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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LCT Awards ‘PO 11259: Sincerely Yours’ Top Prize in CCM’s TRANSMIGRATION Festival

Six teams of student actors craft and perform original 30-minute shows during the 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival.

Six teams of student actors craft and perform original 30-minute shows during the 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival.

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized PO 11259: Sincerely Yours as the best production at CCM’s 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival, CCM Drama’s annual presentation of student written and produced work. Congratulations to that show’s creative team of Jaclyn Chantel, Hannah Halvorson, Spencer Lackey, Laura McCarthy, Fabiola Rodriguez and Anna Stapleton!

Panelists awarded second place to The 17th Annual Snipes, Arkansas, Harvest Festival, and honorable mentions to Dreams R Us: Tonight’s Answers to Tomorrow’s Questions and Complex: A Structure of Sound, An Organism of Vibrations.

The sixth-annual festival allows the audience to experience half-hour works produced by small groups of Drama majors, who create and design all aspects of their productions from start to finish. The festival is an exciting event for both guests and the presenters, as audiences get the opportunity to see up to four very different pieces of new theatre in a single night and the students premiere works that are entirely their own. This year, six shows were presented.

PO 11259 was praised for being “funny and poignant” and “a cool concept,”while The Snipes, Arkansas, Harvest Festival allowed its actors to show “a lot of dimensions in a short play.”

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CCM Drama Holds Annual Senior Showcase and Dolly Awards on March 14

CCM's Class of 2014 in Drama.

CCM’s Class of 2014 in Drama.

CCM’s Department of Drama presents its annual Senior Showcase at 2 and 7 p.m. on Friday, March 14, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. The 12th annual DOLLY Awards Ceremony follows the 7 p.m. showcase performance. These events are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.

The showcase performance will consist of a variety of scenes by graduating seniors in CCM’s Drama program, demonstrating the depth and breadth of the acting skills they have honed during their undergraduate training at CCM.

The Senior Showcase will be the first presentation of a performance that the students will be taking on the road to exhibit their talent in New York and Los Angeles in April. You can learn more about the Drama Class of 2014 at ccm.uc.edu/theatre/drama/seniorshowcase.

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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.

‘Metamorphoses’ Earns Four Star Rating by the League of Cincinnati Theatres

CCM's presents ' Metamorphoses' Feb. 5 (preview) - 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s presents ‘ Metamorphoses’ Feb. 5 (preview) – 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

We are delighted to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized our Mainstage Series production of Metamorphoses with a Four Star Rating! Congratulations to everyone involved with the show!

Panelists praised Metamorphoses as “a rare, exemplary experience to behold in a theater. The pool, lighting, use of space, direction, transitions, performances and the stories–Myths of Ovid–were compelling, touching, sad, hopeful and even risky.”

D. Lynn Meyers was commended for her direction: “In her hands, Ovid’s dreams ‘were magically realized and lushly furnished with a vision as tender as it was daring’.”

Dana Hall, for scenic design, and Wes Richter, for lighting design, were singled out for designs that were “beautifully evocative, integral to the story-telling, and well-executed”.

Finally, the entire ensemble was lauded for their work: “Bravo to the cast who cast a spell upon this audience member.”

Metamorphoses plays through tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, Feb. 9). For more information about the production, visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/metamorphoses.

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CCM Drama Student Recognized by League of Cincinnati Theatres

Senior drama major Shaun Sutton.

Senior drama major Shaun Sutton.

We are thrilled to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized featured actor (and fourth year drama major) Shaun Sutton for his work in the CCM/Carnegie co-production Boeing Boeing!

Boeing Boeing is a comic farce featuring the antics of Bernard, a playboy who has juggled his romances with three beautiful flight attendants until a change in their schedules brings them to his flat all on the same night. Panelists particularly praised Shaun Sutton’s “impressive” portrayal of Robert, Bernard’s friend: “His use of facial expressions and body really helped sell the physical comedy of the role.” You can learn more about Sutton here.

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CCM’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ Earns 4.5 Star Rating by the League of Cincinnati Theatres

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin' in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

We are delighted to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Mainstage Series production of the classic film musical Singin’ in the Rain with a four and a half star rating!

Panelists praised the production as “Joyful, happy, shining and memorable… An uplifting story and a treat for the eyes.” Diane Lala was commended both for her direction (“a standout production all-around with many delightful and excellent elements that really lived up to the silver screen standard of the film”) and for her contribution to the choreography, along with co-choreographer Patti James: “Covering multiple styles and always challenging the students, the choreography was truly the star of this show, and it was executed brilliantly by the talented performers.”

Ryan Sigurdson’s music direction was also recognized as “solid and impressive”. Scenic Designer Mark Halpin delivered a wonderful set—“layered in a complex, but very functional way that delivered the many silver-screen settings”–and technical director Steve Miller was also given a nod for his contribution to the “fantastic and well-executed” rain effects in the iconic title number. Reba Senske’s costume design was described as “numerous, timely, lush, complimentary to character, and a delight to look at.” Finally, from a technical aspect, CCM Electronic Media students were recognized for the “hilarious” and “seamlessly executed” videos they created for many of the scenes.

From a performance standpoint, the entire ensemble was applauded for outstanding dancing and singing.” Matt Hill, as Cosmo Brown, and Sarah Bishop, as Lina Lamont, were particularly singled out as “dead-on portraying their characters and handling the timing and humor effectively.”

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CCM’s ‘Carrie: The Musical’ Earns Four Star Rating by the League of Cincinnati Theatres

From left to right: Jennifer Hickman is Margaret White and Hannah Freeman is Carrie White in CCM's Studio Series production of 'Carrie: The Musical.' Photography by senior Lighting Design major David Seitz.

From left to right: Jennifer Hickman is Margaret White and Hannah Freeman is Carrie White in CCM’s Studio Series production of ‘Carrie: The Musical.’ Photography by senior Lighting Design major David Seitz.

We are thrilled to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Studio Series production of Carrie: The Musical with a four star rating!

The musical, based on a Stephen King horror novel, was presented last weekend, featuring students majoring in the nationally acclaimed Musical Theatre program at CCM.

LCT panelists commended lead actress Hannah Freeman as Carrie White. “Her vocal clarity and pitch were great and the honesty with which she played the range of emotions was grounded,” stated one panelist. Another said Freeman, “drew the audience in from the outset and delivered a vocally beautiful performance with seeming ease. Her acting communicated Carrie’s pain and grace. Even as audiences prepared for the inevitable, Freeman’s authenticity as Carrie made us care so much about her we hoped for a happier ending.”

Also singled out, Jenny Hickman as the mother, Margaret White, who was “an outstanding singer and presence on the stage.”

Scenic designer by Sarabeth Hall also won over the panelists. A panelist noted “she created a visceral environment that thrust audiences into the piece and created palpable excitement well before the first entrance.”

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CCM’s ‘The Crucible’ Earns Four Star Rating by the League of Cincinnati Theatres

CCM's proudly presents Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible,' running through Sunday, Oct. 6. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s proudly presents Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible,’ running through Sunday, Oct. 6. Photography by Mark Lyons.

We are delighted to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible with a four star rating!

Written in 1953  as a parable for McCarthyism by American playwright Arthur Miller, The Crucible tells a story of hysteria and witchcraft in colonial Salem.

Panelists praised The Crucible as “a skillful, intense, heartfelt, and nearly perfect production of The Crucible. I truly watched in wonder as the story unfolded.”

“The ensemble acting was terrific…this cast was admirable in its portrayal of a wide range of ages, young to middle-age to elderly.”

As one panelist noted: “I would recommend the production because it is a classic play that still resonates today.”

League of Cincinnati Theatre panelists evaluate productions on a five star scale and recommend shows at either a four star or five star level. Nominations for LCT awards will be determined and announced at the end of the season and winners awarded at the annual LCT gala in the spring. Learn more about The Crucible‘s four star rating here.

CCM’s 2013-14 Mainstage Series resumes at the end of this month with a joyous, graceful stage adaptation of the classic film musical Singin’ in the Rain! Learn more about that production and the rest of our current season here.

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CCM Productions Sweep Cincinnati Theatre Season Round-Ups

'Street Scene' photography by Mark Lyons.

‘Street Scene’ photography by Mark Lyons.

The League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) held its annual award ceremony on Monday, May 20, and we are happy to report that CCM productions took home an impressive six major awards for Excellence in Theatre! Continue reading