CATA students earn four Blumeys
Central Academy of Technology and Performing Arts left Sunday night’s “Blumey” awards with four trophies.
The Blumeys are a regional high school musical theater contest hosted by the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.
CATA’s production of “Young Frankenstein” won best costume creation, best hair and makeup design, best overall direction and TJ Schmidt won best supporting actor for his portrayal of Igor.
The musical was nominated for best musical and as a result, the students performed at the ceremony.
“I thought the kids did an outstanding job,” Theater teacher Larry Robinson said. “We had really worked hard to nail that number, knowing that these kids were going to be performing in front of 2,000 people there and they delivered what we asked them to deliver.”
The awards ceremony was held at the Belk Theater in Uptown Charlotte.
Robinson said the kids said on Monday that it was the most amazing experience they had ever had.
“They want to do it again,” Robinson said.
In addition to the cast’s performance, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe was nominated for best actress and performed in a medley with the other nominees.
“I thought she did an outstanding job,” Robinson said. “She brings an incredible amount of energy to a role, it doesn’t matter what she does, which makes her just unique. She stands out and everybody who sees her can see that.”
Robinson said the field for best actress was very strong.
“I know that she felt very humbled to be part of that group,” Robinson said. “For her, the fact that she did not win was nothing to be upset over because she was humbled to be considered to be part of that group.”
Robinson felt Schmidt’s best supporting actor award was well-deserved.
“We just felt like he had delivered the performance to land him that honor,” he said.
Schmidt, however, was absolutely beside himself when his name was read.
“He was just so excited he didn’t know what to say,” he said.
He felt the same way about being nominated for best musical. Robinson saw Charlotte Christian’s performance of “Oklahoma,” which took home the award and said it was a tremendous show.
“For us to be nominated for that category...that was really an honor for us,” Robinson said. “The kids are always hoping...we knew that we had excelled in a number of areas, but we didn’t know how that would stack up against...we are very grateful that we have the awards that we have.”
Robinson noted that the “vast majority” of the students who participated will not go on to pursue majors or careers in theater, so for many of them Sunday night’s performance was “a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Last year, the school’s production of “Hello, Dolly” received no nominations. Robinson said the show was thrown together in about five weeks due to some unforeseen circumstances.
“To go from no nominated to where we were this year, was absolutely amazing,” Robinson said.
The school received 13 nominations for the production.
“I think that this experience for us was such an incredible event that we are so grateful for the Blumenthal...because it gives so many kids an opportunity to have a moment, to be showcased in a way that they might never have,” Robinson said. “It was just an awesome experience and we are so grateful that the Blumenthal decided to do it.”