0
Votes

It’s on to The Kennedy Center

Robinson’s musical, “Hairspray,” nominated for eight Cappies.

(From left) Hannah Sikora as Tracy and Jackson Viccora as her mom Edna sing with the cast of “Hairspray.”

(From left) Hannah Sikora as Tracy and Jackson Viccora as her mom Edna sing with the cast of “Hairspray.” Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.

Each year, the Cappies program honors the best in high-school theater, and Robinson Secondary’s high-octane musical, “Hairspray,” has been nominated for eight awards. The winners will be unveiled June 9, during the 14th annual Cappies Gala at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

“I’m very excited to see the recognition Cappies provides to our show and to other schools,” said Robinson Theater Director Chip Rome. “We had a tremendous time working on the show, and the chance to perform a part of it before 2,400 people at the Kennedy Center is a unique experience.”

Robinson was nominated for best musical, song, supporting actress in a musical, comic actor in a musical, male vocalist, male dancer, ensemble, and marketing and publicity. It’s one of the first schools in the area to do “Hairspray” and, said Rome, “It has a huge cast and more production numbers than any other musical I can think of.”

“This show has a clever book with wonderful music and a real optimism, and the cast was unified and enthusiastic,” he said. “I think that positive energy of both the actors and story combined to give the audience euphoria by the end of the show. It’s a wonderfully uplifting story, plus all the emotional pull of the music that goes with it.”

photo

Mother and daughter: Jackson Viccora (as Edna) and Hannah Sikora (as Tracy) in a scene from Robinson’s production of “Hairspray.” The musical received eight Cappies nominations.

NOMINATED for male vocalist was Michael Lamar, who portrayed a woman. “Michael’s just plain talented,” said Rome. “He’s smooth and laid back, and this role was a risk. It’s not normally played by a male, but he had the best voice for it. And we thought, if he’d buy into it, it could work.”

Initially, Lamar struggled with the character. But, said Rome, “When he got the costume, makeup and accessories, he was able to become the character and saw it was right. And once he got the audience response, he was able to fly with it.”

Because of Lamar’s rendition of “I Know Where I’ve Been,” Robinson received a best-song nomination. “The biggest surprise was for him to get a standing ovation in the middle of the show,” said Rome. “It was so exciting—and something I’ve never seen anywhere else. It’s something he’ll hang onto his whole life. I was also pleased that several students new to theater were in that number and, hopefully, will stick with it.”

Katie Rogers got the nod for supporting actress in a musical. “She’s got natural comic timing, is a dancer, has an expressive face and a sweetness,” said Rome. “I think that combination made her a character you just couldn’t stop watching.”

Nominated for comic actor in a musical, Spencer Boyd had “rubbery arms and really got the playfulness of the joke-store owner” he portrayed, said Rome. “And he was delightfully comfortable working with Jackson [Viccora] as Edna. So the chemistry between husband and wife was palpable and wonderful to watch. Theirs was also a show-stopping number.”

Ivonte Milligan garnered a male-dancer nod. “Four years ago, he was an inventive, creative kid without self-discipline,” said Rome. “But he’s grown and developed that judgment to focus his talent and discover that putting in the work really pays off. He made the role of Seaweed come alive.”

The Council Kids dancers were nominated for ensemble in a musical. “They were so perfect, they could be on corn flakes boxes,” said Rome. “They really got that cheesy, bright-smile-if-it-kills-me energy.”

Sarah Irving, Sean Cooper and Brennan Laskas were nominated for a new category, marketing and publicity. “Sarah was our point person and jumped in before auditions with a design logo,” said Rome. “We had T-shirts, sweatpants, business cards, posters, a banner outside the theater, road signs in the streets and a flash mob in the cafeteria.”

He also praised Hannah Sikora who, as the lead, was on stage the entire show. “She was the right person for the role,” he said. “She had the look, the musical range, dancing ability and tremendous stage presence.”

“We had a tremendous time working on the show, and the chance to perform a part of it before 2,400 people at the Kennedy Center is a unique experience.”

-- Robinson Theater Director Chip Rome

LOOKING FORWARD to the Cappies Gala, Rome added, “I’m happy for anything we win but, honestly, we’ve already won. I’m proud to work in Fairfax County where so many schools are doing such wonderful work.”