Forget the Oscars. Never mind the Tonys. Pay no attention to the Grammys.
Give us the Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards.
Sure, last night’s ceremony at the Long Center clocked in at just under four hours. Nevertheless, we loved almost every minute of this energetic toast to 38 participating high schools and their remarkable talents.
Some quick observations and then some winners. Playbill’s Tyler Mount was the show’s best emcee yet. Fast, funny and on target with his “paid segues” and promos. Despite the total running time, the show, which highlights dozens of slickly produced musical numbers and video selfies from Broadway pros, felt tighter, more on time this year.
Austin City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan just about stole the show and earned the evening’s only unadulterated standing ovation. He showed up to read municipal proclamation — usually a dull task — but donned a little, regal hat and performed a magnificent version to the tune of King George III‘s “You’ll Be Back” from “Hamilton.”
To use a show biz term: He killed! Killed! He should come back every year.
Enough is enough: Here are the winners.
2018 Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards
Best Production: “The Addams Family,” Dripping Springs High School
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Katie Haberman, “The Addams Family,” Dripping Springs High School
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Stone Mountain, “Catch Me If You Can,” St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
Best Direction: “The Addams Family,” Dripping Springs High School
Best Ensemble: “West Side Story,” McCallum Fine Arts Academy
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Christine Ashbaugh, “Guys and Dolls,” Marble Falls High School
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Ryan Mills, “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” Vista Ridge High School
Best Featured Performer: Cassie Martin, “The Addams Family,” Dripping Springs High School
Best Choreography: “Grease,” Cedar Ridge High School
Best Orchestra: “West Side Story,” McCallum Fine Arts Academy
Best Musical Direction: “Catch Me If You Can,” St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
Best Scenic Design: “Shrek the Musical,” Rouse High School
Student Design Award: Alessandro Hendrix, Crockett High School
Best Costume Design: “Catch Me If You Can,” St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
Best Lighting Design: “Hairspray,” Akins High School
Best Technical Execution: “Chicago,” St. Stephen’s Episcopal School