CCM Jazz and Musical Theatre Join Forces for Duke Ellington’s ‘Nutcracker Suite’

CCM’s Jazz Ensemble performed with Musical Theatre dancers at CCM’s 2011 Moveable Feast benefit event. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM presents a special seasonal treat at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2, as the departments of Jazz Studies and Musical Theatre unite to present Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite for one night only in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

One of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, Duke Ellington recorded The Nutcracker Suite for the Columbia record label in 1960. The album featured jazz interpretations of well-known melodies by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, arranged by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

Under the musical direction of Scott Belck and Dominic Marino, dancers from CCM’s Musical Theatre program will join the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band to transform The Nutcracker Suite’s romantic orchestrations into jumping jazz melodies, including “Toot Toot Tootie Toot (Dance of the Reed-Pipes),” “Peanut Brittle Brigade” and “Sugar Rum Cherry (Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy).” Featuring choreography by Diane Lala, a classical ballet becomes cool-cat jazz, infused with Vegas glitz, Hollywood glamour and a little New York razzmatazz.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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CCM Slideshows: Chess

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Featuring music by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson with lyrics by Tim Rice, CCM’s Mainstage Series continues with the must-see musical Chess, running Oct. 25-28 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

CityBeat’s Rick Pender writes, “Our local theater scene is enhanced considerably by works presented on the stages at universities: Tonight through Sunday, CCM’s esteemed musical theater program is offering CHESS, with music by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. The story is set in Bangkok and Budapest during a 1972 chess championship — which is about conflict between nations, between lovers and, of course, between chess players. Director Aubrey Berg says, “The action plays out in a world of spies, counter-agents and superpowers vying for supremacy.”

Tickets are still available for this acclaimed rock musical!

Learn more at http://ccm.uc.edu.

Check out the original music video for “One Night in Bangkok” from the 1984 Chess concept album below:

CCM Presents Acclaimed Rock Opera ‘Chess’ Oct. 25-28

CCM proudly presents the acclaimed rock opera Chess as the next installment in this year’s Mainstage Series. Featuring music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (of the Swedish rock group ABBA) with lyrics by Golden Globe, Tony, Grammy and Academy Award-winner Tim Rice (of Jesus Christ SuperstarEvitaThe Lion King and more), Chess has what Time magazine calls “one of the best rock scores ever produced.” 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.

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Everybody’s Playing the Game, But Nobody’s Rules are the Same…

CCM Musical Theatre Students Give a Lesson in History Through Song

Dave Clemmons (center) and the cast of CCM's Studio Series production of 'The Civil War.'

Dave Clemmons (center) and the cast of CCM’s Studio Series production of ‘The Civil War.’

Take a trip back in time with the CCM Studio Series production of Frank Wildhorn’s unique musical The Civil War. Premiering on Broadway in 1999, this musical tells the story of the American Civil War through the viewpoints of all involved – Confederate, Union and slave alike – by way of musical numbers spanning the gamut of genres from gospel, folk and country to R&B and rock.

Directed by Jason Podplesky with musical direction by Ryan Shirar, The Civil War runs May 10 – 12 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater on the University of Cincinnati campus. Tickets to The Civil War are free, but reservations are required.

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