Graduated senior Austin Dalgleish won the “Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role” award for his performance in the winter musical, Little Shop of Horrors, last night at the Kansas City Starlight Blue Star Awards. This is the third year in a row that East has won the Outstanding Actor or Actress category.
“I totally thought it was going to be this one guy [Zach Faust of Winnetonka High School],” Dalgleish said. “They said my name and I definitely thought I hallucinated or something. It was just surreal. I just stood up and slowly walked to this huge stage and a giant spotlight follows you in the audience. I had no idea what I was doing.”
The Blue Star Awards is Starlight’s version of The Tonys for Kansas City high school theatre. Dalgleish went up against 5 other nominees out of the 48 schools were represented at this year’s ceremony.
Dalgleish played the main character, Seymour, in Little Shop this February and was also nominated in the same category for his performance as Doug Panch in the fall musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
“He made [Seymour] very lovable,” Little Shop director Brian Cappello said of Dalgleish. “Audiences need someone to connect to and even when Seymour is contemplating evil, you still know that everything’s going to be okay and Austin really tapped into that and played that off well.”
Cappello believes this is not just a fluke by the performing arts department. He expects East to win again for next year’s musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
“People say, ‘Oh it will never happen again,’” Cappello said. “Well it does the next year. The people we have coming up, oh my god, they’re phenomenal. The kids we have for next year, it’s gonna be just a great show.”
Besides the big trophy, Dalgleish will be going on a free trip to New York as a result of his win. Next up, he’ll be continuing his passion in Union Station’s production of The Wedding Singer and majoring in theatre at the University of Southern California this fall.