Rain delay adds dramatic flair to musical awards featuring SM East singer

Lily Kaufmann performing at the Blue Star Awards at Starlight.

Some of Kansas City’s brightest young performers had to wait out an hour-long rain delay before they got to shine Thursday during the 10th annual Blue Star Awards.

SM East junior Lily Kaufmann was one of five metro-area girls tapped for a featured performance before a crowd of hundreds at Starlight Theatre for the awards ceremony, which honors the best of high school musical theater throughout the metro area.

But just fifteen minutes into the awards show, torrential rains drove the  patrons — parents and performers many of whom were in formal attire — beneath shelters to wait out the driving rain and winds. The ceremony resumed about an hour later.

Kaufmann was nominated in the Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role category for playing Rose Alvarez in SM East’s production of Bye, Bye Birdie. Lee’s Summit’s Brooke Myers won the category for her portrayal of Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls.

SM East had two additional nominations. Maddie Roberts was nominated in Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role for her work as Ursula Merkle. That category was won by Haley Crane of Raymore-Peculiar for a role in Legally Blonde the Musical.

And the entire Bye, Bye Birdie cast was nominated in the Best Ensemble Cast category, but lost to Blue Valley’s Crazy For You cast.

Theater program director Brian Cappello said he was thrilled that the cast had been nominated, especially considering the initial reaction he got from students when this year’s musical was announced.

“When they heard it was Bye, Bye Birdie, they kind of groaned,” he said. “Kids like to do the newer, hipper shows. But once we got everyone on board, they really started to embrace it.”

Tony-award nominated actor Brian D’Arcy James, known recently for his role in the NBC series SMASH, was the featured guest presenter for the evening.

Brian Cappello and Lily Kaufmann at Starlight prior to the start of the ceremony.