2017 Bobby G Awards: Persistence pays off at Valor Christian

by John Moore | May 25, 2017

A Bobby G AwardsThe cast of Valor Christian's production of 'Pippin,' which was named Outstanding Musical tonight. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

Fourth time is the charm for Outstanding Actress
Elleon Dobias, who will represent Colorado in New York.

By John Moore
Senior Arts Journalist

The fifth annual Bobby G Awards, which celebrate achievement in Colorado high-school theatre, were proof positive that persistence pays off. Valor Christian High School Senior Elleon Dobias (pictured at right), who was nominated all three of her underclassman years but had never before won a Bobby G Award, was named Outstanding Actress. And her school won Outstanding Musical for the first time for its production of Pippin.

Bobby G Awards. Elleon DobiasLakewood High School led all schools by earning four of the evening’s 19 awards for its epic production of Sweeney Todd. In all, a record 12 schools won at least one award, spreading the love wide among the 42 participating high schools. Valor Christian's Pippin earned three. Bobby G Awards will soon be taking up new residence at schools throughout the state, including at Aspen, Glenwood Springs and Niwot high schools.

The Bobby G Awards are a culmination of a year-long program administered by the Denver Center that emphasizes camaraderie and shared experiences - but there is also much at stake. The students named Outstanding Actor and Actress go on to represent Colorado at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City.

Bobby G Awards (Pictured at right: The cast of North High School/Strive Prep's production of 'In the Heights', which was nominated for best musical. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

Austin Hand of Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins was named Outstanding Actor for his performance as Gomez Addams in The Addams Family. Dobias had been nominated as a freshman and sophomore in the "Rising Star" category, for promising underclassmen. Last year she was nominated as Outstanding Supporting Actress, and this year, playing the widow Catherine in Pippin, she won for Outstanding Actress.

"For this to be my fourth year to be nominated at the Bobby G Awards and to go out on such a high has been a delight, to say the least," said Dobias, who also graduated from high school earlier in the day.

Moments after the ceremony ended, the newly named Outstanding Actors already were exchanging phone numbers with previous recipients. "This is a family you've entered into," said last year's Outstanding Actor, Curtis Salinger. 

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

Bobby G Awards. Austin Hand.As Colorado’s winners, Dobias and Hand (pictured right) will be joined next month by other regional honorees for "The Jimmys," as they are known in New York City. That’s 10 days of intensive training with some of Broadway's leading actors, choreographers and directors, all leading up to a fully staged, one-night performance at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre.

Nominees for the Bobby G Awards are determined by scoring from a team of professional adjudicators. Unlike other awards categories, the Outstanding Actor and Actress winners are determined by two equally scored criteria: First, the students are judged for their actual performances in their respective school musicals. The five students with the highest scores then go before a professional panel for a private, scored audition.

This year, a record 42 schools participated in the statewide Bobby G Awards program, up from 30 two years ago. Valor Christian, a private school with an enrollment of 879, is located on a 35-acre campus in Highlands Ranch. When she was a freshman, Dobias said, only 10 kids tried out for the school play at Valor Christian More than 60 auditioned for Pippin, she said.

Bobby G AwardsColorado native Gene Gillette, who is a member of the national touring production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, opening Tuesday at the very same Ellie Caulkins Opera House, presented two awards.

(Pictured at right: Gene Gillette with former Outstanding Actor Curtis Salinger and Outstanding Actresses Abby Noble and Charlotte Movizzo.)

Gillette encouraged the high-school kids in their pursuits, saying professional success takes discipline, a strong belief in yourself and a strong sense of wonder.

Denver First Lady and prominent area singer and actor Mary Louise Lee, who runs a nonprofit called Bringing Back the Arts, presented two awards. Lee, who made her professional debut at the Denver Center when she was 18, riffed from the signature song from The Wiz, "Believe in Yourself." The students were also greeted by DCPA CEO Janice Sinden and Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg.

Among the heartfelt and comic acceptance speeches was Will Warner, who was named Outstanding Supporting Actor for his work as Beadle Bamford in Lakewood High School's Sweeney Todd. "I would like to thank the women in my life," Warner said ... "Because they told me I had to."

(Story continues after the video.)

Video: 2017 Bobby G Awards in 60 Seconds


Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk. Interviews by Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. More video and photos to come.


Of note to the local theatre community was longtime BDT Stage performer Shelly Cox-Robie's nomination as a fifth-year director at Boulder High School. She directed Rent, with her son playing Angel. Two of her actors were nominated as Outstanding Actor (Jesse Shafroth) and Actress (Asha Romeo). Boulder won for both Outstanding Chorus and Orchestra.

Students and educators were honored in the areas of performance, design, direction, choreography, technical production and overall production excellence. All participating schools received one personal master class session with a DCPA Education theatre teacher. Winners of the Outstanding Supporting Actor, Actress and Rising Star (Outstanding Underclassman) awards also earn a full year of free classes at the Denver Center. "Theatre is alive in Colorado," said Education Director Allison Watrous. “The DCPA is proud to be a part of your journey.”

A Bobby G AwardsWhile the Bobby G Awards culminate each year with Thursday's awards ceremony, which is modeled after the Tony Awards, the year-long focus of the program is to both celebrate and educate. The participating schools receive detailed feedback on their musical productions from the adjudicators. The 10 nominated Outstanding Actors and Actresses are invited to the Denver Center two weeks before the awards to prepare a medley together in community and friendship, which they then perform at the ceremony on the Ellie Caulkins stage.

Each of the five nominated Outstanding Productions performed a musical number during the ceremony, each drawing thunderous appreciation from an enthusiastic Ellie Caulkins  crowd estimated at 1,800.

The Bobby G Awards were founded in 2013 by the late DCPA President Randy Weeks. They are named after late producer Robert Garner, who established Denver as a top destination for touring Broadway shows.

The Master of ceremonies was again Greg Moody, longtime known as Colorado's Critic-At-Large for CBS-4.

John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

THE 2016-17 BOBBY G AWARDS

Hair and Makeup

Outstanding Achievement in Hair and Make-up Design

Cierra Denning and Izze Sajdak
The Scarlet Pimpernel
, Chaparral High School

Other nominees:

  • Devan Green, Fiddler on the Roof, Brighton High School
  • Katie Kostenik, Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
  • Lydia Cole, Averi Davis, Emma Smith and Hannah Tester, Children of Eden, Mountain View High School
  • Maya Julien, Christina Larez and Simone Rodriguez, In the Heights, North High School and STRIVE Prep Excel High School


Costumes

Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design

Camille Gionet, Kaila Govan and Alyssa Mader
Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School

Other nominees:
  • Joe Kennedy and Anne Murphy, Aida, Fairview High School
  • Mollie Beck and Rebecca Spafford,The Addams Family, Fossil Ridge High School
  • Jen Bleem, Lauryn Starke, Cynthia Vega and Ramses Vega, Children of Eden, Mountain View High School
  • Mona Lucero, Simone Rodriguez and Sarah Davies-Schley, In the Heights, North High School and STRIVE Prep Excel High School


Lighting


Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design

Ethan Thomas and T.J. Thomas
The Little Mermaid,
Ralston Valley High School

Other nominees:
  • Demian Detweiler and Scott Nelson, Pippin, Aspen High School
  • Brian Morgans, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
  • Jude Franco, Dennis Gilsdorf and Nich Gilsdorf, Children of Eden, Mountain View High School
  • Karley Durate, Anthony Heredia, Joylene Quintana and Travis Roth, Tarzan, Westminster High School


Scenic

Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design
Hannah Freeman and Tom Ward
Pippin,
Aspen High School

Other nominees:

  • Katya Hirsch and Chris Sweeney, Rent, Boulder High School
  • Clare Buntrock, Rachel Barckholtz, Taylor Dykstra and Jace Smykil, Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
  • Josh Belk and Starr Samkus, Starlight Express, Palmer Ridge High School
  • Tori Byam and Liam Southwick, Beauty and the Beast, Durango High School


Choreography

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography
Angie Dryer
Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School

Other nominees:

  • Lindsey Solano, Fiddler on the Roof, Brighton High School
  • Caitlin Parets, Guys and Dolls, Loveland High School
  • Evan DeBord, Tammy Johnson, Cydney Kutcipal and Rachel Miller, Children of Eden, Mountain View High School
  • John DeYoung and Jamie Geary, Pippin, Valor Christian High School


Musical Direction

Outstanding Achievement in Musical Direction
Marty Magehee, Rick Paswaters and Jenny Timmons
Pippin, Valor Christian High School

Other nominees:

  • Duncan Cooper, Cabaret, Bear Creek High School
  • Mary Bateman, Rent, Boulder High School
  • Steve Hinman and Luke Tredinnick, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
  • Bryce Melaragno and Debbie Miller, Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School


Chorus

Outstanding Performance by a Chorus
Rent

Boulder High School

Other nominees:

  • Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
  • Children of Eden, Mountain View High School
  • Pippin, Valor Christian High School
  • The Pirates of Penzance, Wheat Ridge High School


Orchestra

Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra

Rent

Boulder High School

Other nominees:

  • Cabaret, Bear Creek High School
  • Fiddler on the Roof, Brighton High School
  • The Producers, Denver School of the Arts
  • Aida, Fairview High School


Supporting Actress

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
McKinley Mueller
Grandma Addams, The Addams Family
Glenwood Springs High School

Other nominees:

  • Stella Martin as Andrea, Once on This Island, Conifer High School
  • Anna Rosenthal as Grandma Addams, The Addams Family, Heritage High School
  • Alexa Hand as Sydney, It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman, Resurrection Christian School
  • Libby Lukens as Jan, Grease, Steamboat Springs High School


Supporting Actor

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Will Warner
Beadle Bamford
Sweeney Todd

Lakewood High School

Other nominees:

  • Will Coleman as Lumiere, Beauty and the Beast, Arvada West High School
  • Brandon Michael as Herr Schultz, Cabaret, Bear Creek High School
  • Adrian Clark as Farleigh, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
  • Luccio Dellepiane, Harold Bride, Titanic, Cherry Creek High School


Rising Star

Rising Star

Joe Robinson
Dewhurst
The Scarlet Pimpernel

Chaparral High School

Other nominees:

  • Ana Lemus as Serena, Legally Blonde, D’Evelyn High School
  • Luke McKenzie as Theo, Pippin, George Washington High School
  • Sam Feng as Oz Guard, The Wizard of Oz, Lutheran High School
  • Ellie Hill as La Fou, Beauty and the Beast, Regis Jesuit High School

Leading Actress

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Elleon Dobias
Catherine
Pippin

Valor Christian High School

  • Asha Romeo as Joanne Jefferson, Rent, Boulder High School
  • Grace Nolte as Marguerite St. Just, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
  • Cameron Marter as Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
  • Chantal King as Witch, Into the Woods, Niwot High School


Leading Actor

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Austin Hand
Gomez Addams
The Addams Family

Fossil Ridge High School

Other nominees:

  • Jesse Shafroth as Mark Cohen, Rent, Boulder High School
  • Chandler Carter as Chauvelin, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
  • Trey Kochevar as Sweeney Todd, Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
  • Gable Kinsman as Pippin, Pippin,Valor Christian High School


Direction

Outstanding Achievement in Direction
Tami LoSasso and Yovana Milosevic
Sweeney Todd

Lakewood High School

Other nominees:

  • Shelly Cox-Robie, Rent, Boulder High School
  • Kate McRaith, The Addams Family, Glenwood Springs High School
  • Katie Marshall, Children of Eden, Mountain View High School
  • Lindsey Hutcheon and Kurt Muenstermann, Pippin,Valor Christian High School


Overall Production

Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical
Pippin

Valor Christian High Schoo
l

Other nominees:

  • Rent, Boulder High School
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
  • Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
  • In the Heights, North High School and STRIVE Prep Excel High School

Valor


Valor Christian High School's production of 'Pippin.'



Video: A look back at the 2016 Bobby G Awards



More video and photos from Thursday's awards ceremony will be posted next week.

2017 SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT WINNERS:

  • Achievement in Orchestra: Tim Costello, Cabaret, Bear Creek High School
  • Achievement in Scenic Design: Danielle Waldman, The Producers, Denver School of the Arts
  • Achievement in Technical Direction: Chris Brown, Into the Woods, Niwot High School
  • Special Achievement for a Premiere Production in Colorado: cast and crew of Starlight Express, Palmer Ridge High School
Previous 2017 Bobby G Awards coverage
Meet your 2017 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress finalists
Meet your 2017 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor finalists
2016-17 Bobby G Award finalists are announced

Video: Montage welcoming all 42 participating schools:

Watch our welcoming video introducing all 42 schools participating in the 2016-17 Bobby G Awards. Video shot by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.

2 comments

Leave a comment
  1. Ralph Boswell | Jun 19, 2017

    I agree totally with Amy. As a retired educator, I believe the ARTs are an essential element of a students education. These smaller classification schools need to be recognized.  

  2. Amy | Jun 11, 2017
    Bobby G should consider putting schools in categories based on the budget that schools have to do their productions.  Smaller schools will never be able to compete with schools that have triple the budget that the larger schools have to work with.  It is very disheartening for the students when they receive high scores and great remarks from judges, knowing they did an amazing job, and in the end, nothing to show for it.  Please consider levels like they do for Sports, otherwise the smaller schools with lower budgets will give up on participating in Bobby G, and isn't that what you want to promote, a continuation of strong performing arts programs.

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    John Moore
    John Moore
    Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

    DCPA is the nation’s largest not-for-profit theatre organization dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs and inspired events. We think of theatre as a spark of life — a special occasion that’s exciting, powerful and fun. Join us today and we promise an experience you won't soon forget.