County schools nominated for ‘Blumeys’

Apr. 30, 2013 @ 05:25 PM

Two schools from Union County received nominations for the second annual “Blumey” awards, a regional high school theater contest held by the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. 

Marvin Ridge High School received a nomination for best costume creation for “Once Upon a Mattress.”

“I was thrilled, honestly, I was thrilled not only for the entire cast for being recognized, but more so for the work of our costume designer,” Winston Sims, a theater teacher at Marvin Ridge, said. 

The costumes were designed and created by Senior Madison Davis. 

“She put a lot of hours into designing and creating costumes for the show,” Sims said. “So it was well-deserved.”

The whole costume of designing and creating took about eight weeks and Davis constructed roughly 70 percent of the costumes, Sims said. 

“Once Upon a Mattress” is a musical based on the story of the princess and the pea. It is based in medieval times, so the costumes were for princesses, knights, kings and queens. 

Marvin Ridge High School received nominations last year and they are looking forward to returning.

“The Blumeys is a great program and it was a great night,” Sims said. “It was a great night for everybody last year when we went to the ceremony...it’s great to see everybody come together like that (and) showcase what everybody has to offer.”

Central Academy of Technology and Performing Arts received 13 nominations for their production of “Young Frankenstein.” The school was nominated for best set construction, best lighting execution, best costume creation, best hair and makeup design, best student orchestra, best choreography execution, best ensemble/chorus, best overall direction and Wells Fargo best musical. 

In addition, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe was nominated as best actress for her portrayal of Elizabeth. Morgan Miller received a best supporting actress nomination for her role as Frau Blucher. TJ Schmidt was nominated for best supporting actor for his role as Igor and Zack Thorpe was nominated as best featured performer for portraying The Monster.

“I’m completely blown away. Just completely blown away,” Larry Robinson, director and theater teacher at CATA said. 

He said that he met with the judges after the show to answer any questions and he knew their response was positive, but he did not know how positive they were. 

“I revealed the information to the kids...they were absolutely ecstatic. They couldn’t stop screaming,” Robinson said. 

Last year’s spring musical was a bit rushed, Robinson said and CATA did not receive any nominations. They decided at the beginning of this year that they would participate again and change the outcome in terms of what they put into the show, Robinson said. 

“Young Frankenstein had just been released,” he said. “It was probably one of the best choices we ever made. The kids absolutely loved the show. The audiences loved the show.” 

He said people approached him after the show to say it was the best show the school had done. 

“We knew we had some really strong components to the show, we just didn’t realize how strong,” Robinson said. 

“Young Frankenstein” is a Broadway musical based on the Mel Brooks movie of the same name. . 

Robinson said the students spent about nine weeks working on the show. 

“It really is a monster show,” he said. 

The show features many sets and special effects, including a rotating bookshelf and the table that lifts to the ceiling as Dr. Frankenstein raises his creation. Robinson said some pre-engineering students helped with the effects. 

“We had some real neat choices that really helped us with the show,” Robinson said. 

As part of the ceremony, held in May, the students will get to perform a number from the show at the Belk Theater, in front of a the audience. Robinson said the kids are most excited for that. 

“I can’t say enough how proud we are of these kids...it was a very hard and difficult rehearsal process,” Robinson said. “This show is not an easy show. It is one of the most difficult shows that I have worked on, but it was probably the most fun.” 

Robinson is both nervous and excited for the ceremony. While he hopes the school walks away with something, he acknowledges that the competition is very stiff. He said they will have to wait and see. 

“We had a lot of talented kids who gave so much effort there and it paid off,” Robinson said. 

The best actor and best actress winners go on to perform and compete in New York City for a national high school theater award. Last year, a student from Cuthbertson High School won best actress. 

Schools apply to participate in the awards. This year Central Academy, Marvin Ridge High School, Cuthbertson High School and Weddington High School participated. The nominations are determined by judges who attend and score each show. 

This year’s awards ceremony will be held on May 19 at the Belk Theater in Uptown Charlotte. Tickets go on sale May 2.