…And the Cappies award for Lead Actor in a Musical goes to Kyle Dalsimer!


Junior Kyle Dalsimer is accepting his award for Best Lead Actor in a Musical at the 2017-2018 Cappies Gala.

Galilea Sejas, Arts Editor

The lights are low and there is a single spotlight on the stage.

“And the Cappies award for Lead Actor in a Musical goes to Kyle Dalsimer!” said City of Fairfax Schools superintendent, Dr. Phyllis Pajardo.

The Kennedy Center immediately roared with cheers from the AHS students and fellow Cappies critics, and from the tens of hundreds of students and families who attended the Cappies Gala.

The AHS Theatre Company had one nomination and won the award for best lead actor in a musical from junior Kyle Dalsimer’s performance as the Hunchback in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Peter Parnell.

“It really is an honor to have won the Cappie for lead actor in a musical. So many amazing performers did amazing work this year so it’s truly humbling to be recognized amping them,” said Dalsimer.

The Cappies Gala is an annual award show, similar to that of the Tony’s or Oscar’s award show, where local students are celebrated for their outstanding achievement in any theatrical performance seen and reviewed by high school Cappies critics.

It’s a formal event that many theater students look forward to seeing at the end of the year. They may showcase the best theater school performances in Fairfax and Loudoun County.

The Gala serves as a recap of the year: showing the various students who were nominated, as well as students who were a part of the Cappies critic team.

This year, senior and Cappies critic, Kathy Strong, performed in the closing number of the awards ceremony in her Gargoyle costume from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” to show another close of an amazing year with theatrical performances.

From late October of last year to early May of this year, there were 60 schools who performed 59 different musicals or plays, all of which were seen by the tens of hundreds of Cappies critics who voted on which lucky five would be nominated to receive an award in a select category.

The categories included all aspects of any theatrical performance, from a technical aspect (i.e. props and stage management) to the acting (i.e. best lead actor and best lead male vocalist).

There were also performances from the schools, such as the notable performance of “The Phantom of the Opera” by Westfield HS students, who were nominated for best musical or play.

“Sitting in our seats and watching each award get handed out and performances from the best schools in the area really allowed me to see more into the theatre world,” said junior Christina Le.

“Seeing the other schools was really nice even though I don’t talk to very many of them, but going to their shows made me a fan and I was just starstruck at times,” said junior Viann Tran.

“From being at the gala, you could see that theater is a loving and supportive community. I could see specific sections of the crowd cheering for the nominees because they would standing, jumping, shouting, just everything to show their support.”

Over the course of the school year, the Cappies critics decide, from the five shows they’ve seen, which actors or technicians deserved the nominations.

Despite having received a broken elbow only days before the opening night of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, it only improved Dalsimer’s performance. It allowed him to seek new ways to use the challenge of having an injury to improve as an actor through enhancing his role as Quasimodo.

“It was mainly a really happy moment because we got to stand up and give him a standing ovation, yell, shout and have pride in the amazing talent in the Annandale Theater Company. Getting recognition is very nice and even though technically only Kyle was recognized, we were all incredibly happy and proud,” said junior Ioana Marin.

The last Cappies award the AHS was nominated for and won was for best ensemble in a musical, in the performance of “The Music Man.”

The Cappies Gala gives recognition to high school theater and it allows people who share a common passion for theater to reconnect and support various high school students.

“What’s important is creating something that will impact people. So this award won’t change my outlook or anything,” said Dalsimer. “I’ll continue working extremely hard to improve as a performer and be the best I can be.”