Winner of Best Musical
“South Pacific” 2006
The awards are named in honor of TOMMY TUNE, who is a nine-time winner of the Tony Award, Broadway’s highest honor for outstanding work, and who is also a graduate of Lamar High School in Houston. Mr. Tune has been honored as a performer, director, and choreographer, and works in which he has starred or directed and choreographed include Seesaw, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, Nine, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Grand Hotel, and The Will Rogers Follies. In agreeing to lend his name and presence to the Awards, Mr. Tune said: “High school theatre was extremely important for me in helping to shape my later career. I was fortunate to be encouraged at Lamar by a great teacher, Ruth Denney. The recognition provided by these awards can provide the encouragement that a gifted student may need to become a successful professional.”
The Friendswood High School Musical has been nominated numerous times for Best Show, winning in 2006 for South Pacific and in 2018 for The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Tommy Tune Awards Received:
• Good News! 2004 – Best Choreography
• L’il Abner 2005 – Best Choreography
• South Pacific 2006 – Best Musical, Best Supporting Actress Kassie Parker, Best Scenic Design
• Oklahoma! 2010 – Best Musical Direction, Best Supporting Actress Teagan Batts, Best Supporting Actor Jeff Allison – Lizzy Conger was awarded a $3,000 scholarship.
• The Pajama Game 2012 – Best Set Design, Best Supporting Actor Mason Patterson, Elisabeth Del Toro was awarded a $2,000 scholarship.
• 42nd Street 2014 – Samantha McHenry was awarded a scholarship.
• Mary Poppins 2015 – Best Leading Actress Audrey McKee and Best Orchestra
• Les Misérables 2017 – Best Set Design, Best Scenic Lighting, Best Ensemble, Best Musical Alex Rudd was a Tommy Tune Award $1,000 scholarship recipient.
• The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2018 – Best Lighting Design, Best Musical Direction, Best Orchestra, Best Ensemble, Best Crew and Technical Execution, Best Choreography, Best Direction, Best Leading Actor Garrett Morris, Best Leading Actress Emily Mesa, BEST MUSICAL.
For more information about the Tommy Tune Awards visit the Tommy Tune page on the TUTS website.
The 2003 production of Guys and Dolls received fourteen nominations out of a possible sixteen including Best Show, which provided our young men the opportunity to perform the FHS rendition of “Luck Be A Lady” on the stage of Hobby Center.
The 2004 production of Good News! received eleven nominations out of a possible sixteen including Best Actor, Sam Robinson, and Best Actress, Jennifer Richards. These nominations provided Sam and Jennifer the opportunity to perform solos on the stage of Hobby Center. The show won the Best Choreography Award much to the delight of the cast and our choreographer, Mrs. Kara Baker. The award was accepted by Meghan Jarrell.
The 2005 production of Li’l Abner received thirteen nominations out of a possible fifteen including Best Show which provided our cast the opportunity to perform a number on the stage of the Hobby Center. The show won Best Choreography for the second year in a row much to the delight of the cast and Mrs. Kara Baker our choreographer. The award was accepted by Courtney Dowden and Jessica Strauss.
The 2006 production of South Pacific received twelve nominations out of a possible eighteen including Best Show and Best Actress Caitlin Hales and Best Actor Paul Stuart. The nominations allowed Caitlin and Paul to perform solos and the cast had the opportunity to perform a number on the stage. We selected a version of “Nothing Like a Dame” and “I’m Going to Wash that Man Right Out of my Hair.” The show won Best Set Design much to the delight of the entire cast but especially the crew and Mrs. Kathy Powdrell who designed the set. The award was accepted by Jake Potter and Austin Howell. Kassie Parker proudly accepted the Best Supporting Actress Award for her performance as Bloody Mary. The entire company celebrated when South Pacific was named the Best Show. The award was accepted by Caitlin Hales and Paul Stuart, the directors Kara Baker, Kathy Powdrell, Janwin Overstreet-Goode, Julio Sanchez, and Myrlene Kennedy shared this very special moment with the entire company.
The 2007 production of Hello, Dolly! received twelve nominations out of a possible fifteen, including Best Show which provided our cast members the opportunity to perform segments of “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” and “Hello, Dolly!” The Best Actor nomination provided Caleb Brown the opportunity to perform on the stage of the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in Houston.
The 2008 production of My Fair Lady received twelve nominations out of a possible fifteen, including Best Show, which provided our cast members the opportunity to prepare segments of “Get Me to the Church on Time.” Four cast members received Best Supporting Actress (2) and Best Supporting Actor (2) nominations.
The 2009 production of Brigadoon received twelve nominations out of a possible fifteen, including Best Show, which provided our cast members the opportunity to perform segments of “Down in MacConnachy Square” and the “Sword Dance.” The Best Actor nomination provided Ryan Frenk the opportunity to perform on the stage of The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in Houston. Trevor Janecek received one of the eight $3,000 scholarships presented by TUTS.
The 2010 production of Oklahoma! received twelve nominations in eleven categories out of a possible fifteen, including Best Show, which provided our cast the opportunity to perform segments of “Kansas City” and “Oklahoma!” on the stage of the Hobby Center. The show won Best Musical Director, much to the delight of the entire cast and especially Janwin Overstreet-Goode, the Vocal Director. The award was accepted by Ben Peck and Lauren Parker. Teagan Batts proudly accepted the Best Supporting Actress Award for her performance of Aunt Eller. Jeffrey Allison proudly accepted the Best Supporting Actor Award for his performance of Will Parker. Lizzy Conger received one of the eight $3000 scholarships presented by TUTS.
The 2011 production of The Music Man received four nominations, Best Choreography, Best Musical Direction, Best Orchestra and Best Set Design, out of a possible thirteen nominations. We were proud to receive these nominations. However, the Cast, Crew, Pit Band and Directors were extremely disappointed that the cast did not receive more recognitions and that the show missed the Best Show nomination for the first time since 2004. The show proved to be a favorite in Friendswood, playing to capacity houses.
The 2012 production of The Pajama Game, received twelve nominations out of a possible fourteen, including Best Musical, which provided the cast the opportunity to perform “Once a Year Day” on the stage of the Hobby Center. The show won Best Scenic Design. The award was accepted by Tyler Hartlieb and Claburn Bradshaw. Mason Patterson proudly accepted the Best Supporting Actor Award for his performance of Hines and Elisabeth Del Toro won a $3000 scholarship. The Best Actor and Best Actress nominations gave Tommy Stuart and Elisabeth Del Toro the opportunity to perform on the stage of the Hobby Center.
The 2013 production of Guys and Dolls marked the 10th anniversary of the first musical we presented in the premiere year of the Tommy Tune Awards. This year the show received six nominations, however, the Cast, Crew, Pit Band and Directors were extremely disappointed that the show missed the Best Show nomination. Two cast members received Best Supporting Actress and Best Featured Performer nominations.
• Best Musical WINNER
• Best Direction: Kathy Powdrell WINNER
• Best Choreography: Faculty Stephanie Snyder and Alyssa Goza WINNER
• Best Musical Direction: Michael Tyer assisted by Melissa Smith WINNER
• Best Stage Crew & Technical Direction: Cale Borne and Amy Thornton WINNER
• Best Lighting Design WINNER
• Best Scenic Design
• Best Orchestra: Julio Sanchez WINNER
• Best Ensemble/Chorus WINNER
• Best Featured Performer: Tyler Phelps
• Best Supporting Actress: Andrea Beasley
• Best Supporting Actor: Garrett McGregor
• Best Leading Actress: Emily Mesa WINNER
• Best Leading Actor: Garrett Morris WINNER
• Best Leading Actor: William Clyburn
Theatre Under The Stars will also present, to an individual every year, the Ruth Denney award honoring a lifetime of achievement in theatre education. Ruth Denney is a widely known and honored theatre educator. She taught drama at Lamar High School for almost 20 years and founded Houston’s High School for the Performing Arts in. From 1976 to 1988, Denney was a member of the departmental faculty at the University of Texas where she taught, directed, chaired committees and served as head of the drama education area until her retirement in 1988.
Theatre Under The Stars has compiled a panel of qualified theatre professionals who will be assembled to attend musical productions in Houston area schools that choose to enter the competition. Each production will be viewed and evaluated by a panel of three judges, who will award points according to guidelines that will endeavor to be as objective as possible. At the end of the designated season, these evaluations will be tabulated and a consensus among judges will be reached as to the Awards recipients. The program will culminate in an annual Awards Ceremony to be held at Sarofim Hall in Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Excerpts from the honored high school productions will be rehearsed and presented before an audience of 2,650 with the full production values of a major Broadway production.