A Christmas Carol at Playhouse in the Park

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I’ve really enjoyed watching A Christmas Carol at Playhouse in the Park in Cincinnati over the past few years. It’s become a holiday tradition with a familiar story that still offers a little something different each year. My favorite elements are observing the cast make familiar characters their own and watching the set transform. It’s really incredible to watch actors rise up from below the floor. If you have watched the play over the years, you will recognize returning cast members along with new ones who add their own personality to their character.  Bruce Croomer once again delivers as a convincing Scrooge. He really becomes Scrooge after playing the role for so many years. The classic story remains the same which is a reminder to keep the main thing, the main thing.

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The Playhouse’s version of A Christmas Carol, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, combines faithful storytelling with spellbinding stage magic to bring to life Charles Dickens’ familiar story of a sinner given one last chance at redemption by four persuasive ghosts. Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a miraculous Christmas Eve transformation as he views with new eyes his past, present and the possibilities of the future. Adapted by Howard Dallin, A Christmas Carol‘s heartwarming message, hundreds of costumes and thrilling special effects help to make the show one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each year.

A Christmas Carol

The cast of the 25th anniversary production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL features a mix of new and familiar actors. Bruce Cromer, the longest-tenured of the four actors who have filled Ebenezer Scrooge’s miserly shoes, returns to the role for the 11th time this season. (Cromer previously portrayed long-suffering clerk Bob Cratchit for eight years.) Also returning are Avery Clark as Young and Mature Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Future, Craig Wesley Divino as Fred, Joy Farmer-Clary as Belle/Catherine Margaret, Annie Fitzpatrick as Mrs. Fezziwig/Patience, Ryan Wesley Gilreath as Bob Cratchit/Schoolmaster Oxlip, Kelly Mengelkoch as Mrs. Cratchit/Laundress, Gregory Procaccino as Jacob Marley/Old Joe, Douglas Rees as Mr. Fezziwig/Ghost of Christmas Present, Nick Rose as Mr. Cupp/Percy/Rich Man at Fezziwig’s and Stephen Skiles as Mr. Sosser/Topper/Man with Shoe Shine/Guest at Fezziwig’s.

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New to A CHRISTMAS CAROL this season is Cincinnati native Kathleen Wise, who is making her Playhouse debut as Ghost of Christmas Past/Mrs. Peake.
Members of the Playhouse’s Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern Company — Law Dunford, Kyle Powell, Serena Ryen, Robert Carlton Stimmel, Erin Ward, Renika Williams and Lilian Wouters — will play carolers, party guests and others.

Nine Tristate children also appear in A CHRISTMAS CAROL; this season, six new actors join the three veteran junior cast members. Returning are Nathan E. Goodlett as George/Charles/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s, Livvy Stubenrauch as Fan/Guest at Fezziwig’s and Ethan Verderber as Peter Cratchit/Gregory/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s. New to the production this year are Ella Gallagan as Belinda Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Ari Elizabeth Johnson as Want/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Aidan McCracken as Ignorance/Matthew/Rich Son at Fezziwig’s, Ashley Taylor as Martha Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Austin Vaughan as Boy Scrooge/Guest at Fezziwig’s/Bootblack and Henry Charles Weghorst as Tiny Tim.

A Christmas Carol NOV. 25DEC. 30, 2015

A Christmas Carol is suitable for all general audiences, including children ages 5 and older. Due to the full-length nature of the show, children younger than 5 cannot be admitted.

Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL start at $40. Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices. Tickets for children, teenagers and students are $30 and $45. Tickets for the public preview, which will be performed at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, begin at $35. The official opening night is at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27.
The Playhouse is fully accessible. Audio enhancement receivers, large print programs and complete wheelchair access are available.

Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are on sale now. For ticket information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.

 

 

Playhouse in the Park is located at 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202.

All photos by MIKKI SCHAFFNER provided courtesy of Playhouse in the Park.

Disclosure: I received tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS on Broadway

IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS

Is watching White Christmas part of your holiday tradition each year?

IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS on Broadway is a great way to kick off the holiday season whether it’s your favorite holiday movie or your first time discovering the story.

White Christmas on Broadway

The classic holiday movie White Christmas comes to the stage at last! This brand new musical shines with classic Berlin hits like “Blue Skies,” “How Deep is the Ocean?” and, of course, the unforgettable title song. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas tells the story of two buddies putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and finding their perfect mates in the process. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas promises a merry and bright theatrical experience for the whole family!

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I was vaguely familiar with the plot my husband had never seen the movie before but we both loved the Broadway play! The music reminded us of our grandparents and the dance numbers were AMAZING! I seriously want to take up tap dancing after observing those incredible tap skills.


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The New York Times exclaims “this cozy trip down memory lane should be put on your wish list.” And, the New York Daily News hailed IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS as “a holiday card come to life.”

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I have to agree with the New York Times. This play brings back Christmas nostalgia from years past and puts a smile to your face.

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IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS will play the Aronoff Center from

November 24 – December 6, 2015

 

Thanksgiving Week 11/24 – 29 Schedule

Tuesday 7:30PM

Wednesday 7:30PM

Thursday Thanksgiving Day, no performance

Friday 1:00PM and 8:00PM

Week of 11/30 – 12/6

Tuesday 7:30PM

Wednesday 7:30PM

Thursday 7:30PM

Friday 8:00PM

 

Saturday 2:00PM and 8:00PM                                                         Saturday 2:00PM and 8:00PM

Sunday 1:00PM and 6:30 PM                                                            Sunday 1:00PM and 6:30PM

 

Tickets for IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS start at $29.

They are available at the Aronoff Center Box Office downtown at 650 Walnut Street, online at CincinnatiArts.org or by phone at 513.621.ARTS.

For groups of 10 or more, contact the group sales department at 513.369.4363. Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice.

For more information, please visit www.BroadwayInCincinnati.com.

 

For more information on IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS, visit www.whitechristmathemusical.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with a Cast Member from the Broadway Play “PIPPIN”

Pippin 3__1143 The Cast of the National Touring Production of PIPPIN. Credit Terry Shapiro

Have you heard of the Broadway play “PIPPIN” before?

I haven’t seen the play before but I’m looking forward to it. Here is a little more about the play.

PIPPIN is a high-flying, death-defying hit musical full of extraordinary acrobatics, wondrous magical feats and soaring songs from the composer of WICKED.

This unforgettable new production will lift you up and leave you smiling! Winner of four 2013 Tony Awards® including Best Musical Revival. Hailed by audiences and critics alike this “an eye-popping, jaw-dropping extravaganza” PIPPIN is coming to a city near you! Experience PIPPIN, one young man’s journey to be extraordinary.

I had the opportunity to interview one of the youngest cast members of the play. Ben Krieger is one of the actors that plays the role of Theo.

Pippin GABRIELLE McCLINTON (Leading Player) BRIAN FLORES (Pippin) JOHN RUBINSTEIN (Charles) SABRINA HARPER (Fastrada, u/s Leading Player, u/s Berthe) BRADLEY BENJAMIN (Catherine) PRISCILLA LOPEZ (Berthe) ERIK ALTEMUS (Lewis, u/s Pippin) JAKE BERMAN (Theo) DMITRIOUS BISTREVSKY (Player) MARK BURRELL (Swing, Assistant Choreographer, Dance Captain, u/s Charles) MATHEW deGUZMAN (Player, u/s Lewis) SASHA BACHMAN (Player) LOUIS EL (Player) HENRY GOTTFRIED (Swing, u/s Pippin, u/s Lewis) LAURA HALL (Player, u/s Catherine, u/s Fastrada) LISA KARLIN (Player, u/s Leading Player, u/s Berthe) ALAN KELLY (Player, u/s Charles) ANNA KACHALOVA (Player) BEN KRIEGER (Theo) KEVEN LANGLOIS (Player) ANNA SCHNAITTER (Swing, u/s Catherine) KATIE SMITH (Swing) KATE WESLER (Swing, u/s Fastrada) BORRIS YORK (Player)

 

How long have you been an actor?

2 years

How did you get started?

I wanted to be in a play with my big sister. It looked fun.

How long have you been touring with the Broadway play Pippin?

Since July 21

What’s your acting history?

I was in a couple student shows at a place called StarStruck in Stuart, Florida. One of the shows was called “The Composer Series” and featured songs by Stephen Schwartz. My first big thing I ever did was sing a solo in that show. I sang “Corner of the Sky” from Pippin!  After that I did two professional shows at The Maltz Jupiter Theater in my hometown. I was in Fiddler on the Roof and then I played Gavroche in Les Miz. That’s when I knew I wanted to do this forever.

What’s been your favorite experience so far?

All of it

What’s been the most challenging experience?

Trying not to be fidgety

What’s it like to be a younger actor in the cast?

It’s awesome. The grown ups treat me like a friend. I love it.

What have been some of the most memorable cities that you’ve visited?

Seattle, Chicago,  Tokyo, Portland

Do you get much free time on tour?

We did in the summer but now we are in school during the day. But we get to sleep late and I love that.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Playing minecraft, watching Friends on Netflix and Modern Family. I also love puzzles and Soduko and stuff like that.

 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue their dream to become a Broadway?

Make sure you love it and you have fun otherwise it’s a waste of time.

 

Thanks again to Ben Kreiger for sharing with us today. You can find out more about PIPPIN from their website.

 

PIPPIN will be in Cincinnati at the Aronoff from October 13-18. You can get your tickets here.

Motown the Musical on Broadway

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Motown the Musical is a show that connects to you on so many levels. I’m still replaying the songs in my head the day after ….and that’s a good thing! The music features top hits from some of the most beloved Motown artists of all time that will keep a smile on your face from beginning to end.

Here is a little more about the show.

Directed by Charles Randolph-WrightMOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, StevieWonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more. Featuring more than 40 classic hits such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,”MOTOWN THE MUSICAL tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat.

Motown the Musical CLIFTON OLIVER (Berry Gordy) Clifton Oliver is honored to be a part of the Motown family. Broadway: The Lion King (Simba), In The Heights (Benny opposite Jordin Sparks), Wicked (Fiyero). Nat'l Tours: The Lion King (Simba), Rent (Benny & Collins), Ragtime (Ensemble). Regional: Pal Joey (Arkansas Rep.), Kinky Boots (Lola's standby for Bill Porter), West Coast Tour of The Scottsboro Boys (Charlie/Victoria), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Victor), Godspell (Judas) MUNY. Television: "Law and READ MORE ? ALLISON SEMES (Diana Ross) Chicago native. B.M. Opera at UIUC, M.M. from NYU-Steinhardt. Broadway credits: Motown the Musical, Florence Ballard & The Book of Mormon, Nabalungi U/S, Swing. Other credits include: The Color Purple National Tour, Dreamgirls, Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Wiz, Candide. I want to thank you Bethany and everyone at Telsey, Renee, my CCC/ KACC/ GIAME families, Momma & Poppa Bear, Emile, QVD, and my friends for the unconditional love and support! READ MORE ? NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER (Smokey Robinson) Born in Bermuda and raised in Boston, MA. Studied at both The Boston Conservatory and The Juilliard School. 1st National Tour: In The Heights. Off-Broadway: Rent, Hurt Village. Thank you family, friends and SMS for your lurve and support. JARRAN MUSE (Marvin Gaye) A native Jersey boy couldn't be happier living his dream. God is good yall. Broadway/NYC: Motown The Musical, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Dreamgirls; International Tours: American Idiot, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, 42nd Street. Regional Theater: Marriott Lincolnshire, Portland Center Stage (Will Parker in Oklahoma!), Goodspeed, Fulton Opera Houses, Pittsburgh CLO. Thank you to Mr. GORDY, Charles, and Telsey for this new opportunity to bring Marvin to stage READ MORE ? ERICK BUCKLEY (Ensemble) Broadway/National Tours: Valjean in Les Miserables, Uncle Fester in The Addams Family, Dave in The Full Monty, Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera, Gangster #1 Kiss Me, Kate, Roger in Grease

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is produced by Tony Award® winning producer Kevin McCollum (RentIn the HeightsAvenue Q), who was recently named Distinguished VisitingProfessor at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of music, where he is an alumnus.   MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is also produced by Chairman and CEO of SONYMusic Entertainment Doug Morris and Motown founder Berry Gordy.
Motown Tour
A few years ago, my family visited the Hitsville U.S.A. Motown Museum in Detroit, Michigan. It was incredible to walk into the building that birthed a musical movement that is still cherished by multiple generations today. We stood in rooms that legendary artists recorded their smash hits in. After watching Motown the Musical, I want to revisit Hitsville U.S.A. even more because I have an even greater appreciation for what unfolded there.

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Motown the Musical CLIFTON OLIVER (Berry Gordy) Clifton Oliver is honored to be a part of the Motown family. Broadway: The Lion King (Simba), In The Heights (Benny opposite Jordin Sparks), Wicked (Fiyero). Nat'l Tours: The Lion King (Simba), Rent (Benny & Collins), Ragtime (Ensemble). Regional: Pal Joey (Arkansas Rep.), Kinky Boots (Lola's standby for Bill Porter), West Coast Tour of The Scottsboro Boys (Charlie/Victoria), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Victor), Godspell (Judas) MUNY. Television: "Law and READ MORE ? ALLISON SEMES (Diana Ross) Chicago native. B.M. Opera at UIUC, M.M. from NYU-Steinhardt. Broadway credits: Motown the Musical, Florence Ballard & The Book of Mormon, Nabalungi U/S, Swing. Other credits include: The Color Purple National Tour, Dreamgirls, Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Wiz, Candide. I want to thank you Bethany and everyone at Telsey, Renee, my CCC/ KACC/ GIAME families, Momma & Poppa Bear, Emile, QVD, and my friends for the unconditional love and support! READ MORE ? NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER (Smokey Robinson) Born in Bermuda and raised in Boston, MA. Studied at both The Boston Conservatory and The Juilliard School. 1st National Tour: In The Heights. Off-Broadway: Rent, Hurt Village. Thank you family, friends and SMS for your lurve and support. JARRAN MUSE (Marvin Gaye) A native Jersey boy couldn't be happier living his dream. God is good yall. Broadway/NYC: Motown The Musical, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Dreamgirls; International Tours: American Idiot, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, 42nd Street. Regional Theater: Marriott Lincolnshire, Portland Center Stage (Will Parker in Oklahoma!), Goodspeed, Fulton Opera Houses, Pittsburgh CLO. Thank you to Mr. GORDY, Charles, and Telsey for this new opportunity to bring Marvin to stage READ MORE ? ERICK BUCKLEY (Ensemble) Broadway/National Tours: Valjean in Les Miserables, Uncle Fester in The Addams Family, Dave in The Full Monty, Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera, Gangster #1 Kiss Me, Kate, Roger in Grease

You will absolutely fall in love with actor Leon Outlaw Jr., who plays a younger version of Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. His singing and dancing will put a big smile on your face.

Motown the Musical CLIFTON OLIVER (Berry Gordy) Clifton Oliver is honored to be a part of the Motown family. Broadway: The Lion King (Simba), In The Heights (Benny opposite Jordin Sparks), Wicked (Fiyero). Nat'l Tours: The Lion King (Simba), Rent (Benny & Collins), Ragtime (Ensemble). Regional: Pal Joey (Arkansas Rep.), Kinky Boots (Lola's standby for Bill Porter), West Coast Tour of The Scottsboro Boys (Charlie/Victoria), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Victor), Godspell (Judas) MUNY. Television: "Law and READ MORE ? ALLISON SEMES (Diana Ross) Chicago native. B.M. Opera at UIUC, M.M. from NYU-Steinhardt. Broadway credits: Motown the Musical, Florence Ballard & The Book of Mormon, Nabalungi U/S, Swing. Other credits include: The Color Purple National Tour, Dreamgirls, Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Wiz, Candide. I want to thank you Bethany and everyone at Telsey, Renee, my CCC/ KACC/ GIAME families, Momma & Poppa Bear, Emile, QVD, and my friends for the unconditional love and support! READ MORE ? NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER (Smokey Robinson) Born in Bermuda and raised in Boston, MA. Studied at both The Boston Conservatory and The Juilliard School. 1st National Tour: In The Heights. Off-Broadway: Rent, Hurt Village. Thank you family, friends and SMS for your lurve and support. JARRAN MUSE (Marvin Gaye) A native Jersey boy couldn't be happier living his dream. God is good yall. Broadway/NYC: Motown The Musical, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Dreamgirls; International Tours: American Idiot, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, 42nd Street. Regional Theater: Marriott Lincolnshire, Portland Center Stage (Will Parker in Oklahoma!), Goodspeed, Fulton Opera Houses, Pittsburgh CLO. Thank you to Mr. GORDY, Charles, and Telsey for this new opportunity to bring Marvin to stage READ MORE ? ERICK BUCKLEY (Ensemble) Broadway/National Tours: Valjean in Les Miserables, Uncle Fester in The Addams Family, Dave in The Full Monty, Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera, Gangster #1 Kiss Me, Kate, Roger in Grease

The sweet dance moves and the flair in the group numbers will also bring you so much joy.

Motown the Musical CLIFTON OLIVER (Berry Gordy) Clifton Oliver is honored to be a part of the Motown family. Broadway: The Lion King (Simba), In The Heights (Benny opposite Jordin Sparks), Wicked (Fiyero). Nat'l Tours: The Lion King (Simba), Rent (Benny & Collins), Ragtime (Ensemble). Regional: Pal Joey (Arkansas Rep.), Kinky Boots (Lola's standby for Bill Porter), West Coast Tour of The Scottsboro Boys (Charlie/Victoria), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Victor), Godspell (Judas) MUNY. Television: "Law and READ MORE ? ALLISON SEMES (Diana Ross) Chicago native. B.M. Opera at UIUC, M.M. from NYU-Steinhardt. Broadway credits: Motown the Musical, Florence Ballard & The Book of Mormon, Nabalungi U/S, Swing. Other credits include: The Color Purple National Tour, Dreamgirls, Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Wiz, Candide. I want to thank you Bethany and everyone at Telsey, Renee, my CCC/ KACC/ GIAME families, Momma & Poppa Bear, Emile, QVD, and my friends for the unconditional love and support! READ MORE ? NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER (Smokey Robinson) Born in Bermuda and raised in Boston, MA. Studied at both The Boston Conservatory and The Juilliard School. 1st National Tour: In The Heights. Off-Broadway: Rent, Hurt Village. Thank you family, friends and SMS for your lurve and support. JARRAN MUSE (Marvin Gaye) A native Jersey boy couldn't be happier living his dream. God is good yall. Broadway/NYC: Motown The Musical, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Dreamgirls; International Tours: American Idiot, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, 42nd Street. Regional Theater: Marriott Lincolnshire, Portland Center Stage (Will Parker in Oklahoma!), Goodspeed, Fulton Opera Houses, Pittsburgh CLO. Thank you to Mr. GORDY, Charles, and Telsey for this new opportunity to bring Marvin to stage READ MORE ? ERICK BUCKLEY (Ensemble) Broadway/National Tours: Valjean in Les Miserables, Uncle Fester in The Addams Family, Dave in The Full Monty, Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera, Gangster #1 Kiss Me, Kate, Roger in Grease

The storyline of Motown the Musical really helps you appreciate the history, the adversity and dedication that Berry Gordy and the artists he helped develop, sacrificed to bring Motown to life.

Motown Tour

This show is an absolute MUST for anyone who loves music from the Motown era!

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MOTOWN THE MUSICAL will play the Aronoff Center from September 8 – 20

Tuesday –Thursday at 7:30PM

Friday at 8:00PM, Saturday at 2:00PM and 8:00PM

and Sunday at 1:00PM and 6:30PM.

Tickets for MOTOWN THE MUSICAL start at $29.

They are available at the Aronoff Center Box Office downtown at 650 Walnut Street, online at CincinnatiArts.org or by phone at 513.621.ARTS.

*For groups of 10 or more, contact the group sales department at 513.369.4363. Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice.

**All Motown Musical images photographed by Joan Marcus, 2014

Motown the Musical CLIFTON OLIVER (Berry Gordy) Clifton Oliver is honored to be a part of the Motown family. Broadway: The Lion King (Simba), In The Heights (Benny opposite Jordin Sparks), Wicked (Fiyero). Nat'l Tours: The Lion King (Simba), Rent (Benny & Collins), Ragtime (Ensemble). Regional: Pal Joey (Arkansas Rep.), Kinky Boots (Lola's standby for Bill Porter), West Coast Tour of The Scottsboro Boys (Charlie/Victoria), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Victor), Godspell (Judas) MUNY. Television: "Law and READ MORE ? ALLISON SEMES (Diana Ross) Chicago native. B.M. Opera at UIUC, M.M. from NYU-Steinhardt. Broadway credits: Motown the Musical, Florence Ballard & The Book of Mormon, Nabalungi U/S, Swing. Other credits include: The Color Purple National Tour, Dreamgirls, Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Wiz, Candide. I want to thank you Bethany and everyone at Telsey, Renee, my CCC/ KACC/ GIAME families, Momma & Poppa Bear, Emile, QVD, and my friends for the unconditional love and support! READ MORE ? NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER (Smokey Robinson) Born in Bermuda and raised in Boston, MA. Studied at both The Boston Conservatory and The Juilliard School. 1st National Tour: In The Heights. Off-Broadway: Rent, Hurt Village. Thank you family, friends and SMS for your lurve and support. JARRAN MUSE (Marvin Gaye) A native Jersey boy couldn't be happier living his dream. God is good yall. Broadway/NYC: Motown The Musical, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Dreamgirls; International Tours: American Idiot, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, 42nd Street. Regional Theater: Marriott Lincolnshire, Portland Center Stage (Will Parker in Oklahoma!), Goodspeed, Fulton Opera Houses, Pittsburgh CLO. Thank you to Mr. GORDY, Charles, and Telsey for this new opportunity to bring Marvin to stage READ MORE ? ERICK BUCKLEY (Ensemble) Broadway/National Tours: Valjean in Les Miserables, Uncle Fester in The Addams Family, Dave in The Full Monty, Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera, Gangster #1 Kiss Me, Kate, Roger in Grease
For more information, please visit www.BroadwayInCincinnati.com.For more information, visit www.MotownTheMusical.com.

Disclosure: I received tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I LOVE LUCY ® LIVE On STAGE ~ Broadway

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Are you an I LOVE LUCY® fan?

 

Whether you are a die hard fan of the show or just vaguely familiar with it, you will find this play to be a joy to watch!

 

I Love Lucy ® also happens to be responsible for my desire to cross stomping the grapes off my list. One day I will cross that off! The show is such a classic that is loved by generations.

 

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I LOVE LUCY® LIVE ON STAGE is the brand-new hit stage show adapted from the most beloved program in television history! America’s favorite foursome – Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel – is live on stage and in color for the very first time!

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Thea Brooks and Euriamis Losada lead the company as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, with Kevin Remington and Lori Hammel playing Fred and Ethel Mertz, the Ricardo’s loveable landlords and sidekicks.

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The cast also includes Sara Jayne Blackmore, Sarah Elizabeth Combs, Gregory Franklin, Jody Madaras, Carlos Martin, Denise Moses, Cindy Sciacca, Kami Seymour, Richard Strimer and Mark Christopher Tracy.

 

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An “out-of-body experience for ‘Lucy’ fans” according to Showbiz Chicago. I LOVE LUCY® LIVE ON STAGE takes audience members back to 1952 as members of the Desilu Playhouse studio audience where they await the filming of two hilarious and oh-so-familiar I LOVE LUCY® episodes, “The Benefit” and “Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined.” A charming host entertains and enlightens the crowd to the behind-the-scenes filming process of a brand new thing called “television,” the Crystaltone Singers perform advertising jingles in perfect 50s style harmony and the sidesplitting antics of America’s favorite foursome – Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel. It’s a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience TV Guide’s William Keck calls “the most entertaining stage production I’ve seen in years – including Broadway!”

 

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The iconic hit sitcom I LOVE LUCY® originally aired on CBS from 1951 – 1957 for a total of six seasons and 179 episodes and is widely considered to be one of the most popular programs in the history of television. Due in no small part to its relatable characters, sharp comedic writing and Lucille Ball’s signature zany charm, the show continues to endear new audiences with every passing generation. The program was a technical trailblazer, pioneering the multi-camera shooting technique (still employed by the majority of traditional sitcoms to this day) and the use of 35mm film for the capture of a weekly, 30-minute scripted television program (which made possible the re-airing of episodes at a later date, what we now know as “reruns”). In September 2012, I LOVE LUCY® was named the “Best TV Show Of All Time” and the “Greatest TV Comedy” by People Magazine and ABC’s “20/20” special “Best in TV: The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time.”

 

The cast did a great job of resembling the characters that everyone loves along with adding commercials from that time period that older generations will recognize. I enjoyed listening to the older audience members sitting nearby as they sung along to the commercial jingles that they recognized.

 

This play is lighthearted and does a great job of interacting with the audience in a way that really makes you feel like you are part of a live studio audience.

 

Don’t miss your chance to see it!

 

I LOVE LUCY® LIVE ON STAGE will play the Aronoff Center from June 2 – 14

 

Performance Times

Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30PM,

Friday at 8:00PM

Saturday at 2:00PM and 8:00PM

Sunday at 1:00PM and 6:30PM.

 

Tickets for I LOVE LUCY® LIVE ON STAGE start at $29. They are available at the Aronoff Center Box Office downtown at 650 Walnut Street, online at CincinnatiArts.org or by phone at 513.621.ARTS.

 

For tickets and more information, please visit ILoveLucyLive.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Makes its CINCINNATI Premiere

at THE ARONOFF CENTER

JUNE 2 – 14, 2015

Tickets on sale NOW!

 

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Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

ANYTHING GOES on Broadway

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My husband and I have always enjoyed music from the swing era which meant that we were both looking forward to watching ANYTHING GOES on Broadway for the first time.

 

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ANYTHING GOES, the 1934 musical comedy about the lovers, liars and clowns on a transatlanticcruise is “a daffy, shipshape romp!” – Variety. When the S.S. American heads out to sea, etquete and conventon head out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love…proving that sometmes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail.

 

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The music was fun and the colorful characters brought lots of smiles throughout the show.

 

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My favorite parts of the play included the dancing. The tap dancing numbers were AMAZING!!!

 

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* All photo credit Jeremy Daniel

 

Disclosure: I was given tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH

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Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash was a musical that I was looking forward to for a few reasons.

 

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1. My husband was a huge Johnny Cash fan and this play was perfect for his first time attending a play at Playhouse in the Park.

2. The play was the celebrating the music of Johnny Cash which meant that I would be familiar with the popular songs.

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Created by Richard Maltby Jr. and conceived by William Meade, RING OF FIRE was adapted from the Broadway production by Richard Maltby Jr. and Jason Edwards. Edwards, who starred in RINGOF FIRE on Broadway, will both direct and appear in the Playhouse production, which tells Cash’s story through his songs.

 

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More than a musical biography, RING OF FIRE looks at Cash’s life thematically. From his early years picking cotton in hardscrabble fields to superstardom, the show chronicles both the lows and the highs of the man who traversed musical genres from country and rock to folk and gospel.

 

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I was relieved that the play didn’t create one person to represent Johnny Cash.

 

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He was such a distinct musical icon that it would have been hard for anyone to even try to be compared to him.

 

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The play did a great job of sharing some of Johnny’s history and also telling his story through his songs with various voices of the cast. I really enjoyed hearing the songs through other voices and perspectives. It really added an interesting dimension to the show.

 

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The talent level of the cast was so impressive!

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The musicians were a joy to watch and one of them reminded me of a way younger version of my 95 year old grandfather “Pops.”

 

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RING OF FIRE encompasses more than 30 of Cash’s classic songs, including the title tune, “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Man in Black,” “A Boy Named Sue” and “I Walk the Line,” the ballad that Rolling Stone magazine this year declared number one on its list of 25 Greatest Country Songs of All Time. Even so, it’s but an iconic sampling of the more than 400 songs that Cash, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member, has to his credit. Cash was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Gospel Music Hall of Fame. He placed 48 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart and more than 130 hits on the Billboard country singles chart, more than anyone in history.

 

I would highly recommend this play to anyone who is a fan of Johnny Cash or who just enjoys musicals.

 

RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH JAN. 17-FEB. 15, 2015

 

 

Ticket prices start at $30.

 

Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices.

 

Teen and student tickets are $30 each.

*The show is appropriate for adults and teenage audiences.

New for the 2014-15 season is Sunday College Night, with tickets to all 7 p.m. Sunday performances priced at just $10 with a valid student ID.

Student tickets are just $15 on the day of the show for all other performances.

Performances 

7:30 p.m.Tuesdays and Wednesdays,

8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 4 p.m. 

8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. 

7 p.m. Sundays.

*There is no 7 p.m. performance on Sunday, Feb. 1, and no 2 p.m. performance on Sunday, Feb. 15.

Free post-show Meet the Artists programs that allow audiences to interact with cast members and others associated with the production will be offered at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8; and 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12.

 

 

Tickets to RING OF FIRE are on sale now.

For more information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.

 

*All photo credit goes to Sandy Underwood

 

 

 

Disclosure: I was given complimentary tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

 

5 Reasons Why I Loved Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA

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I was most familiar with the Disney version of the story of Cinderella before watching the play. I knew that Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella would be different from the Disney storyline but the play exceeded my expectations for many reasons!

 

Here is a little more about the play.
With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, this hilarious and romantic Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA combines the story’s classic elements – glass slippers, pumpkin, and a beautiful ball along with some surprising twists. More than just a pretty face with the right shoe size, this Cinderella is a contemporary figure living in a fairytale setting. She is a spirited young woman with savvy and soul who doesn’t let her rags or her gowns trip her up in herquest for kindness, compassion and forgiveness. She longs to escape the drudgery of her work at home and instead work to make the world a better place. She not only fights for her own dreams, but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and realize his dreams too.

1. It was funny!

I wasn’t expecting to laugh as much as I did. One of the stepsisters named Charlotte brought me the most laughs but there was a good amount of humor throughout the show.

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2. The dress transformations are amazing!

You will find yourself wishing that you could have an instant replay to wrap your mind around how they make the dress transformations possible. It happens fast so make sure that you pay close attention.

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3. The creative set and lavish costumes really helped create a grand setting.

 

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4. The combination of  incredible music by RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN  and singing and dancing by the talented cast was so entertaining to watch.

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5. CINDERELLA is kid friendly and appeals to all ages.

On opening night there were a lot of kids in the audience who seemed to also be enjoying themselves. There was something for everyone.

 

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CINDERELLA will play the Aronoff Center from January 6 – 18
Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30PM, Friday at 8:00PM,
Saturday at 2:00PM and 8:00PM

Sunday at 1:00PM and 6:30PM

 

 

 

 

 

*Tickets for CINDERELLA start at $29.

 

 

 

 

They are available at the Aronoff Center Box Office downtown at 650 Walnut Street, online at CincinnatiArts.org or by phone at 513.621.ARTS. For groups of 10 or more, contact the group sales department at 513.369.4363.

 

 

Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice. For more information, please visit www.BroadwayInCincinnati.com.

 

 

 

*Photo credit for all images – © Carol Rosegg.

 

 

Disclosure: I was given complimentary tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Sleeping Beauty at the Ensemble Theatre

Sleeping Beauty at the Ensemble Theatre

 

Sleeping Beauty at the Ensemble Theatre is a play that is so fun to watch! The costumes reminded me of the wardrobe from characeters  in “The Hunger Games.” They were whimsical and quirky which added to the characters.

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ONCE on Broadway at the Aronoff

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Do you remember how you meet that special someone in your life?

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My husband and I recently attended “Once” on Broadway at the Aronoff. It was unlike any Broadway play I’ve ever seen before… in a good way. We were not that familiar with the plot of ONCE prior to the play but now I see why audiences LOVE it so much.

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ONCE is the celebrated new musical based on the Academy Award-winning film. It tells the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music.  Over the course of one fateful week, their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful but complicated romance,heightened by the raw emotion of the songs they create together.  Brought to the stage by an award-winning team of visionary artists and featuring an ensemble cast of gifted actor/musicians,  ONCE is a musical celebration of life and love: thrilling in its originality, daring in its honesty… and unforgettable in every way.
 
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The set and costumes were minimal, which kept our focus on the characters. The music was absolutely incredible with songs that spoke from places of heartbreak and hope. I was excited to learn that the song “Falling Slowly” was from this play. I remember hearing it for the first time as a duet by two American Idol contestants several years ago. It’s such a beautiful song. You will  definitely want the soundtrack after watching the play!

 

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The Broadway play is based on the 2007 Academy Award-winning film. The play Once, won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

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You will also want to make sure that you arrive a little early to watch the performers playing a few songs on stage before the show begins.
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ONCE features the Academy Award-winning music and lyrics of Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, a book by award-winning Irish playwright & screenwriter, Enda Walsh (Penelope, Hunger, The New Electric Ballroom),direction by the acclaimed Scottish director of Black WatchJohn Tiffany, movement by Steven Hoggett (BlackWatch, American Idiot) and music supervision and orchestrations by Martin Lowe (Mamma Mia!). The set and costume design are by five time Tony Award winner Bob Crowley (The Coast of Utopia, Mary Poppins), lighting design is by Tony winner Natasha Katz (Aida, The Coast of Utopia), and sound design is by Clive Goodwin.
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The 2007 Academy Award-winning film, ONCEwas written and directed by John Carney, and starred GlenHansard and Markéta Irglová, with original music and lyrics by Mr. Hansard and Ms. Irglová.
The Oscar winning independent Irish film, ONCE was made for $150,000. Shot in 17 days, it went on to gross$20M worldwide becoming a critically acclaimed international smash. It stars Glen Hansard, from the popularIrish Rock band The Frames, and Markéta Irglová. Glen and Markéta won the 2007 Academy Award for BestOriginal song for “Falling Slowly,” the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Music, and the soundtrack was nominated for two Grammy Awards.
ONCE was originally developed at the American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, Massachusetts) in April 2011;Diane Paulus, Artistic Director; Diane Borger, Producer.
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 ONCE will play the Aronoff Center from November 11 – 23

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