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Well, it won't be quite the same as year's past (shown here) but it will still be exuberant.
Well, it won't be quite the same as year's past (shown here) but it will still be exuberant.
Photo by Melissa Taylor

TUTS Takes the Tommy Tunes Awards Online

Every year, high schools in the Houston area that are active in musical theater, vie for a chance to be selected for and then prosper in the Tommy Tunes competition culminating in a special program.

Well, we all know what's happening to live theater right now thanks to the coronavirus, but Theatre Under the Stars didn't want to just completely miss these students' moments of glory which was to have been performed at the Hobby Center.

Tuesday night, the awards show will be livestreamed at 7:30 on TUTS' Facebook page and the YouTube Channel. The production will come complete with celebrity drop-ins including: "Glee alum and Broadway star Alex Newell, stars of the Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Joe Serafini and Frankie Rodriguez, Tony Award®-winning choreographer of Hamilton and In The Heights, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Jeanine Tesori, the Tony Award-winning composer of Fun Home, four-time Tony® nominee, and composer of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Shrek the Musical."

“The Tommy Tune Awards is the ultimate celebration of high school musical theater in our city, with typically over 2,600 young people from across Houston in attendance,” said Israel Jimenez, Director of Community Engagement for TUTS. “We knew we had to find a creative way to give these kids a very special evening during this difficult time.”

During the online event college scholarships will be awarded to a selected group of seniors who plan to make the arts their career, as well as naming the winners of this year's competition.

“We’ll be featuring at-home performances from local high school students, clips of the productions nominated for Best Musical, and some very special Broadway guests. There will be many surprises during the show,” said Olson Scott Kelly, TUTS Artistic Associate and Director of the Tommy Tune Awards show.

Among the Broadway professionals making an appearance during the awards show are Glee alum and Broadway star Alex Newell, stars of the Disney+ series “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” Joe Serafini and Frankie Rodriguez, Tony Award®-winning choreographer of Hamilton and In The Heights, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Jeanine Tesori, the Tony Award-winning composer of Fun Home, four-time Tony® nominee, and composer of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Shrek the Musical.

A sample from one of the contenders:

“The Tommy Tune Awards offers an opportunity for students and educators to share their creative accomplishments,” says Jimenez. “We also hope to instill in young people the value of engaging in the performing arts as a lifelong pursuit.”

After evaluating the 46 participating Houston-area high school productions during the 2019-2020 school year, a team of 36 Houston-based theater professionals nominated students in 15 award categories. A complete list of the nominees for the 2020 Tommy Tune Awards, visit tuts.com/tta.

So pop some popcorn, sit back in the comfort of your home, and get ready to cheer on some amazing kids and programs.

The following high schools and individuals were nominated:

Best Musical:

Friendswood High School Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical

G.W. Carver Magnet School Sister Act

Houston Christian High School Crazy for You

Kinder HSPVA The Color Purple

Klein High School The Drowsy Chaperone

Klein Cain High School The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Spring High School Aida

Stratford High School The Drowsy Chaperone

Leading Actress:

Jocelyn Dorsey from G.W. Carver Magnet High School as “Deloris Van Cartier” in Sister Act

Atara Romero-Wilson from George Bush High School as “Aida” in Aida

Taylor Greny from Friendswood High School as “Matilda” in Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical

Isabelle Olson from Klein High School as “Janet Van De Graaff” in The Drowsy Chaperone

Starlee Brown from Klein Cain High School as “Olive” in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Emily Cagle from Second Baptist School as “Belle” in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Makaila Heath from Spring High School as “Aida” in Aida

Lindsay Bates from Stratford High School as “Janet Van De Graaff” in The Drowsy Chaperone

Leading Actor:

Jackson Cook from Concordia Lutheran High School as “Jesus” in Godspell

Eric Jensen from Friendswood High School as “Miss Trunchbull” in Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical

Thomas Massey from Friendswood High School as “Mr. Wormwood” in Ronald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical

Cade Eller from Klein High School as “Robert Martin” in The Drowsy Chaperone

Xavier Smith from Klein High School as “Man in Chair” in The Drowsy Chaperone

Charles Sexton from Klein Cain High School as “William Barfee” in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Cooper George from Klein Cain High School as “Leaf” in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Will Larabee from Stratford High School as “Man in Chair” in The Drowsy Chaperone

Supporting Actress:

Ashlynn McCutcheon from Eisenhower High School as “Evilene / Glinda” in The Wiz

Katherine Lunam from Houston Christian High School as “Irene” in Crazy for You

Cami Moses from Kinder HSPVA as “Sofia” in The Color Purple

Helene Rosborough from Klein Cain High School as “Logainne” in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Sara Rodriguez from Pearland High School as “Erma” in Anything Goes

Lauren Beaman from Ridge Point High School as “Little Sally” in Urinetown: The Musical

Evers McCormack from Spring Woods High School as “Rosie” in Mamma Mia!

Catherine Piskurich from Stratford High School as “Kitty” in The Drowsy Chaperone

Naomi Adams from George Bush High School as “Nehebka” in Aida

Supporting Actor:

Ashton Deverka from Houston Christian High School as “Lank” in Crazy for You

Andrew Linart from The Kinkaid School as “Pitkin W. Bridgework” in On The Town

Martin Ibarra from The Kinkaid School as “Ozzie” in On The Town

Keagan Greer from Pearland High School as “Moonface Martin” in Anything Goes

Evan Blackwell from Ridge Point High School as “Caldwell Cladwell” in Urinetown: The Musical

Zac Decker from Second Baptist School as “Lumiere” in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Jordyn Wardsworth from Spring High School as “Mereb” in Aida

Christopher Aviles from Spring High School as “Zozer” in Aida

Luke Centanni from Stratford High School as “Aldolpho” in The Drowsy Chaperone

Featured Performer:

Dovid Adler, Matthew Alter, Casey Markowitz, and Jack Paransky from The Emery/Weiner School as “The Sheep” in Head Over Heels

Taylor Campbell from Friendswood High School as “Mrs. Wormwood” in Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical

Carver and Aldine Dance Company from G.W. Carver Magnet High School as the Carver and Aldine Dance Company in Sister Act

Eva Adickes from Houston Christian High School as “Patsy” in Crazy for You

Mia Nguyen from James E. Taylor High School as “Featured Dancer” in Mamma Mia!

Tomi Akinwande, Alexandria Collins, and Keri Palmer from Kinder HSPVA as “The Trio” (“Doris,” “Darlene,” and “Jarene”) in The Color Purple

Jackson Luikens from Klein Collins High School as “Cuban Dancer” in Guys and Dolls

Davian Raggio from Pearland High School as “Ship’s Captain” in Anything Goes

Kevin Mendez from Second Baptist School as “LeFou” in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Connor Padron and Matthew Prudhomme from Stratford High School as “Gangster #1 and Gangster #2” in The Drowsy Chaperone

Ensemble:

Cypress Ranch High School Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Dickinson High School Disney’s Newsies

The Emery/Weiner School Head Over Heels

Friendswood High School Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical

G.W. Carver Magnet High School Sister Act

Houston Christian High School Crazy for You

Kinder HSPVA The Color Purple

Klein Cain High School The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Spring High School Aida

Stratford High School The Drowsy Chaperone

Lighting Design:

Clements High School Heathers The Musical (High School Edition)

Cypress Ranch High School Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Dulles High School Bonnie & Clyde

The Emery/Weiner School Head Over Heels

Friendswood High School Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical

George Ranch High School Mamma Mia!

Houston Christian High School Crazy for You

Kinder HSPVA The Color Purple

Spring High School Aida

Stratford High School The Drowsy Chaperone

Scenic Design:

Clements High School Heathers The Musical (High School Edition)

Dulles High School Bonnie & Clyde

Friendswood High School Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical

George Ranch High School Mamma Mia!

Houston Christian High School Crazy for You

Kinder HSPVA The Color Purple

Klein Cain High School The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Pearland High School Anything Goes

Spring High School Aida

Spring Woods High School Mamma Mia!

Stratford High School The Drowsy Chaperone

Costume Design:

Clements High School Heathers The Musical (High School Edition)

Concordia Lutheran High School Godspell

Dickinson High School Disney’s Newsies

Dulles High School Bonnie & Clyde

Kinder HSPVA The Color Purple

Klein High School The Drowsy Chaperone

Klein Cain High School The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Pearland High School Anything Goes

Spring High School Aida

Stratford High School The Drowsy Chaperone

Stage Crew & Technical Execution:

Dickinson High School Disney’s Newsies

Dulles High School Bonnie & Clyde

The Emery/Weiner School Head Over Heels

Friendswood High School Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical

George Ranch High School Mamma Mia!

Houston Christian High School Crazy for You

Klein High School The Drowsy Chaperone

Klein Cain High School The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Pearland High School Anything Goes

Stratford High School The Drowsy Chaperone

Orchestra:

Cypress Ranch High School Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Cypress Woods High School Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Friendswood High School Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical

G.W. Carver Magnet High School Sister Act

Kinder HSPVA The Color Purple

Klein High School The Drowsy Chaperone

Klein Cain High School The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Klein Forest High School The Addams Family

Memorial High School Singing in the Rain

Porter High School Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Musical Direction:

Cypress Ranch High School Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Friendswood High School Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical

G.W. Carver Magnet High School Sister Act

Houston Christian High School Crazy for You

James E. Taylor High School Mamma Mia!

Klein Cain High School The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Spring High School Aida

Stratford High School The Drowsy Chaperone

Choreography:

Clements High School Heathers The Musical (High School Edition)

Cypress Ranch High School Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

The Emery/Weiner School Head Over Heels

Friendswood High School Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical

Fulshear High School Chicago

G.W. Carver Magnet High School Sister Act

Houston Christian High School Crazy for You

Kinder HSPVA The Color Purple

Klein High School The Drowsy Chaperone

Klein Cain High School The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Klein Collins High School Guys and Dolls

Pearland High School Anything Goes

Direction:

Friendswood High School Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical

G.W. Carver Magnet High School Sister Act

Houston Christian High School Crazy for You

James E. Taylor High School Mamma Mia!

Kinder HSPVA The Color Purple

Klein High School The Drowsy Chaperone

Klein Cain High School The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Pearland High School Anything Goes

Spring High School Aida

Stratford High School The Drowsy Chaperone

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