Senior musical theatre major Lawson Young as Elle in CCM's production of LEGALLY BLONDE, playing Oct. 23 - Nov. 2, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series Proudly Presents ‘Legally Blonde – The Musical’

Senior Lawson Young as Elle and junior Chris Collins-Pisano as Emmett in CCM's production of LEGALLY BLONDE, playing Oct. 23 - Nov. 2, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Senior Lawson Young as Elle and junior Chris Collins-Pisano as Emmett in CCM’s production of LEGALLY BLONDE, playing Oct. 23 – Nov. 2, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM continues its 2014-15 Mainstage Series this week with the upbeat musical, Legally Blonde.

Directed and choreographed by Professor of Musical Theatre Diane Lala with musical direction by second-year graduate student Craig DaltonLegally Blonde makes its CCM debut Oct. 23 – Nov. 2 in Patricia Corbett Theater.

Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the MGM motion picture of the same name, Legally Blonde is a modern-day coming of age tale featuring perky and lovable sorority girl Elle Woods. Elle enrolls in Harvard Law School in an attempt to win back her lost love, Warner. In order for Elle to make it at Harvard she must prove to everyone, including herself, that she has what it takes. When her resolution is tested, Elle discovers what she is truly made of, surpassing her own wildest expectations and finding her inner strength and intelligence.

Guest artist Joe Leonard provides the scenic design for this musical movie adaptation. A 1989 graduate of CCM’s Department of Theatre Design and Production, Leonard’s vision for Legally Blonde was incredibly dynamic. This result is a set in which everything moves, flips, turns and flies. “The positive energy of Elle’s story is carried through to every element of the production,” Lala explains.

Legally Blonde features 16 memorable musical numbers by the Drama Desk and Tony Award nominated composer and lyricist team of Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, with a book by Heather Hach.

The role of Elle Woods is incredibly fun but is also very demanding. Because Elle appears in every scene of this high-energy musical, the role has been double cast and will be played by Sarah Bishop and Lawson Young, both senior musical theatre majors. Likewise, the role of Emmett will be played by senior Nathanial Irvin and junior Chris Collins-Pisano.

Legally Blonde also features two special performers who are brand new to the CCM stage. Jackson and Jilly will play the parts of Rufus and Bruiser, two of musical theatre’s most beloved dogs. Jilly is a Legally Blonde veteran, having played the part of Bruiser in Covedale Theater’s production of Legally Blonde last spring. Jackson is making his acting debut in this fun-filled production.

Legally Blonde is a lively musical romp with a touching lesson. Audiences will thoroughly enjoy this production and may even learn not to judge a book by its cover!

Read more about the production here.

About Diane Lala
CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Diane Lala choreographed for Tulane University, Black Hills Playhouse, Loyola University, True Brew Theatre, NOLA, Indian Hills High School, Cincinnati Men’s Chorus and various regional and dinner theaters. Her choreography credits at CCM include Babes in ArmsSweet Charity,The Wild PartyOklahoma!West Side Story and On the Town. Also at CCM, she was director/choreographer for Song and DanceUnder Construction andSongs for a New World. She taught summer workshop for Ballet Iowa and various jazz master classes in Kharkov, Ukraine. In 2003 she directed and choreographed CCM’s Musical Theatre students as well as Tom Wopat, John Schneider, Denyce Graves and Nick Clooney in the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra’s “Patriotic Broadway,” which was televised on PBS.

On stage, Lala has appeared as Velma Kelly in Chicago, Woman 2 in Songs for a New World, the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Morales in A Chorus Line, Anita in West Side Story and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. Nominated numerous times, Lala has received Big Easy Entertainment Awards in New Orleans and a Storer Boone Award for Best Choreography for Tulane Summer Lyric’s production of The Will Rogers’ Follies. She also received a Marquee Award for best actress in a musical for Chicago.

In addition, Lala is a certified Pilate’s instructor, studying directly with Romana Kryzanowska, a Joseph Pilates protégée. She is also an associate member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

About Joe Leonard
A 1989 graduate of CCM’s Theater Design and Production Department, Joe Leonard has designed shows for the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, LaComedia Dinner Theater, Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Carowinds, Great America and Canada’s Wonderland. His design credits include such shows as Into the WoodsDirty Rotten ScoundrelsPippinTwelfth NightOne Flew Over the Cuckcoo’s NestA Christmas CarolThe Drowsy ChaperoneSeven Brides for Seven BrothersHairspray and Mary Poppins.

Leonard has used his training in a wide variety of mediums including theme park rides, exhibits, and graphic and architecture design work with companies such as Paramount Parks D+E, Herschend Family Entertainment and Walt Disney World. He designed the themed environments of Outer Limits: Flight of Fear, an indoor roller coaster and was the lead designer of the award-winning attraction, Star Trek: the Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton. Leonard has worked with a variety of production companies designing sets for special events and conventions like the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati.

In addition to live entertainment, Leonard has used his set design talents in the creation of museum exhibits including the current Jellyfish Exhibit at the Newport Aquarium, the fully automated Global Village Experience at Matthew 25 Ministries in Blue Ash and the traveling exhibit, Titanic: The Movie on Tour.  Leonard is thrilled to return to the CCM Stage where his work was last seen in the 1989 productions of The House of Bernarda Alba and The Wonder Years for Hot Summer Nights.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to Legally Blonde are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID, with $12-$15 student rush tickets available for both of the Saturday matinees beginning at 1 p.m. on Oct. 25 and Nov. 1.

Customizable subscription packages are also available. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/legally-blonde-mainstage.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Legally Blonde: The Musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | http://www.MTIShows.com

CCM News

CCM Slideshows: The Threepenny Opera

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CCM proudly presents The Threepenny Opera, running tonight, March 1, through Sunday, March 10, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. This production contains mature subject matter.

Learn more The Threepenny Opera here.

“[Stage Director Robin] Guarino fearlessly goes back to the musical satire’s socio-political roots in 1920s Berlin,” Jackie Demaline writes in her review for the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Everything about The Threepenny Opera carries out Guarino’s vision, as the cast prowl scenic designer John Arnone’s industrial set of catwalks, with the small orchestra (in costume) perched at the top. Musical director Roger Grodsky as always asks much and gets all from singers and musicians.”

Read Demaline’s full review here.

CCM News CCM Slideshows

A New Sneak Peek at the Scenic Design of ‘The Threepenny Opera’

Assistant to the Scenic Designer Alexandra Kuntz provides these previews of 'The Threepenny Opera.'

Assistant to the Scenic Designer Alexandra Kuntz provides these previews of ‘The Threepenny Opera.’

CCM’s acclaimed Mainstage Series resumes this week with Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s epic musical The Threepenny Opera. Today, we are happy to provide a preview of the show’s set, courtesy of Alexandra Kuntz, a sophomore in CCM’s Scenic Design program and Assistant to Guest Scenic Designer John Arnone on this production.

Learn more about this dynamic new production, which features set designs by Tony Award-winner John Arnone.

“Set in the mid-19th century, Macheath (otherwise known as ‘Mack the Knife’) runs the town with his rag tag band of ruffians and gets what he wants,” Kuntz explains. “His latest want just happens to be Polly Peachum, daughter of the Beggar’s Lord of London (Johnathan Jeremiah Peachum), who doesn’t take too kindly to Mack the Knife’s interest in his daughter. Doing anything to keep them apart, Peachum uses broads, bribes and blackmails to get Mack out of the picture, while Macheath’s life hangs in the balance.”

This production contains mature subject matter.

CCM News

The Epic Theatre of CCM’s ‘The Threepenny Opera’

Sophomore Hannah Zazzaro as Sukey Tawdry and junior Max Clayton as Macheath. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Sophomore Hannah Zazzaro as Sukey Tawdry and junior Max Clayton as Macheath. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s year-long Kurt Weill Festival resumes this month with a dynamic new production of the iconic musical The Threepenny Opera. Composed by Kurt Weill with book and lyrics by dramatist Bertolt Brecht (adapted into English by Marc Blitzstein), The Threepenny Opera weaves the riveting tale of notorious bandit and womanizer Macheath (“Mack the Knife”) and his seedy companions in London’s underworld. Weill’s innovative score invented a new form of musical theatre, leading the way for such shows as Chicago and Cabaret.

CCM’s Mainstage Series production of this jazz-infused musical is directed by Robin Guarino, with musical direction by Roger Grodsky, choreography by Patti James and scenic designs by Tony Award-winning guest artist John Arnone. The Threepenny Opera runs Thursday, Feb. 28, through Sunday, March 10, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. This production contains mature subject matter.

CCM News

CCM’s ‘Chess’ Receives Four League of Cincinnati Theater Nominations

"Chess" runs Oct. 25 - 28 in UC's Corbett Auditorium. Photography by Mark Lyons.

“Chess” runs Oct. 25 – 28 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. Photography by Mark Lyons.
Tickets on sale now! Visit ccm.uc.edu for more information. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s production of Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice’s Chess has earned four nominations from the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT)! The LCT also distinguished the rock musical as a recommended production: Outstanding Production (musical), Ensemble, Lead Actor (Julian Decker) and Lead Actress (Aubrey Ireland). Congratulations to the entire creative team!

Loosely based on the lives of chess grandmasters Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov, Chess involves a romantic triangle between two top players (an American and a Russian) and the woman who manages one and falls in love with the other.

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM’s ‘Chess’ Features ‘Great Singing, Great Dancing, Jaw-Dropping Costuming, Superb Orchestral Support, Sharp Techno Scenic Design’ Raves Enquirer

"Chess" runs Oct. 25 - 28 in UC's Corbett Auditorium. Photography by Mark Lyons.

“Chess” runs Oct. 25 – 28 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. Photography by Mark Lyons.
Tickets on sale now! Visit ccm.uc.edu for more information. Photography by Mark Lyons.

In her review of Chess for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Jackie Demaline writes, “It’s easy to be swept up in the spectacle conjured by director Aubrey Berg – great singing, great dancing, jaw-dropping costuming, superb orchestral support (led by Stephen Goers), sharp techno scenic design (by Mark Halpin and Alan Hanson).”

Chess runs through this Sunday, Oct. 28 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. Tickets are still available by calling 513-556-4183, visiting CCM’s E-Box Office here!

Read more of Demaline’s review after the jump.

CCM News

CityBeat’s Stage Door Blog Reviews ‘Chess’

"Chess" runs Oct. 25 - 28 in UC's Corbett Auditorium. Photography by Mark Lyons.

“Chess” runs Oct. 25 – 28 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. Photography by Mark Lyons.
Tickets on sale now! Visit ccm.uc.edu for more information. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Theatre critic Rick Pender reviews Chess in today’s CityBeat Stage Door blog: “The story is set in Bangkok and Budapest during a mid-1970s world chess championship — and it’s driven by gamesmanship between nations, between lovers and, of course, between chess players. I saw the opening on Thursday, and it’s a BIG show with a gigantic cast. Several leading roles are double cast (with more juniors than seniors, in fact, which bodes well for CCM productions for this season and next). In particular, Matthew Paul Hill, playing the Russian grand master Anatoly, lifted the roof of Corbett Auditorium with his powerful baritone voice singing the stirring ‘Anthem,’ the Act 1 finale.”

Read more here. 

Chess tickets are still available by calling 513-556-4183, visiting CCM’s E-Box Office here!

Directed by Aubrey Berg with musical direction by Stephen Goers, choreography by Diane Lala, scenic design by Mark Halpin and costumes by Rebecca SenskeChess runs Oct. 25-28 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

CCM News