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Houston's young stage stars shine bright at TUTS Tommy Tune Awards

Houston's young stage stars shine bright at TUTS Tommy Tune Awards

TUTS 16th Annual Tommy Tune Awards
Theatre Under the Stars celebrates musical theater's future stars with their annual Tommy Tune Awards.  Photo by Melissa Taylor

Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars once more celebrated young, homegrown performing talent with their 16th annual Tommy Tune Awards for high school musical theater. In an evening of shining performances, some of the city’s most talented young artists proved Broadway better looked out because we’re making future stars right here in Texas.

Named after the famed performer, director, choreographer, Tony Award-winner and — most importantly — Lamar High School alumni, Tommy Tune, the program celebrates the educational value, artistry, and community of high school musical theatre in the Greater Houston area.

A certain French bell ringer was the monster hit of the night, as Friendswood High School took home the most awards for their Hunchback of Notre Dame, but all the dazzling students showed they’re ready for a place in the spotlight.

The winners of the 16th Annual Tommy Tune Awards are:

Best Musical: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Friendswood High School

Best Leading Actor: Garrett Morris from Friendswood High School as Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Best Leading Actress: Emily Mesa from Friendswood High School as Esmeralda inThe Hunchback of Notre Dame

Best Supporting Actor: Ri’Chard Jordan from G.W. Carver Magnet High School as Jack the Bear/Buddy Bolden in Jelly’s Last Jam

Best Supporting Actress: Rachel Young from Second Baptist School as Ado Annie in Oklahoma!

Best Featured Performer: Joy Edmonds, Brea Porter, and Maddison Joyce from Westfield High School as the Trio of Church Ladies — Jarene, Doris, and Darlene in The Color Purple

Best Ensemble/Chorus: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Friendswood High School

Best Scenic Design: Shrek The Musical Pearland High School

Best Costume Design: Crazy for You The Kinkaid School

Best Lighting Design: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Friendswood High School

Best Stage Crew & Technical Execution: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Friendswood High School

Best Musical Direction: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Friendswood High School

Best Orchestra: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Friendswood High School

Best Choreography: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Friendswood High School
and Crazy for You The Kinkaid School

Best Direction: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Friendswood High School

Theatre Under The Stars awards merit and needs-based scholarships to outstanding students from the 45 Participating Schools and six Alternate Schools that are part of the 2018 Tommy Tune Awards Program. The recipients range from performers, designers, directors, technicians, choreographers, and musicians who have been involved in their school’s Tommy Tune production. Over the past 16 years, TUTS and the Tommy Tune Awards have rewarded 129 student university scholarships, totaling $379,000 in individual arts-based scholarships.

This year’s scholarship recipients are: Morgan Simon, Julia Chavarria, Nikole Vollmer, Alexander Kerry, Ryan Esparza, Jade Chang, Jacob Rodriguez, Mia Munn, Brianna Watt, Morgan Dallison, HayleyChristensen, William Byrne and Kiara Curtis. Sara Burpeau received the Ruth Denney Scholarship and Ashton Lambert the Sean Rudolph Scholarship.