Announcing CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series of Opera, Musical Theatre and Drama

'Metamorphoses,' from CCM's acclaimed 2013-14 Mainstage Series.

‘Metamorphoses,’ from CCM’s acclaimed 2013-14 Mainstage Series.

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is pleased to announce initial details for its 2014-15 Mainstage Series of opera, musical theatre and drama productions.

The 2014-15 Mainstage Series features a dazzling collection of both classic and contemporary masterworks, including a gender-bending new production of Shakespeare’s gripping tragedy Macbeth, an extended run of the high-energy romantic-comedy Legally Blonde – The Musical and a magical production of the opera Hänsel and Gretel.

In early 2015, CCM’s student and faculty artists will also present Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and zeitgeist-dominating The Heidi Chronicles and a soaring musical production of Peter Pan. Mozart’s Così fan tutte will close out the series, with a new production directed by Robin Guarino, who recently staged this masterpiece at the Metropolitan Opera.

This year’s must-see Mainstage Series features six fully staged works guaranteed to fill audiences with delight, with performances scheduled from Oct. 1, 2014, through April 12, 2015. All performances take place in the Corbett Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Cincinnati campus.

Production and ticketing details are below. Priority subscription packages go on sale May 2014. Single tickets become available in August, but subscribing is the only way to guarantee your seats for these must-see shows!

Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/subscribe to register for CCM’s mailing list, and the Box Office will provide you with additional information on this year’s subscription options.

Additional Information
Titles and dates are subject to change—rights pending. To order subscriptions, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183. For additional information, visit ccm.uc.edu, email boxoff@uc.edu or call the Box Office.

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CCM’s Studio Production of ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ Receives 4-Star Rating from the League of Cincinnati Theatres

We are thrilled to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with a four star rating!

In this Tony Award-winning musical, six young people (overseen by grownups who have barely managed to escape childhood themselves) learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser.

Panelists praised the production as “delightful, smart, silly and a well-structured crowd pleaser.” Director and Visiting Professor Vince DeGeorge was praised for bringing “a freshness to it with smart directing choices that were spot on.” The entire ensemble was commended: “I appreciated the nuances each performer created for their characters. They worked together seamlessly and we’re having such a good time… The performers were working together as an to create the warmth and charm so inherent in this musical.”

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CCM Professor Roger Grodsky Explores the Golden Age of Broadway Musicals for ‘Absolute Sound’ Magazine

TAS_242_Cover.png.200x275_q85The April 2014 issue of The Absolute Sound magazine features an in-depth look at the Golden Age of Broadway musicals on record, written by CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky!

A member of CCM’s faculty since 1996, Grodsky has served as musical director for a number of recent CCM productions (including Singin’ in the Rain earlier this season) and has also participated in performances, PBS broadcasts and recordings of the Cincinnati Pops.

He has also worked with the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization on restoring classic shows by Rodgers and Hart.

The Absolute Sound is the world’s preeminent source of expert reviews, features, and commentary on high-performance audio and music. The magazine’s April issue is on newsstands now and available online here.

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music Receives $1 Million Gift from the Corbett Foundation

Patricia Corbett was named a great Living Cincinnatian in 1994. She died on January 28, 2008, and was honored with a special memorial concert at Music Hall performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the CCM Musical Theatre program.

Patricia Corbett was named a great Living Cincinnatian in 1994. She died on January 28, 2008, and was honored with a special memorial concert at Music Hall performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the CCM Musical Theatre program.

We are honored to announce that the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) has received a $1 million gift from the Corbett Foundation, designed to enhance the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre, the first chair of its kind in the world.

“CCM cannot be more grateful to the Corbett Foundation for this significant gift,” says Peter Landgren, Dean and Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music at CCM. “This gift will allow the musical theatre program to increase existing focus on student scholarship, enhance relationships with professionals in the field by bringing them to campus for master classes and support the senior showcase experience in New York City, which is the most important audition for graduating seniors in our musical theatre program.”

When Mrs. Corbett established the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre more than 20 years ago, it was the first chair of its kind in the United States. Mrs. Corbett allowed CCM to “do it first and do it best.” Her vision has guided musical theatre students to audition in New York City, to compete successfully on Broadway and national touring stages, and ultimately to win the coveted Tony, Drama Desk and Fred Astaire Dance Awards.

“I wish to extend a personal word of gratitude to Karen McKim, Executive Director of the Corbett Foundation, for her stewardship of the love and support that the Corbett’s have showered upon CCM for many decades,” says Landgren.

About the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre at CCM
Since its establishment in 1991, the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre has provided invaluable support for the Musical Theatre Program at CCM. At the time of its inception, it was the only academic chair of its kind in the United States, the American equivalent of the Chair in Musical Theatre endowed by Cameron Macintosh in honor of Stephen Sondheim at Oxford one year later.

Mrs. Corbett’s generosity has helped scores of students with scholarship aid, enabled the program to invite master teachers to campus, established New York and Chicago showcases for graduating seniors and underwritten admission-free Studio productions, CCM’s gift to the Cincinnati theatre-going community.

CCM Musical Theatre Presents Annual Senior Showcase on March 13 and 15

Moveable Feast 2012, Musical Theatre Choir

CCM’s Class of 2014 in Musical Theatre, performing during CCM’s 2012 Moveable Feast. Photography by Dottie Stover.

Cincinnati audiences will get a sneak peek of an original showcase created by the 2014 graduating class from CCM’s Department of Musical Theatre during the annual “Not Famous Yet” Showcase, which runs on March 13 (Friends of CCM benefit performance) and March 15 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

The March 13 benefit performance starts at 7 p.m. and features dinner by the bite and a post-performance celebration. Tickets for this benefit event are on sale now. For tickets and additional information, click here.

The March 15 performances take place at 5 and 8 p.m. and are free, but reservations are required. Tickets for these free performances become available at noon on Monday, March 10.

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CCM Alumnus Flaherty’s Score for ‘Rocky’ Heads to Broadway

A scene in the ring from the musical "Rocky."

A scene in the ring from the musical “Rocky.”

After more than a year of packed houses in Hamburg, Germany, Rocky: The Musical will soon open on Broadway, with a score composed by Stephen Flaherty (Composition, 1982), and his lyricist writing partner Lynn Ahrens. Tickets are already on sale for previews starting Feb. 11, 2014, at the Winter Garden Theatre and for an official opening on March 13.

Flaherty and Ahrens wrote 20 new songs for the show and retained three popular oldies: “Eye of the Tiger,” “Gonna Fly Now” and “Take You Back.” Because the story is set in Philadelphia in 1975, “the score combines a lot of sounds of the period — funk, soul, pop, rock and folk,” Flaherty says. “We look back to that time, but it is really a contemporary score.”

Rocky: Das Musical opened in Germany in November 2012, produced by Stage Entertainment, as well as Sylvester Stallone, creator, writer and star of the 1976 Rocky movie, which received 10 Oscar nominations. Germans loved the show. The front page of Hamburg’s daily newspaper declared, “Big Emotions, Big Theater.” And the city’s biggest tabloid announced, “‘Rocky’ Knocks Hamburg Out!”

Of course, both producers had hoped to move the show to Broadway eventually and did so even though the German production is still packing houses to rave reviews more than a year later.

“It has been an amazing adventure,” Flaherty says. “Our international cast in Germany comes from 12 different countries, and our band features some of the best players I’ve ever worked with. I’m having the time of my life. Thank God for the ‘Basic German For Dummies’ app!”

The Tony-winning writing team of composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens.

The Tony-winning writing team of composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens.

Flaherty and Ahrens have been writing popular musicals for 30 years, including two shows that won Tonys for best scores — Once on This Island in 1991 and Ragtime in 1998. The book for the latter was written by Terrance McNally, who won a Tony for his creation and who also wrote the book for Rocky.

In addition, Flaherty received a 2001 Drama Desk nomination for outstanding music for Seussical, which was originally scored for Broadway, later revised for a national tour, then revised again for junior-theater productions. For years, it has been one of the top three most-licensed properties in Music Theatre International’s licensing catalog.

You can learn more about Stephen Flaherty courtesy of UC Magazine.

CCM Presents Mary Zimmerman’s ‘Metamorphoses’ Feb. 5 – 9, 2014

CCM presents Mary Zimmerman's METAMORPHOSES Feb. 5 - 9, 2014.

Next month, CCM’s acclaimed Mainstage Series resumes with Mary Zimmerman’s Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning Metamorphoses, directed by guest artist D. Lynn Meyers.

Based on the classic myths of Ovid, this entrancing drama runs Feb. 5 (preview) – 9 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. This production is intended for mature audiences only.

For more information, visit ccm.uc.edu.

CCM and the ‘Mary Poppins’ Connection

CCM alumna Ashley Brown (far left) as Mary Poppins on Broadway.

CCM alumna Ashley Brown (far left) as Mary Poppins on Broadway.

Saving Mr. Banks opens in movie theaters today to remind us how in 1962 Walt Disney turned the original Mary Poppins into something magical. But its magic continued to grow in the following half a century with each doll, storybook and set of branded building blocks that were created.

Perhaps its biggest spoonful of sugar might have been the 2006 Broadway opening of Mary Poppins the musical, starring CCM alumna Ashley Brown (BFA, 04) in the title role. All told, five CCM alumni appeared in the cast.

On Broadway, Brown was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her performance as Mary Poppins. The musical won one Tony and was nominated for seven more, including best musical. It also won two Drama Desk Awards and was nominated for five more. Ultimately, the musical won 44 major theatre awards around the globe.

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Five CCM Alumni on Broadway in ‘Annie’ Revival

Distinguished alumna Faith Prince listens to Emily Rosenfeld in the Broadway revival of 'Annie.'

Distinguished alumna Faith Prince listens to Emily Rosenfeld in the Broadway revival of ‘Annie.’

Until Jan. 5, 2014, Broadway audiences have a chance to catch four CCM alumnae in a Tony-nominated musical — the revival of Annie — plus one more if you wait at the back stage door to meet him after the show.

The biggest name of the group is Faith Prince, CCM ’79, HonDoc ’09, who co-stars as Miss Hannigan, the alcoholic matron at the orphanage. She joined the show at the Palace Theatre in the summer (2013).

Also joining the show this year were Justin Patterson, CCM ’99, who plays F.D.R.; Kirsten Wyatt, CCM ’97, who plays Lily St. Regis; Danette Holden, CCM ’96, part of the ensemble and an understudy for Faith Prince; and Derric Nolte, CCM ’11, assistant stage director.

The current revival of Annie was nominated for a Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. The show is expected to run through Jan. 5, 2014, after which a national tour will be launched.

You can learn more about these CCM alumni courtesy of UC Magazine.

CCM Slideshows: Boeing Boeing

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This weekend is your final chance to see CCM Drama‘s co-production of the Tony Award-winning comedy Boeing Boeing with the Carnegie in Covington, Ky. Directed by CCM’s new Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell, this production runs through Sunday, Nov. 24.

In her CityBeat review, Stacy Sims declares, “This winning partnership brings an abundance of talent, youth, energy and physical comedy to the Carnegie’s Otto M. Budig Theater.”

Cincy Whimsy calls the show, “Quite possibly the most humorous play you will see all year” and the Adventure Mom Blog calls Boeing Boeing, “the perfect play to see after a stressful week.” Tickets are on sale now!

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