PACIFIC.


Best Musical Winners and Cast of Pearland High School's SOUTH PACIFIC.



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From This Author David Clarke