Some 2,000 musical theater fans crowded into the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts for the 2011 Tommy Tune Awards last night. The winners were chosen from 45 Houston high school productions and while Stratford High School's Damn Yankees took home five of the 15 awards, no production repeated in the top categories.
Native Houstonian and nine-time Tony Award winner Tommy Tune presented the top prize, Best Musical, to Stratford High School's production of Damn Yankees. Best Leading Actor went to Robert Price as William Barfée in Cypress Fall High School's 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee while Best Leading Actress went to Mia Gerachis as Baker's Wife in Episcopal High School's Into the Woods.
Jacob Khalil got the nod for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Lt. Cable in Clements High School's South Pacific and Carley Nunn took home the Best Supporting Actress as Miss Adelaide in Seven Lakes High School's Guys and Dolls.
Stratford High School's Damn Yankees also won Best Direction, Best Orchestra, Best Ensemble and Chorus and Best Crew and Technical Execution. Melissa Beaird, who appeared as Rona Perreti in Klein High School's 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, was named Best Featured Performer.
Best Musical Direction went to Oklahoma! by Pearland High School while Fiddler on the Roof by Houston Christian High School took Best Choreography. G. W. Carver Magnet High School's production of The Wiz was awarded Best Costume Design and Klein High School's 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee took Best Lighting Design.
During the show, there was a performance from each of the Best Musical nominees and medleys from the Best Leading Actors and Actress nominees, and a grand finale that featured two students from each of the participating high schools. (See a video of the Seven Lakes high School production of Guys and Dolls below.)
Presenters for the evening were Stephanie Styles, last year's Tommy Tune Award winner for Best Leading Actress, and Houston native Logan Keslar, a member in the Broadway revival of La Cage Aux Folles - and TUT's Humphrey's School of Musical Theatre graduate. Stanton Welch of the Houston Ballet, St. John Flynn of NPR's The Front Row and Ernie Manouse of PBS were also among the presenters.