By Mary Alys Cherry
Bay Area Houston has long been known for its accomplishments in space. Before long it may become just as well known for its talent in arts as year after year its high school students in the Clear Creek, Friendswood and Pearland ISDs capture many nominations for the Tommy Tune Awards.
Sponsored by Theatre Under the Stars, the Tommy Tune competition recognizes excellence in musical theatre recognize and reward excellence in the production of musical theatre by high school students and their teachers. The 15th annual Tommy Tune Awards Ceremony will be held at the Hobby Center in Houston on April 18.
Clear Springs High School’s musical production of Big Fish and Clear Lake High School’s musical production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying earned a number of 2017 Tommy Tune Award nominations.
Clear Springs earned a total of 14 nominations, including Best Overall Production. Big Fish is also nominated for two Best Leading Actor awards (Noah Carlin and Will Bloom), Best Leading Actress (Hannah Hayes), Best Supporting Actress (Haley Dougherty), Best Featured Performer (Kyle Benaquisto), Best Ensemble/Chorus, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Stage Crew/Technical Execution, Best Musical Direction, Best Choreography and Best Direction. Clear Lake earned nominations for Best Scenic Design and Best Lighting Design.
With the Best Overall Production nomination, Clear Springs High School students will have the honor of performing a selection from Big Fish during the ceremony.
The Clear Springs High Theatre Department is led by Director Mark Stonebarger. The Choir Department is led by Director Rob Phillips. The Clear Lake High School Theatre Department is led by Director Candace Currie.
Friendswood High School’s production of Les Miserables also received 14 nominations in the 17 possible categories including Best Musical or Best Over All Production.
Its other nominations are: Best Direction – Kathy Powdrell; Best Choreography – Alyssa Goza and Katelyn Gallagher; Best Musical Direction – Janwin Overstreet Goode and Michael Tyer; Best Orchestra – Julio Sanchez and Conductor Michael Tyer; Best Technical Execution/Best Crew; Best Lighting Design; Best Scenic Design; Best Ensemble; Best Supporting Actor – Clayton Senter and Cade Tucker; Best Lead Actress – Emily Mesa; Best Lead Actor – Alex Rudd and Max Morgan.
Pearland ISD nominees
Pearland High students’ production of the well-known Broadway musical Pippin’ captured eight Tommy Tune nominations for the Brazoria County school and quickly sent the PHS cast and crew on the path to happiness.
When nominations were announced, PHS claimed eight of the 15 possible nominations for excellence in high school musical theatre:
Best Supporting Actor (Brendan King); Best Ensemble/Chorus; Best Costume Design; Best Lighting Design; Best Stage Crew & Technical Execution; Best Musical Direction; Best Choreography; and Best Direction.
The awards are named in honor of Tony Award-winning performer, director and choreographer Tommy Tune, who grew up in Houston.