The sizzling room where it happened Sunday night was Belk Theater, where top performers in the high school theater scene around Charlotte were honored during the annual Blumey Awards.
Taking their name from the host Blumenthal Performing Arts, the Blumeys are the equivalent of the Tony Awards at the high school level. This was the eighth year for the high-energy, black-tie awards ceremony.
This year’s winners for best actor and actress were: Sayo Oni, Central Academy of Technology and Arts in Monroe, for his role as Drew in “Rock of Ages: High School Edition,” and Arella Flur of Charlotte Latin School for the title role in “Mary Poppins.”
Winners in the best actor and actress categories receive an all-expenses-paid, week-long trip to New York City. That’s where they go up against students from across the country in the National High School Musical Theater Awards, also known as the Jimmy Awards, named for Broadway producer James Nederlander. That competition is held June 24.
The Blumeys’ best musical category was split into two tiers, based on the production’s budget.
The Tier 1 winner, with a budget of under $10,000, was Pine Lake Preparatory School in Mooresville for “Bright Star.” The Tier 2 winner, with a budget of $10,000 or higher, was Ardrey Kell High for “Curtains.”
During the ceremony, there were performances from each of the six nominated schools in the best musical category, a medley from the best actor and actress finalists, and opening and closing numbers featuring a pair of students from each of the 47 participating schools.
Past Blumey winners include Eva Noblezada, who was just nominated for her second Tony Award for her role in the Broadway musical “Hadestown,” and Mekhai Lee, who recently booked a role in the 10th anniversary revival of “Rock of Ages” in New York City.
More razzle dazzle
Here were the other winners from Sunday:
- Best Supporting Actor: Alex Manley as Schroeder, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” Stuart W. Cramer High School.
- Best Supporting Actress: Mia Rice as Irene Molloy, “Hello, Dolly!” cfa Academy.
- Best Featured Performer: Brittany Schell as Minnie Fay, “Hello, Dolly!” cfa Academy.
- Best Overall Direction: Pine Lake Preparatory School, “Bright Star.”
- Best Ensemble/Chorus: Ardrey Kell High School, “Curtains.”
- Best Choreography Execution: Nation Ford High School, “Young Frankenstein.”
- Best Student Orchestra:Northwest School of the Arts, “Freaky Friday.”
- Best Costume Creation:Stuart W. Cramer High School, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
- Best Set Construction: Providence High School, “Newsies.”
- Technical Achievement Award: Emily Harris, Stuart W. Cramer High School.
- Special Recognition in Technical Achievement: Eli Dills, Gaston Day School.
- Charlotte Observer Student Critic Award: Kaelin Shirley, Mallard Creek High School.
Sunday’s event will air on WTVI on May 28, 8 p.m., May 30, 9 p.m., June 22, 6 p.m. and June 23, 2 p.m.
This article originally appeared in The Charlotte Observer.