The 17th Annual Tommy Tune Awards, held in 2019. (Photo by Melissa Taylor)
Best Musical nominee: Klein Cain High School’s production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"
Best Musical nominee: G.W. Carver Magnet High School’s production of "Sister Act"
Each year, Theatre Under The Stars salutes outstanding high school musical theater productions in the Greater Houston area by handing out the coveted Tommy Tune Awards. Normally the award presentation takes place at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts — but COVID-19 sanctions have brought about a historic change of venue.
On Tuesday, April 28, at 7:30 pm, the Tommy Tune Awards will be livestreamed on the TUTS Facebook page and YouTube Channel. Both award winners and scholarship recipients will be announced at the ceremony, which is normally attended in person by more than 2,600 students.
“We knew we had to find a creative way to give these kids a very special evening during this difficult time,” Israel Jimenez, TUTS’s director of community engagement, says in a statement,
The broadcast will include at-home performances by students and clips from the Best Musical nominees, as well as appearances by Broadway veterans. Slated to appear are Tony Award winners Andy Blankenbuehler (choreographer of Hamilton and In The Heights) and Jeanine Tesori (composer of Fun Home, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Shrek the Musical, as well as performers Alex Newell (Glee) and Joe Serafini and Frankie Rodriguez (High School Musical: The Series).
Forty-six Houston-area high school productions from the 2019-2020 school year are vying for top honors in 15 award categories: Best Musical; Leading Actor and Actress; Supporting Actor and Actress; Featured Performer; Ensemble; Lighting, Scenic, and Costume Design; Stage Crew & Technical Execution; Orchestra; Musical Direction; Choreography; and Direction.
The eight productions vying for Best Musical honors range from the heartrending to the hilarious:
Friendswood High School’s Matilda The Musical
G.W. Carver Magnet High School’s Sister Act
Houston Christian High School’s Crazy for You
Kinder HSPVA’s The Color Purple
Klein High School’s The Drowsy Chaperone
Klein Cain High School’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Spring High School’s Aida
Stratford High School’s The Drowsy Chaperone
To see the full list of nominees, visit tuts.com/tta.