High schoolers win big `Beach Blanket’ bucks

After San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom took his foot out of his mouth (he made an inappropriate comment about gay marriage), and after former SF Mayor Willie Brown introduced a film clip, and after the Beach Blanket Babylon cast throttled a song from Wicked, the Beach Blanket Babylon Scholarship for the Arts competition got under way and did what it has been doing for six years: giving high school seniors money to pursue their passion for the arts.

Monday night’s judging panel, picking a winner from three finalists in each of three categories (dance, acting and singing), included Tracy Chapman, Harry Denton, Gordon Getty, David Gockley, Chuy Gomez, Rita Moreno, Jonathan Moscone, Carey Perloff, Don Sanchez, Tony Taccone, Jan Wahl and Brenda Way. Don Bleu served as master of ceremonies with assists from Silver’s widow, Jo Schuman Silver.

And this year’s winners are, each receiving a $10,000 scholarship, are:

In the dancing category:
CHELSEA McLAUGHLIN – Eastside College Preparatory, East Palo Alto
Chelsea, who danced to Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind,” said she plans to study dance at Fordham University at the Ailey School.

In the acting category:
SHAYLIN HOYE – Novato High School, Novato
Shaylin, who performed a monologue from Peter Shaffer’s Eqqus, said she will attend Concordia University in Irvine. “And will you pursue acting?” Bleu asked. “I might now,” she answered.

In the singing category:
SARA LEMESH – Terra Linda High School, San Rafael
Sara, who sang an aria from A Masked Ball, plans to attend Rice University and said she has been singing opera since she was 12.

Congratulations and well done!

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