Breaking: 2017-18 Bobby G Awards finalists are announced

by John Moore | May 01, 2018
Video recap: Kinship and camaraderie at the 2017 Bobby G Awards:

Video highlights from the 2016-17 Bobby G Awards ceremony. Video by John Moore and David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.

Brighton High School leads way with eight nominations;    all 43 Colorado high schools will perform opening together

By John Moore
Senior Arts Journalist

Finalists for the sixth annual Bobby G Awards were announced today by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The Bobby G's are the Colorado regional-awards program for the larger The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA).

Bobby G Awards. Austin Hand.The Bobby G Awards honor outstanding achievements by students and educators in the areas of performance, design, direction, choreography, orchestration, technical production and overall production excellence. The evening is an opportunity for students from all over Colorado to commune and mutually support one another’s work.

The awards ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 24 in the Buell Theatre. The program will include performances from the shows nominated for Outstanding Overall Production, and a medley featuring the nominees for Outstanding Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Leading Role.

This year, adjudicators considered 42 musical productions, and topping today's list of nominees is Brighton High School with eight nominations for its staging of Once on This Island. The Weld County high school was nominated for Outstanding Musical for the first time. 

2018 Bobby G Awards Brighton Once on This IslandJoining Brighton in that category are Denver School of the Arts' In The Heights, Colorado Springs Liberty High School's Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Mountain View High School of Loveland's Crazy for You and Vista PEAK Preparatory (Arapahoe County)'s Into the Woods. 

In all, 29 schools received at least one nomination. Vista PEAK and Denver School of the Arts received six each; and Mountain View, Boulder Fairview and Legend High School in Parker had five.

With today's announcement, tickets are now on sale for the 2017-18 Bobby G Awards ceremony. Tickets are $10. Click here to purchase tickets.

New this year: The Bobby G Awards ceremony will feature “You Will Be Found” from the six-time 2017 Tony Award® and 2018 Grammy®-Winning Best Musical Dear Evan Hansen launching the North American Tour in Denver this September, as the opening number performed by representatives from all 43 participating schools (with 2018 nominations in parentheses) :

  • Arvada West High School
  • Boulder High School (1)
  • Brighton High School (8)
  • Broomfield High School
  • Castle View High School (3)
  • 2018 Bobby G Awards In the Heights Denver School of the Arts MarcusKwanChaparral High School (4)
  • Cherry Creek High School (2)
  • Doherty High School
  • Denver School of the Arts (6)
  • Durango High School
  • Eaglecrest High School (2)
  • Erie High School
  • Fairview High School (5)
  • Fort Collins High School (1)
  • Fossil Ridge High School (4)
  • George Washington High School (2)
  • Glenwood Springs High School (4)
  • Greeley West High School (2)
  • Heritage High School
  • Lakewood High School (2)
  • Legend High School (5)
  • Lewis-Palmer High School
  • Liberty High School (4)
  • Loveland High School (1)
  • Lutheran High School
  • Monarch High School
  • Montezuma-Cortez High School (1)
  • Mountain View High School (5)
  • North High School and STRIVE Prep Excel High School
  • Palisade High School (1)
  • Palmer Ridge High School (1)
  • Pomona High School
  • Ponderosa High School (2)
  • Poudre High School
  • Ralston Valley High School (1)
  • Regis Jesuit High School (1)
  • Resurrection Christian School (1)
  • Steamboat Springs High School (1)
  • ThunderRidge High School (1)
  • Valor Christian High School
  • Vista PEAK Preparatory (6)
  • Wheat Ridge High School (1)
The winners of Colorado's Outstanding Actor and Actress awards not only will be invited to attend the NHSMTA in June at the Minskoff Theatre in New York, but to participate in a week-long series of intensive classes and workshops with Broadway actors, directors and designers. The national awards ceremony, which is presented by The Broadway League Foundation, will be hosted by Laura Benanti on June 25.


(Pictured above right: Mountain Vista's Anything Goes wins Outstanding Musical at the 2016 Bobby G. Awards. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

Reserve your seat for the May 24 Bobby G Awards

(Story continues after the following list of nominations.)

2017-18 Bobby G Awards Finalists:

Outstanding Achievement in Hair and Make-Up Design

Jana Datteri, Jacelyn Hays and Bryana Martinez
The Little Mermaid
Greeley West High School

Lauren Lewis and Ailani Paramo
Into the Woods
Legend High School

Amanda Moore and Katie Taylor
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Liberty High School

Arianna Mahan-Higgins
Little Women
Montezuma-Cortez High School

Rhiatta Gleghorn, Brynn Ledermann, Kacey Lowe and Olivia VanHattam
James and the Giant Peach
Resurrection Christian School

Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design
Jane Archuleta and Carson Charles
Once on This Island
Brighton High School

2018 Bobby G Awards Vista PEAK Preparatory. Into the Woods Photo by Heather AndersenKatelynn Brusco and Julie Snow
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Chaparral High School

Nikky Haabestad
Big Fish
Fossil Ridge High School

Kim Christensen and Katie Gorsline
The Little Mermaid
Greeley West High School

Ana Alonzo, Nicole Lucier and Joan Stewart
Into the Woods
Legend High School

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design

Jane Archuleta and Julia Snyder
Once on This Island
Brighton High School

Drew Meier and Thomas Woolner
Big Fish
Fossil Ridge High School

Justin Fiscus, Kawak Miranda, Andrew Stott and Alexander Tucker
Crazy for You
Glenwood Springs High School

Riley Dixon
Bye Bye Birdie
Cherry Creek High School

Julianna Luce
Into the Woods
Vista PEAK Preparatory

Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design

Alyea Caldwell, Iz Nyghe and Megan Tunnell
Bye Bye Birdie
Cherry Creek High School

Brogan Croom, Rylee Carlson and Rob Scott
Les Misérables
Castle View High School

Steven Davis and Danny de Paz
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Chaparral High School

Jackie Carreras, Jon Ducat, Amanda Penke, Thomas Ray and Red Schweitzer
Into the Woods
Legend High School

Josh Belk and Emily Hartlaub
Little Women
Palmer Ridge High School

Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra
Side Show
Boulder High School

Once on This Island
Brighton High School

Annie
George Washington High School

Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Loveland High School

Into the Woods
Vista PEAK Preparatory

Outstanding Achievement in Musical Direction

Alan Davis
Once on This Island
Brighton High School

2018 Bobby G Awards LIBERTY CINDERELLAJay McGuffin, Heath Walter and Rochelle Walter
Les Misérables
Castle View High School

Gretta Hambrook, Dave Hammond, Ray Hootman and Robert Styron
In the Heights
Denver School of the Arts

Travis Keller, Zachary Strand and Janice Vlachos
Bring it On: The Musical
Fairview High School

Randal Hoepker and John Richard
Into the Woods
Vista PEAK Preparatory

Outstanding Performance by a Chorus

Once on This Island
Brighton High School

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Chaparral High School

Bring it On: The Musical
Fairview High School

Fiddler on the Roof
Regis Jesuit High School

Once Upon a Mattress
Thunder Ridge High School

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

Heather Westenskow
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Chaparral High School

Brandon Becker and Mara Osterburg
In the Heights
Denver School of the Arts

Karen Cassel and Andrew Cassel
Bring it on: The Musical
Fairview High School

Sophie Carnoali and Cadie Harrison
Crazy for You
Glenwood Springs High School

Tammy Johnson and Rachel Miller
Crazy for You
Mountain View High School

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Ryker Chavez
Papa Ge
Once on This Island
Brighton High School

Ethan Leland
La Cienega
Bring it on: The Musical
Fairview High School

Eli Pettit
Bella Zangler
Crazy for You
Glenwood Springs High School

Kyle Husted
Jean-Michel
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Liberty High School

Matthew Sewell
Benny Southstreet
Guys and Dolls
Wheat Ridge High School

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Vanesa Gomez
Abuela Claudia
In the Heights
Denver School of the Arts

Gabi Meyer
Bridget
Bring it On: The Musical
Fairview High School

Megan Bean
Jenny Hill
Big Fish
Fossil Ridge High School

Rachel Miller
Tess
Crazy for You
Mountain View High School

Frankie Spiller
Aunt Eller
Oklahoma!
Palisade High School

Rising Star (Outstanding Underclassman)

Spencer Gordon
Drake
Annie
George Washington High School

Johnathan Webster
Wyatt
Crazy for You
Glenwood Springs High School

2018 Bobby G Awards Crazy For You Mountain View High SchoolAbe Soto
Ticket Agent
Honeymoon in Vegas
Lakewood High School

Mackenzie Mackin
Patsy
Crazy for You
Mountain View High School

DJ Bashford
Rudolph Reisenweber
Hello, Dolly!
Ralston Valley High School

Outstanding Achievement in Direction
Jane Archuleta, Gabby Doyle and Ayaka Hayashi
Once on This Island
Brighton High School

Brandon Becker and Aleksandra Kay
In The Heights
Denver School of the Arts

Michelle Leisy and Bennie Palko
Into the Woods
Legend High School

Katie Marshall
Crazy for You
Mountain View High School

Jesse Collett and Taylor Hulett
Legally Blonde
Pomona High School

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Coco Justino
Camila Rosario
In the Heights
Denver School of the Arts

Abby Lehrer
Eponine
Les Misérables
Castle View High School

Daelyn Nace
Lady of the Lake
Spamalot
Fort Collins High School

Dominique Smith-Lopez
Baker’s Wife
Into the Woods
Vista PEAK Preparatory

Isabella McArdle
Ella
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Liberty High School

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Anton Karabushin
Frederic
The Pirates of Penzance
Eaglecrest High School

Travis Turner
Edward Bloom
Big Fish
Fossil Ridge High School

Will Warner
Tommy Korman
Honeymoon in Vegas
Lakewood High School

Jeremiah Garcia
Emmett Forrest
Legally Blonde
Pomona High School

Elisha Horne
Baker
Into the Woods
Vista PEAK Preparatory

Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical

Once on This Island
Brighton High School

In The Heights
Denver School of the Arts

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Liberty High School

Crazy for You
Mountain View High School

Into the Woods
Vista PEAK Preparatory

2018 Outstanding Special Achievement Award Winners:


In addition to the nominations, this year’s three Special Achievement winners also were announced today: 

Outstanding Special Achievement in Prop Management
Cody Charlton, Scott Kull and Rachel Ross
The Pirates of Penzance
Eaglecrest High School

Outstanding Special Achievement in Sound Design
Jocelyn Baker and Kate Holeman
Into the Woods
Legend High School

Outstanding Special Achievement in Projections
Addison Sandvik
Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Steamboat Springs High School

Nominees of note

Today’s announcement produced several nominees of note, including Julianna Luce in lighting design for Vista PEAK Preparatory's Into the Woods. In February, Luce was named one of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' finalists for its fifth annual Regional High School Playwriting Workshop and Competition. Luce and co-write Trinell Samuel wrote a comedy called Technical Difficulties, about a high-school theatre production that has been seized by vengeful understudies. The play is a salute to theatre techies, and was chosen to be fully presented this summer by DCPA education summer academy students. Which makes it all the more triumphant that she is now nominated for a Bobby G Award in a technical category.

Reserve your seat for the May 24 Bobby G Awards celebration!

Abby Lehrer, who was nominated two years ago as a Rising Star (outstanding underclassman) was nominated this year as a leading actress for her work as Eponine
in Castle View High School's Les Misérables.

Will Warner, nominated last year as a supporting actor, is nominated this year as a leading actor for his portrayal of Tommy Korman in Honeymoon in Vegas for Lakewood High School.

Last year’s Bobby G Awards winner for Outstanding Actor was Austin Hand of Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins. Elleon Dobias of Valor Christian High School, twice previously nominated as a 2015 Rising Star and again the next year as a supporting actress, won the biggest award of all her third time around, for playing Catherine in Pippin.

This year's first-time schools include Greeley West; Palisade; Broomfield; Eaglecrest in Aurora, and Doherty and Liberty in Colorado Springs.

Photo gallery: All of our best photos from the 2016-17 Bobby G Awards

2017 Bobby G Awards

A look back at the 2017 Bobby G Awards in photos. To see more, click the 'forward' arrow on the image above. This year's ceremony will be May 24 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.


Adjudicators made up of professional working theatre artists attended the participating high schools’ musical theatre productions. Using the standards set by The Bobby G Awards training and criteria, as well as their own professional experience, these adjudicators complete extensive evaluation forms offering detailed feedback on all of the various elements involved with staging a musical production. Participating schools receive a copy of the forms complete with each adjudicator’s comments, praise, and constructive criticism designed to motivate growth and recognize success. These evaluations serve as a foundation for the nominations.


Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
2017 Bobby G Awards: Persistence pays off at Valor Christian
Video: The 2017 Bobby Awards welcoming montage
Videos: Complete coverage of the 2017 Bobby G Awards
2016-17 Bobby G Award finalists are announced
Mamma Mia's Cashelle Butler returns to Cherry Creek High School
Authentic voices: 2017 student playwriting winners announced
North High School gets real with In the Heights
Video: Colorado's Bobby G Awards reps win scholarships in New York 
Bobby G Award winners' Road to the Jimmy Awards
Video, story: Kinship and camaraderie at 2016 Bobby G Awards
Video: 2016 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
Video: Outstanding Musical nominee performances
Photos: 2016 Bobby G Awards (Download for free)
Mountain View scales Bobby G Awards' 2016 peak
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 list


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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.

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