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The Nominees Are In For The 4th Annual Blumey Awards

April 27, 2015
2014 Blumey Awards Ceremony presented by Wells Fargo.

2014 Blumey Awards Ceremony presented by Wells Fargo.

Blumenthal Performing Arts recently announced the 72 nominees – six each in 12 categories — competing in the fourth annual High School Musical Theater Awards, also known as The Blumey Awards. Presented by Wells Fargo, the program takes place Sunday, May 17, in Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

The Blumey Awards program recognizes and celebrates the best in high school musical theater and fosters even greater achievements in the future.

Maureen O’Boyle, anchor for WBTV, is emceeing the black-tie event.

Winners will be announced at The Blumey Awards ceremony on May 17 at 7 p.m. in Belk Theater. Tickets for The Blumey Awards ceremony go on sale to the public Thursday, April 30, at 10 a.m. with prices ranging from $45 to $60. Tickets will be available at BlumenthalArts.org, 704-372-1000 or from the box office in the Belk Theater lobby, 130 N. Tryon St.

Ardrey Kell - 42nd Street

Ardrey Kell — 42nd Street.

Like the Tony Awards®, The Blumey Awards ceremony will also feature live performances by the six finalists for Wells Fargo Best Musical: Kings Mountain High School, Little Shop of Horrors; Lake Norman High School, The Drowsy Chaperone; North Lincoln High School, Into the Woods; Ardrey Kell High School, 42nd Street; Charlotte Latin School, The Secret Garden; and Northwest School of the Arts, Peter Pan.

“The Blumey Awards is a great celebration of the talented kids in our region,” said Blumenthal President Tom Gabbard. “The show recognizes the hard work of teachers, students and parents to produce a school musical. It is a source of pride for students at their local school when their Blumey Award is displayed in the hall of honor normally reserved for sports. Participation in The Blumey Awards connects these talented students among these schools who share their passion for the arts, and connects to the Blumenthal’s mission of working to build our sense of community.”

Northwest School of the Arts - Peter Pan

Northwest School of the Arts – Peter Pan

Award presenters include several local media personalities, community leaders and acclaimed performing arts professionals.

David Dabbon is a New York-based composer and Grammy-nominated orchestrator, providing additional orchestrations for the Tony-nominated musical “Sondheim on Sondheim.” Dabbon served as conductor, arranger and orchestrator for the first Blumey Awards and as arranger for the Gene Kelly Awards and the National High School Musical Theatre Awards. He is an orchestrator on Audra McDonald’s upcoming album “Go Back Home.” Dabbon most recently wrote the dance arrangements for the new roadway bound musical The Nutty Professor, composed by the late Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes, directed by its original star Jerry Lewis.

The Blumey Awards ceremony will feature a medley of performances by the six finalists for best actor and for best actress; and two students from each production will be featured in opening and closing production numbers.

Linda Booth, a professional choreographer will choreograph these musical numbers. She holds a BFA in dance performance from UNC-Greensboro. She is passionate about musical theater, and has choreographed more than 100 productions in regional and educational theater. Recent credits include Hairspray, Chicago, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Drowsy Chaperone and Charlotte Squawks.

Along with The Blumey Awards themselves, The Doctor Family Foundation will award a $10,000 annually renewable scholarship to two area students. This year, The Mary Doctor Performing Arts Scholarship will be awarded to Javontre Booker of Northwest School of the Arts and Erynn Vickery or Forestview High School. A special scholarship committee chose these winners, who will be awarded the scholarships live on May 17 during The Blumey Awards ceremony.

Blumenthal recently announced The Gordon Hay Scholarship, an endowed scholarship for a Charlotte-area high school senior planning to pursue a nonperforming career in the performing arts field. Each year the Gordon Hay Scholarship committee will select one exceptional high school senior to receive a one-time award in the amount of $5,000. This year, the scholarship will be awarded to Aslan Freidline of Davidson Day School.

Backstage touch-up 2Blumenthal Performing Arts will again participate in the National High School Musical Theater Awards. The national show and ceremony takes place in New York on June 29. The two students named best actor and best actress at The Blumey Awards will receive an all-expenses-paid trip and weeklong stay in New York City where they will train and compete with other regional winners in a national competition known as The Jimmy Awards™ (named after famed Broadway producer, James M. Nederlander).

Twelve student critics are participating in the Student Critic Program in association with the fourth annual Blumey Awards presented by Wells Fargo. The Student Critic Program is launched as a part of The Blumey Awards with support from The Charlotte Observer. Of these 12 student critics, one will be chosen by the editors at The Charlotte Observer to be awarded “The Charlotte Observer Student Critic Award” at The Blumey Awards.

“Wells Fargo was the inaugural corporate underwriter for this performing arts program in 2012,” Jay Everette, Community Affairs Manager for Wells Fargo, said of The Blumey Awards. “The Blumeys are all about showcasing the amazing talent of students in our region. It’s a ‘Glee’ meets the Tony’s at the intersection of ‘Fame’ kind of evening. We are thrilled to be part of the presentation again in 2015.”

Following are this year’s nominees for The Blumey Awards:

Best Set Construction

  • Ardrey Kell High School – 42nd Street
  • Nation Ford High School – Hairspray
  • North Lincoln High School – Into the Woods
  • Northwest School of the Arts – Peter Pan
  • Providence Day School – Into the Woods
  • Stuart Cramer High School – Tarzan

Best Costume Creation

  • Hickory Ridge High School – Fame
  • Lake Norman High School – The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Northwest School of the Arts – Peter Pan
  • Providence Day School – Into the Woods
  • South Pointe High School – Aida
  • Stuart Cramer High School – Tarzan

Best Student Orchestra

  • Ardrey Kell High School – 42nd Street
  • Butler High School – The Addams Family
  • Hough High School – Beauty and the Beast
  • Independence High School – Guys and Dolls
  • Northwest School of the Arts – Peter Pan
  • Providence High School – The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee

Best Choreography Execution

  • Ardrey Kell High School – 42nd Street
  • Charlotte Latin School – The Secret Garden
  • Nation Ford High School – Hairspray
  • Northwest School of the Arts – Peter Pan
  • Providence Day School – Into the Woods
  • Southlake Christian Academy – Oklahoma!

Best Ensemble/Chorus

  • Ardrey Kell High School – 42nd Street
  • Charlotte Latin School – The Secret Garden
  • Kings Mountain High School – Little Shop of Horrors
  • Lincolnton High School – Godspell
  • Northwest School of the Arts – Peter Pan
  • Southlake Christian Academy – Oklahoma!

Best Overall Direction

  • Ardrey Kell High School – 42nd Street
  • Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Into the Woods
  • Charlotte Latin School – The Secret Garden
  • Kings Mountain High School – Little Shop of Horrors
  • Lake Norman High School – The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Northwest School of the Arts – Peter Pan

Best Featured Performer

  • Ardrey Kell High School – Victoria Jewell as Maggie Jones in 42nd Street
  • Butler High School – Katie Cole as Grandma in The Addams Family
  • Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Hanneh Gundersen as Little Red Ridinghood in Into the Woods
  • Kings Mountain High School – Austin Willis as Orin in Little Shop of Horrors
  • Lake Norman High School – Tim Hayes as Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone
  • North Lincoln High School – Nathan Burley as Milky White in Into the Woods

Best Supporting Actor

  • Ardrey Kell High School – Elijah Grady as Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street
  • Charlotte Christian School – Brad Kesling as Donkey in Shrek the Musical
  • Charlotte Latin School – Ethan Holtzman as Dickon in The Secret Garden
  • Kings Mountain High School – Tobias Curry as Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors
  • Northwest School of the Arts – Noah Rosario as Slightly in Peter Pan
  • Stuart Cramer High School – Carter Frady as Kerchak in Tarzan

Best Supporting Actress

  • Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Morgan Miller as The Witch in Into the Woods
  • Northwest Cabarrus High School – Karen Stahl as Amy March in Little Women
  • Northwest School of the Arts – Amanda Delgadillo as Tiger Lilly in Peter Pan
  • Providence Day School – Katlyn Gonzalez as Little Red Ridinghood in Into the Woods
  • Southlake Christian Academy – Haley Conway as Ado Annie in Oklahoma!
  • Stuart Cramer High School – Ava Smith as Kala in Tarzan

The following students have scored in the top 20 in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories and will be invited to audition before a special panel on May 2. The six nominees for both of these categories will be chosen after the auditions and announced on May 4.

Best Actor

  • A.L. Brown High School – Anthony Sims as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables
  • Ardrey Kell High School – Connor Nielsen as Julian Marsh in 42nd Street
  • Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Matthew Howie as The Baker in Into the Woods
  • Central Cabarrus High School – Davis Williams as William Barfee in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
  • cfa Academy – Jackson Campbell as Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun
  • Charlotte Christian School – Kennedy Manyika as Shrek in Shrek the Musical
  • Charlotte Latin School – Michael Julliard as Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden
  • Hough High School – Jackson Edwards as The Beast in Beauty and the Beast
  • Independence High School — Garrett Bradshaw as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls
  • Kings Mountain High School – Jack Pearson as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors
  • Lake Norman High School – Logan Pavia as Robert in The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Lincolnton High School – Elijah Smith as Judas in Godspell
  • North Lincoln High School – Davis Nodine as The Baker in Into the Woods
  • Northwest School of the Arts – Jeremy Cousar as Captain Hook (Peter Pan)
  • Providence Day School – Thomas Laub as The Baker in Into the Woods
  • Providence High School – Jonathon Walls as William Barfee in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
  • South Mecklenburg High School – Ahmad Ayube as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls
  • South Pointe High School – Justin Norwood as Radames in Aida
  • Southlake Christian Academy – Kyle Hammill as Curly in Oklahoma!
  • Sun Valley High School – Romel Mencia as Leading Player in Pippin

Best Actress

  • Ardrey Kell High School – Haley Stone as Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street
  • Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Amina Faye as The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods)
  • cfa Academy – Madeline Phillips as Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun
  • Charlotte Christian School – Haley Putnam as Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical
  • Charlotte Latin School – Ann Chandler Tune as Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden
  • Covenant Day School – Evan Bertram as Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  • Cuthbertson High School – Lindsey Wesoly as Georgia Hendricks in Curtains
  • Hough High School – Audrey Landau as Belle in Beauty and the Beast
  • Independence High School – Lexi Moore as Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls
  • Kings Mountain High School – Jensen Fleisher as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors
  • Lake Norman High School – Kri Schafer as The Drowsy Chaperone in The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Marvin Ridge High School – Ellen Bailey as Rosemary Pilkington in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  • North Lincoln High School – Hannah Pratt as The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods
  • Northwest Cabarrus High School – Lauren Hunkele as Jo March in Little Women
  • Northwest School of the Arts – Abby Corrigan as Peter Pan in Peter Pan
  • Providence Day School – Tessa Giordano as Cinderella in Into the Woods
  • Providence High School – Anna Gormley as Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
  • Southlake Christian Academy – Mary Rhyne as Laurey in Oklahoma!
  • Sun Valley High School – Stephanie Hurtado as Berthe in Pippin
  • Weddington High School – Allie Belcher as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray

BEST MUSICAL AWARDS
The Wells Fargo Best Musical category will consist of two tiers. Three schools will be nominated within each tier. Tier 1 will include schools with a musical production budget of under $10,000 and Tier 2 will include arts magnet schools and schools with a musical production budget of $10,000 and greater.

Wells Fargo Best Musical – Tier 1

  • Kings Mountain High School – Little Shop of Horrors
  • Lake Norman High School – The Drowsy Chaperone
  • North Lincoln High School – Into the Woods

Wells Fargo Best Musical – Tier 2

  • Ardrey Kell High School – 42nd Street
  • Charlotte Latin School – The Secret Garden
  • Northwest School of the Arts – Peter Pan

The Blumey Awards is produced by Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Education Department and is presented by Wells Fargo. American Airlines, The Doctor Family Foundation and The Leon Levine Foundation provide additional support. Charlotte joins more than 30 other cities, including Pittsburgh, Houston and Atlanta, in hosting annual high school musical theater awards programs.

The schools competing include: A.L. Brown High School, Ardrey Kell High School, Butler High School, Cannon School, Carmel Christian School, Central Academy of Technology and Arts, Central Cabarrus High School, cfa Academy, Charlotte Christian School, Charlotte Country Day School, Charlotte Latin School, Covenant Day School, Cuthbertson High School, Davidson Day School, East Gaston High School, Hickory Ridge High School, Highland School of Technology, Hough High School, Independence High School, Jay M. Robinson High School, Kings Mountain High School, Lake Norman High School, Lincolnton High School, Marvin Ridge High School, Mountain Island Charter School, Nation Ford High School, North Lincoln High School, Northwest Cabarrus High School, Northwest School of the Arts, Northwestern High School, Parkwood High School, Providence Day School, Providence High School, South Mecklenburg High School, South Pointe High School, Southlake Christian Academy, Stuart W. Cramer High School, Sun Valley High School, and Weddington High School.

New Season Spotlight: Matilda The Musical

April 23, 2015
Matilda Sam S. Shubert Theatre

The Broadway cast of Matilda The Musical. Photo by Joan Marcus, 2013.

The 2015-2016 PNC Broadway Lights season is packed with one amazing show after the other. While we’re still several months from the new season officially kicking off, the shows are on sale now with a Season Ticket!

We’re going to spotlight one show at a time on our blog to highlight fun facts and more! Why not start with a show we know fans are thrilled about: Matilda The Musical, coming to Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Feb. 9-14, 2016.

FUN FACTS about the show!

  • At 4-feet 5-inches tall, Matilda Wormwood is the smallest leading lady on Broadway.
  • The sound effect of the Crunchem Hall School bell played at the start of the production is a recording of the actual hand bell used by RSC front of house staff in Stratford-upon-Avon, where Matilda The Musical debuted in 2010.
  • The production uses 8,320 balloons a year.
  • The blackboard moves 15.5 miles over the course of a year at a top speed of 1.5 mph.
  • There are 3,780 paper airplanes flown into the auditorium each year.
  • The sound effect of the crying baby in the song “Miracle” is a recording of Sound Designer Simon Baker’s youngest son.
  • Miss Honey and Matilda enjoy a cup of real hot tea on stage, complete with milk and a biscuit, at each performance during the song “My House.”
  • The production goes through more than 100 tubs of chocolate frosting each year.
  • Quentin Blake, who is widely known for illustrating Roald Dahl’s books, designed the Crunchem Hall School badge that is on the children’s blazers.
  • Around 28,000 pieces of confetti are used per performance, which equates to almost 12 million pieces a year.

CLICK HERE for more information about the new PNC Broadway Lights season, including dates and Season Ticket details!

Friday Giveaway! Enter to Win a Pair of Tickets to The Screwtape Letters, Plus a $50 Gift Card to Aria Tuscan Grill!

April 17, 2015
The Screwtape Letters comes to Belk Theater April 26.

The Screwtape Letters comes to Belk Theater April 26.

After a week of wet, dreary weather, we could all use some sunshine, right? We do have something that could brighten your day. It’s Friday Giveaway time and this week is another big one. We’re giving away a pair of tickets to the 7 p.m. performance of The Screwtape Letters on April 26, plus a $50 gift card to Aria Tuscan Grill!

The Screwtape Letters is a smart, provocative and wickedly funny theatrical adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel. Produced by the Fellowship for Performing Arts and directed by Max McLean (founder of the FPA), The Screwtape Letters has performed for hundreds of thousands of theatergoers across the country. It comes to Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center for two shows only on April 26 — a 3 p.m. performance and the 7 p.m. show.

Aria Tuscan Grill is located right next to Belk Theater and can be accessed via Founders Hall (100 N. Tryon St.). Aria captures the colors and flavors of Tuscany, serving mouth-watering Old World comfort food reimagined in a modern Italian setting.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

Email marketing2@ncbpac.org to tell us why you would love to win this Friday Giveaway package deal! Use the subject line: Screwtape Letters Giveaway! PLEASE NOTE: The gift card must be picked up from Spirit Square in uptown (345 N. College St.) and will not be mailed. A winner will be selected at noon Tuesday, April 21, and notified via email.

Join us for Graffiti Jam at Spirit Square on April 25!

April 16, 2015
Graffiti Jam is a free a event coming to Spirit Square April 25.

Graffiti Jam is a free a event coming to Spirit Square April 25.

Looking for something cool to do on an upcoming Saturday afternoon instead of the same ol’, same ol’? We have just the thing for you on April 25, and to make it even better, it’s free! It involves massive canvases, spray paint, and artistic expression. That’s right, Charlotte will have its first Graffiti Jam in Center City in just over a week!

Spirit Square, 345 N. College St., will be buzzing with live graffiti art demonstrations, dance cyphers, live disc jockeys and much more. People of all ages are invited to try their hand at tagging or just enjoy the talent of local graffiti artists as they paint canvases of all shapes and sizes.

Gragraffiti_jam_logoffiti Jam is part of Blumenthal’s new Arts on the Edge initiative, which will bring exciting and unique events to the Queen City. Over the course of about six months, show fans will see several hip-hop inspired events in Blumenthal’s lineup, culminating in a world-renowned celebration of hip-hop dance culture called Breakin’ Convention, complete with live DJs, graffiti, workshops and performances, on October 9 and 10 in Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts.

Want to give your graffiti skills a try before you show up for the real deal Graffiti Jam on April 25? Use this online graffiti generator to sketch it out!

To learn more about Graffiti Jam, Breakin’ Convention or other Arts on the Edge events, visit www.BlumenthalArts.org/edge.

 

Tuesday Tune: ‘I’m the Only One’ by Melissa Etheridge

April 14, 2015

Melissa Etheridge will bring her iconic, soulful, raspy voice and classic rock songbook to Knight Theater this August. With two Grammy Awards, 17 Grammy nominations and an Oscar, Etheridge has left her mark on music and pop culture in a big way. Her most recent album titled “This Is M.E.” was released in late 2014 and debuted at No. 20 on the Billboard 200.

Singer Melissa Etheridge will perform at Chevy Court at the NYS Fair on Aug. 28, 2015. Above, Etheridge performs at the 17th Annual GRAMMY Foundation Legacy Concert at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Melissa Etheridge will perform at Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts on Aug. 23. Photo by Chris Pizzello.

Etheridge rose to fame with several hits in the late ’80s early ’90s. “Bring Me Some Water,” “Come to My Window” and “I Want to Come Over” are just a few of the hit songs she’s released. Etheridge gained mainstream attention, branching out of the rock ‘n’ roll scene with her album “Yes I Am” in 1993. The album featured “I’m the Only One,” which happens to be my personal favorite from the Melissa Etheridge songbook.

Watch a recent live solo acoustic performance of “I’m the Only One” below.

Fans can expect a very similar performance when Etheridge stops in Charlotte for her “This Is M.E.” solo tour. She will perform solo and acoustic in Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts on Sunday, Aug. 23, for what is sure to be an amazing night of music. It’s not often that audiences get to see a musician of Etheridge’s prestige in a stripped down and intimate setting. This is a concert that music fans shouldn’t miss!

Tickets for Melissa Etheridge – “This Is M.E.” Solo are on sale now, and prices begin at just $20. Tickets are selling fast, so get yours now!

Looking Ahead: Potted Potter — The Unauthorized Harry Experience Opens Tomorrow in Charlotte!

April 13, 2015
Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner star in the hilarious Potted Potter.

Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner star in the hilarious Potted Potter.

In 2013, Potted Potted — The Unauthorized Harry Experience — A Parody by Dan and Jeff played to very enthusiastic, sold-out crowds in McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. Now, it’s back for one week only!

The Olivier Award-nominated show is written and performed by former BBC hosts Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner. The play takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing, or “potting,” all seven “Harry Potter” books into 70 madcap minutes, aided only by multiple costume changes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic. The show also invites audiences to engage with a real life game of Quidditch, but according to Clarkson and Turner’s unique set of rules.

Whether you camped outside a bookstore for three days awaiting the release of the “Deathly Hallows” or you don’t know the difference between a horcrux and a Hufflepuff, the comedy, magic and mayhem of Potted Potter makes for an entertaining and hilarious visit to the theater. The fast-paced show, which has made audiences age 6 to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed) roar with laughter all over the world, is perfect for the entire family!

If you act fast, you can still nab tickets! CLICK HERE before it’s too late!

 

Fun Facts about PIPPIN, Coming to Belk Theater Next Month!

April 9, 2015
Sasha Allen and the cast of the National Touring Production of PIPPIN. Photo by Terry Shapiro.

Sasha Allen and the cast of the National Touring Production of PIPPIN. Photo by Terry Shapiro.

It’s finally here! Well, almost. Pippin, which is part of the 2014-2015 PNC Broadway Lights seasoncomes to Belk Theater May 19-24 and we couldn’t be more excited to bring you this fantastic show. The New York Times declares it “Astonishing. A Pippin for the 21st Century.” It won the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival! We’re confident the amazing choreography and breathtaking acrobatics will wow you!

With a beloved score by Tony nominee Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Wicked), Pippin tells the story of a young prince on a death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence. Will he choose a happy but simple life? Or will he risk everything for a singular flash of glory. This captivating new production is directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus. It features sizzling choreography in the style of Bob Fosse and acrobatics by Les 7 Doigts De le Main, the creative force behind the nationwide sensation Traces!

  FUN FACTS about PIPPIN!

  • There are six yoga balls and 15 hula-hoops used in the show.
  • The acrobats usually spend an entire hour warming up before a performance.
  •  Diane Paulus sang “With You” at her brother’s wedding.
  •  Pippin was originally called Pippin, Pippin.
  • There are 17 acrobatic tricks in “Magic to Do.”
  • The Manson Trio is named after Charles Manson. Bob Fosse was very interested in Manson.
  • Take a look at King Charlemagne, John Rubinstein. He starred in the title role of PIPPIN in 1972.
  • Pippin’s name, historically speaking, is actually spelled Pipen. Stephen Schwartz changed it so it wouldn’t be misperceived as an adaptation of the Steinbeck novel, “The Short Reign of Pepin IV.” They liked the word “Pippin” because it suggested the slang meaning of “pip” – something nifty.
  • Pippin had try-outs in early fall 1972 in Washington D.C. It opened at the Imperial Theatre in NYC on October 23, 1972, and ran until 1977.

Don’t have your tickets yet? Better hurry because they are going fast! CLICK HERE to get them today!

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