Mountain View scales Bobby G Awards' peak

Overall Production 2016 Bobby G Awards Mountain View Anything Goes

The Buell Theatre was a Land of Love throughout Thursday’s fourth annual Bobby G Awards, which celebrate achievement in Colorado high-school theatre. Not only was Mountain View High School of Loveland winner of the prestigious Outstanding Musical Award, but brotherly love was on full display when 2015 Outstanding Actor Evatt Salinger handed the 2016 award to his younger brother, Curtis Salinger.

Mountain View led all schools by earning four of the evening’s 18 awards for its tap-dancing extravaganza, Anything Goes. In all, 11 schools won at least one award, making 2015-16 a second straight year of evenly distributed awards. Fairview High School in Boulder was next with three, with other awards heading out to Durango, Niwot and beyond.

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. Colorado’s winners are joined 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.

Now only in their fourth year, the Bobby G Awards have established a literal bloodline to Durango, located nearly 400 miles southwest of Denver. Evatt Salinger was named Outstanding Actor last year for his work in Les Misérables. Curtis Salinger was just a freshman when he played Marius to his brother’s Valjean in that production, which was named Outstanding Musical of 2014-15.

Curtis Salinger literally followed in his brother’s footsteps Thursday when he was honored for his work as Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde at Durango High School. He will now be joined in New York by new Ponderosa High School graduate Charlotte Movizzo, who was named Outstanding Actress for her starring role in Sweet Charity.

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 40 schools participated in the statewide Bobby G Awards program, up from 30 the year before. Mountain View, a school with an enrollment of 1,200, is located 45 miles due north of Denver on I-25. It was considered a favorite going into Thursday’s ceremony on the basis of its 10 nominations. It also won for Outstanding Costume Design, Choreography and Chorus.

The ceremony was filled with emotional moments, none more so than when DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg announced Curtis Salinger’s name. As last year’s winners, Evatt Salinger and former classmate Emma Buchanan were tasked with presenting trophies to each of Thursday’s honorees. The Buell crowd erupted when it became evident that the Salingers are brothers.

“I watched my brother win last year, and it was everything that I could ever dream of,” said Curtis.

Watch our fun time-lapse video covering Wednesday’s day-log Bobby G Awards​ rehearsal, including performances by Fairview, Arvada West, Denver School of the Arts, Mountain View and Cherry Creek. Video shot by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.

Of note to the local theater community was Brandon Warren’s win as Outstanding Supporting Actor for his performance as Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Fairview High School’s Guys & Dolls. Brandon is the son of acclaimed local actor and theatre educator Tracy Warren, who recently starred in Mary Poppins for BDT Stage in Boulder, and is currently performing in Into the Woods with Debby Boone at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown.

Westminster High School’s Andre’ Rodriguez, who was named Outstanding Director in 2015, was part of the team that won the Bobby G Award for Outstanding Scenic Design, for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Rodriguez has now been nominated in all four years of the Bobby G Awards.

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. “The DCPA is proud to be a part of your journey,” said Education Director Allison Watrous.

While 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 Buell Theatre stage.

Each of the five nominated Outstanding Productions performed a musical number during the ceremony, each drawing thunderous appreciation from an enthusiastic Buell Theatre crowd estimated at 1,700.

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.

Veteran Broadway actor Candy Brown, who was in the original Broadway casts of Pippin and A Chorus Line, presented four awards. She is now a teaching artist at Denver School of the Arts, which earned seven nominations for its production of Spring Awakening, which is one of two finalists for Outstanding Musical at the national thespian convention next month in Lincoln, Neb.

If Brown’s era was the Golden Age of Broadway, she told the current high-school performers in the crowd that they will represent the Platinum Age – one in which “race, creed or color will not matter if you do your job,” she said.

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 2015-16 BOBBY G AWARDS

Bobby G Awards Anything Goes Mountain West
Mountain View High School’s Outstanding Musical “Anything Goes” at Wednesday’s Bobby G Awards rehearsal. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical
Anything Goes, Mountain View High School

Other nominees:

  • Les Misérables, Arvada West High School
  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Cherry Creek High School
  • Spring Awakening, Denver School of the Arts
  • Guys and Dolls, Fairview High School


Direction

Outstanding Achievement in Direction
Lanny Boyer and Janice Vlachos, Fairview High School, Guys & Dolls   

Other nominees
:

  • Lindsey Welsh, Arvada West High School, Les Misérables
  • Jimmy Miller, Cherry Creek High School, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  • Shawn Hann, Denver School of the Arts, Spring Awakening
  • Brian Cook, Annie Dwyer and Tom Mullin, Wheat Ridge High School, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


Lead Actress

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Charlotte Movizzo, Ponderosa High School, Sweet Charity, Charity Hope Valentine


Other nominees:

  • Sienna Sewell, Fairview High School, Guys & Dolls, Sarah Brown
  • Abbie Cheney, Glenwood Springs High School, Anything Goes, Reno Sweeney
  • Savannah Wood, Mountain View High School, Anything Goes, Reno Sweeney
  • Keala Fraioli, Steamboat Springs High School, Legally Blonde, Elle Woods

Lead Actor Bobby G Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role:

Curtis Salinger, Durango High School, Legally Blonde, Emmett Forrest


Other nominees:

  • Danny Miller, Arvada West High School, Les Misérables, Jean Valjean
  • Garrett Charles, Arvada West High School, Les Misérables, Javert
  • Michael Kosko, Denver School of the Arts, Spring Awakening, Moritz
  • Jacob Pearce, Fairview High School , Guys & Dolls, Nathan Detroit

Rising Star Bobby G Awards
Rising Star (honoring underclassmen):

Abby Lehrer, Valor Christian High School, Mary Poppins, Bird Woman


Other nominees:

  • Matti Guillette, Durango High School, Legally Blonde, Margot
  • Jenna Szczech, Durango High School, Legally Blonde, Pilar
  • Audrey Smith, Fort Collins High School, Company, Sarah
  • John Kibozi, Wheat Ridge High School, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Levi

Supporting Actress Bobby G Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Senora Robinson, Durango High School, Legally Blonde, Serena


Other nominees:

  • Lauren Rocha, Brighton High School, Tarzan, Kala
  • Tilly Leeder, Durango High School, Legally Blonde, Vivienne Kensington
  • Hannah Jones, Legend High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Gabrielle
  • Elleon Dobias, Valor Christian High School, Mary Poppins, Miss Andrew

Supporting Actor Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role   Other nominees
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Brandon Warren, Fairview High School, Guys & Dolls, Nicely-Nicely Johnson


Other nominees:

  • Marcos Ospina, Boulder High School, Beauty and the Beast, Lumiere
  • Jimmy Bruenger, Denver School of the Arts, Spring Awakening, Hanschen
  • Jacob Sadow, Fairview High School, Guys & Dolls, Harry the Horse
  • Michael Mathey, Legend High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Jean-Michel



Musical Direction
Outstanding Achievement in Musical Direction

Michael Bizzaro and Travis Keller, Fairview High School, Guys & Dolls   


Other nominees:

  • Chris Maunu and Craig Melhorn, Arvada West High School, Les Misérables
  • Kaitlin Miles, Fort Collins High School, Company
  • Phil Forman, Bryan Kettlewell and Peter Toews, Mountain View High School, Anything Goes
  • Brian Cook, Charles Craig and Vicki Duckworth, Wheat Ridge High School, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

OrchestraOutstanding Performance by an Orchestra

Arvada West High School, Les Misérables       


Other nominees:

  • Boulder High School, Beauty and the Beast
  • Denver School of the Arts, Spring Awakening
  • Fairview High School, Guys and Dolls
  • Mountain View High School, Anything Goes



Chorus
Outstanding Performance by a Chorus
Mountain View High School, Anything Goes

Other nominees:

  • Arvada West High School, Les Misérables
  • Brighton High School, Tarzan
  • Cherry Creek High School, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  • Fairview High School, Guys and Dolls


Choreography
Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

Bailey Friar and Tammy Johnson, Mountain View High School, Anything Goes

Other nominees:

  • Angie Dryer, Arvada West High School, Les Misérables
  • Leigh Miller and Lindsey Solano, Brighton High School, Tarzan
  • Ronni Gallup, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Cherry Creek High School
  • Karen Cassel and Emma Sappey, Wheat Ridge High School, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


Scenic Design
Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design

Corey Baca, Brandon PT Davis and Andre Rodriguez, Westminster High School, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee           

Other nominees:

  • Jane Archuleta, Nick Dibbern, Phil Lollar and Sammy Perez, Brighton High School, Tarzan
  • Jack Hagen, Yuuki Hashimoto and Caleb Nghe, Cherry Creek High School, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  • Shailyn Clay, Tyler King, Rebecca Reynolds and Lucas Sanchez, Mountain View High School, Anything Goes
  • Mallory Hart, Riley Hoffman and Rhys Holton, Wheat Ridge High School, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Lighting Design
Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design
Whitney Larson and Kayli Porterfield, Arvada West High School, Les Misérables

Other nominees:

  • Yasmin Farsad, Cherry Creek High School, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  • Lenora Grant and Caleb Werkmeister, Fairview High School, Guys & Dolls
  • Jude Franco and Tanner Friar, Mountain View High School, Anything Goes
  • Mallory Hart and Katherine Yates, Wheat Ridge High School, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Costume Design
Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design
Jen Bleem, Cindy Sipes and Lauryn Starke, Mountain View High School, Anything Goes

Other nominees:

  • Harrison Haggas, Chaney McCulloch, Shelly Cox-Robie and Chris Sweeney, Boulder High School, Beauty and the Beast
  • Jimmy Miller and Katya Zabelski, Cherry Creek High School, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  • MaryV Benoit and Lara Kirksey, Denver School of the Arts, Spring Awakening
  • Molly Merewether, Teri Nydegger, Amy Sares and Denise Wood, Wheat Ridge High School, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Hair and Makeup
Outstanding Achievement in Hair and Make-up Design
Austin Sabala, Boulder High School, Beauty and the Beast

Other nominees:

  • Kendall Mesch, Arvada West High School, Les Misérables
  • Marrisa Hadden, Cherry Creek High School, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  • Skylar Arterburn and Owen Nuss, Denver School of the Arts, Spring Awakening Averi Davis and Emma Smith, Mountain View High School, Anything Goes


Photo gallery: Day 1 of the 2016 Bobby G Awards

2016 Bobby G Awards
Photos from Thursday’s awards ceremony will be posted on Friday.

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT WINNERS:

  • Achievement in Costuming: Annie Trumble, D’Evelyn High School, Young Frankenstein
  • Achievement in Student Direction: Shu Lee and Aurora Vadas-Arendt, Niwot High School, The Sound of Music
  • Achievement in Orchestra: Tristana Whetten, Vista PEAK Preparatory, Beauty and the Beast

Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
Photo from Day One of the 2016 Bobby G Awards
Meet your 2015 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor Finalists
Meet your 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress Finalists
2015-16 Bobby G Award nominations: The complete listBobby G Awards a triumph for Durango High School Video: Outstanding Actor Nominee Performances Video: Bobby G Award winners sing National Anthem at Rockies game Video: The Acceptance Speeches
Video: A look at Durango’s Outstanding Musical, Les Misérables
Photos: The 2015 Bobby G Awards. (Download for free)
Andre’ Rodriguez’s stirring Bobby G Awards speech
Video: See how we introduced all 30 participating schools
Video: Page to Stage highlights with Bobby G Awards winners
Meet your Bobby G Awards nominees, in their own words
Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: ‘Be relentlessly yourself’

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