2014 Kelsey Theatre Awards Ceremony Set for Tonight

It's awards season at Mercer County Community College's Kelsey Theatre. The "2014 Kelsey Theatre Awards," a Tony Awards-inspired evening that celebrates the theatrical successes of the past year, takes place tonight, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on Mercer County Community College's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

Says Kyrus Westcott, the show's producer, director and head writer, "It's just like the Tony Awards, except in our own backyard. It's amazing how much talent is on display at Kelsey Theatre each year. This is our chance to recognize these people and relive some of the very best moments."

Winners in a variety of categories will be announced during the ceremony. The awards are based on voting by Kelsey Theatre fans. (The voting continues through Aug. 10 at http://thekelseyawards.wordpress.com.)

Actors from the five shows nominated for Outstanding Production of a Musical will perform this year. The shows include "Les Miserables" (Playful Theatre Productions); "Big River" (The Pennington Players); "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" (PinnWorth Productions); "Spamalot" (Maurer Productions OnStage); and "Shrek: The Musical" (Maurer Productions OnStage). The cast of "13: The Musical," which was presented by The Pennington Players in 2011, will present a special reunion performance; a reunion performance of another show is also planned, but is being kept secret until the ceremony.

Special cameos by Kelsey Theatre regulars and comedic routines will also be featured, as well as numbers by the Kelsey Theatre Dance Squad, now in its fourth year of dancing at the ceremony. Choreographed by Rachel Tovar, the dance team includes Shannon Flanagan, Lexi Schlaifer, Cindy George, Bridget Carmichael and Amy Oliver and will perform upbeat dance numbers throughout the evening.

The show is hosted by actresses Jaimie McMillin, Maria Aromando and Kim Cupo - all of whom have had major roles in shows at Kelsey Theatre, especially in the past three years.

According to Westcott, the voting season and awards began online in 2009 and 2010, and evolved into a live show in 2011. "It's become an annual event that features two rounds of voting by more than 3,000 people, as well as a great turnout at the ceremony. A wonderful production staff helps pull off this huge event," he says.

Westcott is assisted by co-producer/writer Mark Applegate, assistant director Caila Cabrera, choreographer Rachel Tovar, technical designer Judi Parrish, set designer Bryan Schendlinger, photographer Rob Gougher and spotlight operators Tara Gruber Etter, Sally Page and Dierdre Misiura.

Tickets are $16 for all. Tickets are available online at www.kelseytheatre.net or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater. More information is available on The Kelsey Theatre Report Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KelseyReport.

Pictured: The ceremony is the brainchild of Kyrus Westcott '08, an MCCC Theatre alumnus who has played a leading role both on stage and behind the scenes at Kelsey for many years.

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