CCM Faculty, Alumni and Programs Make Headlines This Summer

CCM continues to make headlines! See what the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Variety and more are saying about our faculty members, our alumni and our academic programs:

GABRIELLE-master675CCM Musical Theatre alumna Gabrielle Stravelli (BFA, 2001) received a glowing write-up in this Monday’s issue of the New York Times, with critic Stephen Holden calling her recent performance at the Metropolitan Room “intoxicating” and proclaiming that she, “recalled Ella Fitzgerald in her prime.” Stravelli next performs at the Metropolitan Room on July 29 and 31. Read the review here.

WorldsFairPlayFestivalThe New York Times also featured the World’s Fair Play Festival at the Queens Theater as its “Critics’ Pick” this week. A presentation of 10 original 10-minute long plays inspired by the 1939 and 19647 World’s Fairs, the festival has several notable CCM ties, with CCM Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell serving as a producer and director of the festival and Sarah Vargo (BFA, 2014) working as Assistant Director. Todd Almond (BM, 1999) was commissioned to write one of the festival’s new plays. The World’s Fair Play Festival runs through Sunday, July 27, 2014. Read the review here.

COUPLED2AC7867C7-CBDA-0EE2-860E9ACA54983621.jpg.pagespeed.ce.SnXKSdTksPCCM Drama alumna Diane Rogers (MFA, 1992) also received accolades this week for the new musical COUPLED. Rogers wrote the music, lyrics and book to COUPLED, which Broadway World deems a “must-see.” The show plays through Aug. 10 at the Jimmy Ferraro Studio Theatre in New Port Richey, Florida. Read the review here.

mickey-fischer-extantEarlier this month, Variety published an interview with Musical Theatre alumnus Mickey Fisher (BFA, 1995), whose show Extant is one of the summer’s most highly anticipated television events. Fisher wrote the script and will serve as an executive producer for Extant, a futuristic thriller produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV for CBS with Halle Berry starring. Read the feature here.

AChorusLineThe Times-Picayue recently profiled CCM faculty members Diane Lala and Robert Pavlovich in a feature on Tulane’s Summer Lyric Theatre production of A Chorus Line. Lala directed and choreographed this critically acclaimed production, which starred Pavlovich as formidable stage director Zach. Fellow CCM faculty member Roger Grodsky provided musical direction. Read the feature here.

RoscoeCCM alumnus/composer Evan Mack (MM, 2005; DMA, 2008) and CCM alumnus/librettist Joshua McGuire (MM, 2005) are getting attention for their new opera, Roscoe, which received an Opera Saratoga workshop performance earlier in the summer. Last month, the Times Union profiled the opera, which is an adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name by Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy. Read the feature here.

EN-AB104_ORCHES_G_20140618101329Earlier this summer, CCM Prep’s New Horizons Orchestra was featured in the Wall Street Journal. The Journal reported on the growing popularity of ensembles for older players. Read the feature here.

See who else is making headlines by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/in-the-news.

CCM Productions Win Big at League of Cincinnati Theatres’ 2014 Awards Ceremony

League of Cincinnati TheatresWinners of the League of Cincinnati Theatres’ (LCT) 2013-14 Season Awards were announced on Monday night, with CCM faculty members, students and productions taking home a number of awards, including:

  • Best Musical (Tie): CCM’s Les Miserables (tied with Carnegie Theatre’s Chicago)
  • Choreography (Tie): Diane Lala and Patti James for CCM’s Singin’ in the Rain (tied with David Baum for Carnegie Theatre’s Chicago)
  • Music Direction: Steve Goers for CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Scenic Design: Mark Halpin for CCM’s Singin’ in the Rain
  • Ensemble in a Musical: CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Lead Actor in a Musical: Blaine Krauss in CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Featured Actor in a Musical: Matthew Paul Hill in CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Featured Actress in a Musical: Jenny Hickman in CCM’s Carrie

Faculty member Kelly Yurko also received a Special Contribution Award for her prosthetic design for Clifton Players’ production of The Whale. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners! Continue reading

League of Cincinnati Theatres Announces 2014 Awards Finalists

League of Cincinnati TheatresThe League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) has announced the finalists for this year’s LCT Awards Celebration and we are delighted to report that CCM productions have received a staggering 23 nominations (CCM Professor Kelly Yurko and CCM student Brianna Barnes also received nods for work on non-CCM productions this year, bringing our unofficial tally up to 25 nominations)!

The annual LCT Award Celebration is designed to honor the best of Cincinnati professional theatre each season.

CCM’s 2013-14 productions of Carrie, Singin’ in the Rain, MetamorphosesLes Misérables, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Living Dead in Denmark all received nominations in at least one category.

CCM faculty members Aubrey Berg, Vince DeGeorge, Steve Goers, Mark Halpin, Patti James, k. Jenny Jones, Diane Lala, Reba Senske and Kelly Yurko each received nominations in at least one category.

CCM students singled out in this year’s nominations included Brianna Barnes, Sara Bishop, Hannah Freeman, Dana Hall, Jenny Hickman, Matt Hill, Colin Kessler, Blaine Krauss, Wes Richter and Ryan Sigurdson.

Finalists were chosen from the nominations made by trusted panelists who saw the shows during the year. One winner from each category will be announced at the Awards Party on Monday, June 16, at Arnold’s Bar and Grill in Cincinnati. Continue reading

CCM Alumnus Josh Prince Nominated for Astaire Award

CCM alumnus Josh Prince (BFA, 1996).

CCM alumnus Josh Prince (BFA, 1996).

We are happy to report that CCM alumnus Josh Prince (BFA, 1996) has been nominated for a Fred and Adele Astaire Award in the category of Outstanding Choreographer for a Broadway Show for his work on the new musical Beautiful: The Carol King Musical. This prestigious award honors excellence in dance and choreography on Broadway and in film.

Prince is the latest in a long line of CCM alumni who have been both nominees and winners of this award:

  • In 2002, Justin Bohon (Class of 2000) won the award as Outstanding Male Dancer for his performance as Will Parker in Oklahoma!
  • In 2008, Karen Olivo (Class of 1997) received the award for In the Heights followed by a nomination for her performance as Anita in West Side Story in 2009.
  • Also in 2009, Kearran Giovanni (Class of 2003) received a nomination for her performance in the revival of Guys and Dolls.
  • In 2010, Savannah Wise (Class of 2006) received a nomination for her work in Ragtime.
  • In 2012, Ryan Breslin (Class of 2011) was nominated as Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show for his work in Newsies.

The 32nd annual Astaire Awards will be presented on June 2 at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

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CCM Alumni Featured on Stage and Behind the Scenes of Eight Tony Nominated Productions

Tony Awards LogoNominations for the 2014 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards were announced earlier this week and more than a dozen CCM alumni are involved in this year’s nominated productions!

Composer Stephen Flaherty (BM, 1982) scored the musical adaptation of Rocky, which received four nominations this year.

Josh Prince (BFA, 1996) choreographed Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which also features alumni Alysha Deslorieux (BFA, 2012), Daniel Torres (BFA, 2001), Sara Sheperd (BFA, 2008) and Melvin Tunstall III (BFA, 1998) in the cast.

Pamela Bob (BFA, 1999) is in the cast of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which leads the Tony nominations with 10 nods.

Alums Eric Santagata (BFA, 2004), Betsy Wolfe (BFA, 2004) and Preston Boyd (BFA, 2008) are all in the cast of Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway, which received six nominations.

Alumnus Damian Baldet (BFA, 1995) is featured in the cast of Machinal, which received four nominations.

The revival of Les Misérables features Max Quinlan (BFA, 2008) and Adam Monley (BFA, 2000) in its cast.

Katie Klaus (BFA, 2006) is in the cast of The Bridges of Madison County and Leeds Hill (BFA, 2011) is in the cast of Cabaret, where he recently filled in for Alan Cumming in the iconic role of the Emcee.

The 68th Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast live at 8/7 central on Sunday, June 8, on CBS. Hugh Jackman returns to host this year’s ceremony. Find out more by visiting www.tonyawards.com/en_US/nominees.

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 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 Review Round-Up: ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘El Niño’

The critics can’t stop talking about CCM’s productions of Les Misérables and El Niño! Catch up with the latest “buzz” in today’s review round-up!

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical "Les Misérables," playing Feb. 27 - March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical “Les Misérables,” playing Feb. 27 – March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

  • Rick Pender calls CCM’s new production of Les Misérables “magnificent” in his CityBeat review, concluding, “Peeled back to its raw essence, CCM’s staging of Les Misérables is powerful and memorable, one of the best musical theater productions on a Cincinnati stage this season.” Read the full review here.
  • Paige Malott reviews the production for iSPYCiNCY and observes, “Capturing the larger-than-life Les Misérables with perfection, CCM put on a better-than-Broadway performance that is guaranteed 2-4-6-0-fun.” Read the full review here.
  • In his Talkin’ Broadway review, Scott Cain explains, “Musicals presented at… CCM always feature splendidly talented student performers who rarely disappoint. Their current production, Les Misérables, is no exception and does showcase many stunning voices and meticulously detailed acting.” Read the full review here.
  • In his review for The Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard suggests, “I’ve seen a lot of shows in Cincinnati over the last couple of years… [and] CCM’s Les Misérables just might be the greatest production I’ve ever seen.” Read the full review here.
  • Rafael de Acha reviews the production for Seen and Heard International and writes, “Keeping the entire undertaking tightly reined in and mercifully devoid of any Broadway clichés, [Aubrey] Berg delivers a fresh and finely-wrought production.” Read the full review here.
  • Emily Begely reviews Les Misérables for UC’s News Record and concludes, “An exemplary cast, a familiar plot and simple props created an unforgettable work of art.” Read the full review here.
Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams' EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams’ EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

  • Janelle Gelfand reviews CCM’s “powerful” performance of John Adams’ El Niño for the Cincinnati Enquirer, and observes, “[Earl] Rivers balanced the work’s intimate emotions against powerful ones, propelled tempos well and drew excellent playing from the orchestra.” Read her full review here.
  • Mary Ellyn Hutton reviews El Niño for ConcertoNet and writes, “John Adams’ oratorio El Niño had its regional premiere in Cincinnati March 2, and it couldn’t have been in better hands. ” Read the full review here.

Performances of Les Misérables resume this evening (Tuesday, March 4) and run through Sunday, March 9. Learn more by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/lesmiserables.

CCM’s Mainstage Production of ‘Les Miserables’ Receives 5-Star Rating from the League of Cincinnati Theatres

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical "Les Misérables," playing Feb. 27 - March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical “Les Misérables,” playing Feb. 27 – March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s production of the long running musical classic Les Misérables with a Five Star Rating! Congratulations to everyone involved with the show!

Panelists praised the production as, “Spectacular… an outstanding and phenomenal production… Bravo for everyone involved for taking a musical I have seen multiple times and making it as fresh, exciting and powerful as the first.”

Director Aubrey Berg was praised for his “seamless” direction: “Aubrey Berg said he had waited over 20 years to direct this musical at CCM and he could not have done it more effectively, with some masterful choices.” Musical Director Steve Goers also was commended for his, “direction of these fine voices and in the outstanding orchestral accompaniment;” he did a, “wonderful job with taking a beast of a show and making it sing beautifully”.

The panelists were impressed by the entire ensemble: “the show absolutely showcased the incredible depth of CCM‘s students… the talent level continues to amaze.” Blaine Krauss, as Jean Valjean, “gave a sensitive, true portrayal of the character… his voice was moving… he should go directly to Broadway.”

Panelists also singled out Colin Kessler, as Javert, for his “outstanding” performance and “remarkable voice”, as well as Matthew Paul Hill’s portrayal of Thenardier: “hilarious in an evil and unctuous manner. He almost stole the show.”

Note: this review was based on the opening night cast. On alternate nights, the roles of Jean Valjean and Javert are also played by Julian Decker and Noah Ricketts, respectively.

Final LCT awards will be determined at the end of the season and announced at the LCT gala in the spring. You can learn more about CCM’s production of Les Misérables here.

About the League of Cincinnati Theatres
The League of Cincinnati Theatres was founded in 1999 to strengthen, nurture and promote Cincinnati’s theatre community. LCT provides its member companies and individual members with education, resources and services to enhance the quality and exposure of the theatre community in Cincinnati and increase community awareness, attendance and involvement. Learn more about the LCT here.

CCM Slideshows: Les Misérables

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Tonight through March 9, CCM’s Mainstage Series proudly presents production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical Les Misérables. In honor of opening night, we present a stunning preview slideshow courtesy of photographer Mark Lyons!

Aubrey Berg, CCM’s Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre, directs this new production.

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