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Cass Tech drama teacher honored with Tony Award

As a drama teacher for the past 39 years, Marilyn McCormick has felt at home on Cass Technical High School’s stage. But on Sunday night, she graced a different stage to accept a Tony Award. McCormick received the Excellence in Theater Education Award that honors professionals who “discover talented students, nurture them, inspire them and set them off on a lifelong journey as theater supporters,” the Tony website says.

In her acceptance speech, McCormick gave a special thank you to Cass Tech Principal Lisa Phillips. “I’d like to thank my students who have been an inspiration over the years to me ... I am because you are. You are the next Lin-Manuel Miranda. You are the next Audra MacDonald,” she said, ticking off more Broadway names. Speaking to the performers in the audience, she told them “whether you realize it or not, each and everyone one of you has touched me in a very special way and helped to make my life complete.”

McCormick’s students, who affectionately call her “MC,” nominated her for the Tony given in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University and honored her in a video on the Tony Awards Facebook page. “Ms. McCormick loves you straight, no chaser, and that allows for you to blossom in any, and many, different directions,” one woman said in the video. Cass Tech student Yakira Allen, 15, had McCormick for acting. She told The Detroit News that McCormick “teaches from the heart” and made her classroom feel like a family. “She’s very welcoming and really opened my eyes to different perspectives of acting,” Allen says. Vice principal Velma Snow echoed that the award, which comes with a $10,000 grant for the school’s theater program, is “very well deserved.”

Wrapping up her two-minute speech, McCormick — who’s retiring at the end of this school year — said this was the best way to end her career. “There’s no better way to go out than to win this Tony Award in a time when there’s so much diversity among the nominees. I am grateful.”

Sophia Loren comes to Detroit Opera House

Actress Sophia Loren will appear at the Detroit Opera House on Sept. 14 for what is being billed as “A Captivating Evening with Sophia Loren.” The Academy Award-winner, 81, will take the stage to talk about her life, Italy and films. Tickets for the event, which is presented by Andiamo Italia, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday. Tickets are $29-$500 and some VIP, meet-and-greet packages are available. Call (800) 745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com.

Adam Levine offers to pay for Grimmie’s funeral

Singer and former “Voice” contestant Christina Grimmie was shot and killed Friday by a stranger at her concert in Orlando. Her “Voice” coach, Adam Levine, took to social media to express his condolences. Grimmie’s brother, Marcus Grimmie, posted to Facebook on Sunday saying Levine called his mother and offered to pay for the funeral. “I was blown away,” he posted.

Also ...

Gordon Ramsay posted to Facebook on Monday revealing that his wife, Tana, miscarried their son at five months. “We’re together healing as a family, but we want to thank everyone again for all your amazing support and well wishes.”

AMP Radio – 98.7 (WDZH-FM) has added on-air personality Jon Gay, also known as “Jag,” to the midday lineup. He’ll be on 10 a.m.-3 p.m. starting Wednesday.

Compiled by Melody Baetens and Stephanie Steinberg

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Tuesday’s birthdays

Marla Gibbs, 85

Donald Trump, 70

Boy George, 55

Faizon Love, 48

MC Ren, 47

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