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Sultans of Stage

8th Annual Cappies gala held Sunday at The Kennedy Center.

Eli Mangold was numb. Sam Klein was shocked. Chloe Richard nearly passed out.

Winning a Cappies award can have those kinds of effects. Mangold, Klein and Richard were among the local students honored at the 8th Annual Cappies Gala at the Kennedy Center last Sunday, an awards ceremony honoring the best in the Washington, D.C. region’s high school theater.

"I feel like I'm about to pass out; I was shaking," said Richard, who was honored as Best Cameo Actress for her role in Winston Churchill High School’s “Singin’ in the Rain” last fall. I psyched myself to believe I wasn't going to get it because I didn't want to be disappointed. Now I feel good, and very surprised. It's a nice way to cap off my senior year.”

CHURCHILL RECEIVED THREE Cappies, second only to South County High School, which won four. (Chantilly High School also won three Cappies.) Sam Klien won Best Cameo Actor, and Churchill won Best Symphony Orchestra, also for their performances in “Singin’ in the Rain.”

"It is the most awesome thing because I love Cappies,” Klein said. “I had no idea [I'd win] because there are so many people participating."

Thomas Wootton High School won Best Sound for its production of “Children of Eden” last fall. Accepting the award were Wootton seniors Matt Culbertson and Eli Mangold.

"I'm pretty numb, right now, but excited," Mangold said.

St. Andrew’s senior Tim Rogan won Best Male Vocalist for his role in “Carousel” last fall. His two, main songs were "Soliloquy" and "If I Loved You."

"I'm really excited. I was nominated for this, my freshman year, but didn't win, so it feels good, the second time around," Rogan said.

Rogan will intern this summer for U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and then will go scuba diving in Hawaii for vacation. He'll attend the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., to major in biology and music.

CHANTILLY AND South County high schools won the top awards at the Eighth Annual Cappies Gala on Sunday night at The Kennedy Center. Chantilly's "The Man Who Came to Dinner" was named Best Play, and South County's "Thoroughly Modern Millie" received the Cappie for Best Musical.

Lead Actor and Actress in a Musical were Nate Rossini, Centreville, and Molly Dickerson, South County, respectively.

Rossini's solo, "Confrontation," was also selected the Best Song. Cameron Doucette, Lake Braddock, won the Cappie for Lead Actor in a Play for "Hamlet," and Amanda Fernandez, Duke Ellington, was named Lead Actress in a Play for "Glass Menagerie."

Some 55 high schools from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., competed, and 37 Cappies were presented. Some 24 high schools won at least one award. Except for the awards given to the critics, all the Cappies were based on the votes of 302 student critics.

A special highlight of the show was a musical tribute in honor of two of the Virginia Tech victims, Westfield High grad Reema Samaha and Annandale grad Mary Read, whose pictures were projected on two large screens during the performance.

Westfield alumni Kevin Manship and Barry Armbruster sang a special adaptation of "Sunrise, Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof," and Westfield sophomore Alex Kruszewski danced.

Samaha was a featured dancer in "Fiddler" — which won the 2005 Cappie for Best Musical. Sunday's tribute also included a clarinet solo in honor of Read, who played clarinet in the pit band for Annandale's Cappies shows.