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(L to R) Marcel Forestieri (as Donald Trump) wins 2017 Newshound Reel Award, while Suzie Kennedy (as Marilyn Monroe) looks on.
Photo credit to: Allen Dye Photography for The Reel Awards/International Celebrity Images

Las Vegas (February 23, 2017) – International Celebrity Images presented the 23rd Production of THE REEL AWARDS, an entertaining two and a half-hour tongue in cheek parody, spoof, and tribute to the real Academy Awards and other Hollywood-style awards shows, on Monday, February 20, 2017 at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

The annual show was Co-Hosted by Dee Dee Hanson as Joan Rivers (California) and Bobbie Winslow as Fran Drescher (Texas).  Their upbeat and entertaining patter was a show unto itself as they bantered back and forth, in character, introducing the awards presenters and the evening’s featured performers. Both Hanson and Winslow are in high demand as professional tribute artists who make a substantial living as impersonators and are some of the finest professionals in the tribute artist industry.

Keith George (as Boy George) wins 2017 Pop and Rock Reel Awards
Photo credit to: Allen Dye Photography for The Reel Awards/International Celebrity Images

THE REEL AWARDS event kicked off at 5:00 pm with red carpet arrivals, hosted by none other than Dee Dee Hanson as Joan Rivers, who interviewed a long line of celebrity impersonators.  Located on Fremont Street next to the Golden Nugget Hotel, an entertainment hot spot in old downtown Las Vegas, the red carpet was bordered with a line of camera crews and reporters, along with a crowd of locals and tourists who gathered in excitement at the chance to see the faux stars in action. THE REEL AWARDS™ brought the excitement of a Hollywood awards show to Vegas.

Suzie Kennedy (as Marilyn Monroe) at 2017 Reel Awards.
Photo credit to: Allen Dye Photography for The Reel Awards/International Celebrity Images

THE REEL AWARDS SHOW began at 7:00 pm with an stellar roster of tribute artists slated to perform.  The crowd was entertained by James Anthony as Frank Sinatra (Virginia), Suzie Kennedy as Marilyn Monroe (United Kingdom), Troy Anderson as Louis Armstrong (Florida), Andrea Tyler as Adele (Florida), and Bill Pantazisas George Michael (British Columbia). The second half featured performances by Sherie Rae Parker (Nevada), Pavel Sfera as Bono (California), Keith George as Boy George (United Kingdom & Tenerife), Kathy Shelby as Wynonna Judd (Nevada), Connie Crawford as Naomi Judd (Nevada), Heidi Thompson as Cher (Nevada), and Gene Sironen as Elton John (Nevada).

Fifteen REEL AWARDS were presented throughout the evening in various categories. The awards hostess was Erika Winslow as Lady Gaga (Texas).  Each award recipient was introduced by two celebrity impersonators who presented “The Can” which is a gold film can inscribed with the name of the award and the recipient.  Presenters hailed from throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Germany.

Honors were awarded to those who have risen to the top of the tribute artist entertainment industry and to individuals who have paralleled the success of some of Hollywood’s most famous entertainers in movies, television, and music, as well as famous names in politics and sports. Recipients of THE REEL AWARDS are nominated by their industry peers through an electronic ballot process based on their performances and accomplishments throughout the year.

The 2017 Winners of THE REEL AWARDS
Awards Winners of the 23rd Production of THE REEL AWARDS
Monday, February 20, 2017, Showroom, Golden Nugget – Las Vegas

  • Best Actor:  David Born as “Robin Williams” (Texas)

  • Best Actress:  Suzie Kennedy as “Marilyn Monroe” (United Kingdom)

  • Bea Fogelman Lifetime Achievement Award:  Dee Dee Hanson as “Joan Rivers” (California)

  • Comedy: David Born as “Robin Williams” (Texas)

  • Newshound Award:  Marcel Forestieri as “Donald Trump” (Nevada)

  • Peter Banks Humanitarian Award:  Camille Terry as “Marilyn Monroe” (Florida)

  • Tribute Band:  David Brighton Space Oddity Tribute to “David Bowie” (California)

  • Rising Star:  Andrea Tyler as “Adele” (Florida)

  • Country’s Hottest Hitter:  CJ Morgan as “Dolly Parton” (Tennessee)

  • Pop N’ Rock for Reel Award:  Keith George as “Boy George” (United Kingdom & Tenerife)

  • R & B Feelin’ Good Award:  Tony McKay as “Prince” (California)

  • Classic Crooner:  Gary Anthony as “Frank Sinatra” (Nevada)

  • Impersonator You Love to Work With:  Matt Kay as “Johnny Depp” (Florida)

  • Gene Greytak Most Professional Impersonator Award: Sherie Rae Parker as “Bette Midler” (Nevada)

  • Director/Producer: Kurt Brown, Brown Productions for “All Shook Up”, “The Man in Black,” “Man In The Mirror,” and “Superstars on Stage” (Nevada)

Logo credit to: International Celebrity Images

 The 23rd Production of THE REEL AWARDS recognizes the talents and achievements of outstanding individuals or groups who perform in the field of impersonation.  THE REEL AWARDS was initially conceived in 1989 by Janna Joos of International Celebrity Images and Alana Joos of Entertainment Express.  Together they came up with the idea of an Awards Show for Celebrity Impersonators, Tribute Artists, and Look-Alikes as a way of acknowledging their professional performances in the entertainment industry, as well as encouraging up and coming new talent.

The first Awards Show was presented in March 1992 in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the home of the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1928.  THE REEL AWARDSä spoofs other award shows that are like the Academy Awards. Instead of the “Oscar,” the award recipients receive the “Can,” which is a film reel can inscribed with the award category and winner’s name.

The roster of Celebrity Impersonators, Tribute Artists, and Look-Alikes has made this event a favorite with the public and press alike.  THE REEL AWARDS has been featured in the media from Los Angeles to Austria, Japan, and Israel, as well as on the BBC, The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Bill Geist, and CBS Sunday Morning Show, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, E! Entertainment, People Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, among numerous other news outlets and publications.

During that same week, the producers held the Tribute Artists Convention which offers participants the opportunity to meet and network with others in the business, attend seminars and perform in showcases for talent bookers, managers, agents, producers and the general public. The Convention ran from Tuesday, February 21st – Wednesday, February 22nd, also at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino.  To learn more please visit, http://www.TheReelAwards.com

Photos credit to: Allen Dye Photography for The Reel Awards/International Celebrity Images

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