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.
____

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’s Studio Production of ‘Blood Brothers’ Receives a 4.5 Star Rating from the League of Cincinnati Theatres

From left to right: Karl Amundson, Hannah Kornfeld and Thomas Knapp in CCM's Studio Series production of BLOOD BROTHERS, running Oct. 9 - 11 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Photography by Adam Zeek.

From left to right: Karl Amundson, Hannah Kornfeld and Thomas Knapp in CCM’s Studio Series production of BLOOD BROTHERS, running Oct. 9 – 11 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Photography by Adam Zeek.

We are thrilled to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Studio Series production of Blood Brothers with a 4.5 star rating.

Blood Brothers is the haunting story of the Johnson twins, separated at birth and brought together by the power of friendship. A tale of superstition, class distinction and adolescent love loosely based on The Corsican Brothers by Alexandre Dumas, Blood Brothers was the winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 1983.

Panelists praised faculty director Vince DeGeorge “for his tight direction and bare-bones concept – he showed that one needs not have a big set and scenery to put together a powerful production.”

Faculty member Steve Goers received strong kudos for his rearrangement of the score for voices: “the vocal ensemble provided the full harmonic textures of the score that Goers’ lone piano could not. His overture had the ensemble sing the string, brass and wind parts to create a very evocative opening.”

The entire cast was commended: “a bonded ensemble that was used expressively and expertly… every performer was beautifully cast and resonated with me.” In particular, leads Thomas Knapp as Mickey, Karl Amundson as Eddie, and Hannah Kornfeld as Mrs. Johnstone were singled out for touching and believable performances.

Overall panelists found Blood Brothers “an outstanding production of a weird and wonderful show… smashing!”

League of Cincinnati Theatre panelists evaluate productions on a 5 star scale and recommend shows at either a 4 star or 5 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.

CCM’s Studio Series resumes later on this month with an Opera Cabaret Lab production of Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel and Paul Hindemith’s Hin und zuruck, playing in the Cohen Family Studio Theater from Oct. 24 – 26. Tickets become available at noon next Monday, Oct. 20. Learn more about this year’s Studio Series by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/save-the-date/studio-series-2014-2015.

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 News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes

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.

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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.

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After Making the Transition from the Theatre to the Courtroom, Alumnus Darrell Miller Prepares his First Book on ‘The 16th Minute of Fame’

CCM alumnus Darrell D. Miller.

Alumnus Darrell Miller took the lessons he learned at CCM and used them to become one of the world’s leading entertainment attorneys.

CCM alumnus Darrell D. Miller (BFA, 1985) has worked with some of the biggest names in music, television and film … but probably not in the capacity that is typically expected of musical theatre graduates.

After completing his studies at Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), Miller came to CCM intent on pursuing a career in voice performance and musical theatre. Early professional experience with the Civic Light Opera (CLO) in Pittsburgh left Miller well-poised for success on Broadway.

Miller graduated from UC with honors in 1985. Tours with several national production companies followed, along with a lead role in the jazz opera Leo and an international tour of the musical The Princess and the Pea, before Miller decided to take his career in a slightly different direction.

In 1990, Miller received his Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center, and he has gone on to become one of the world’s leading entertainment attorneys, working in film, television, theatre and digital media.

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League of Cincinnati Theatres Spotlights CCM Musical Theatre Major Brianna Barnes

Current CCM Musical Theatre major Brianna Barnes as Louise.

Current CCM Musical Theatre major Brianna Barnes as Louise. Photography by Mikki Schaffner.

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized the work of Brianna Barnes as Louise and Sherry McCamley as Mama Rose in the Covedale Theatre’s Gypsy, playing now through May 4. Barnes is a current student in CCM’s Musical Theatre program.

One panelist noted, “Brianna Barnes (Louise) captured my attention from the moment she entered the stage. She managed to give us a range of emotion carrying us through self-consciousness humbleness, rage, pity, sorrow, and love, played with truthfulness and energy.”

Another noted, “the highlight of this show was Brianna Barnes as Louise who was completely authentic and charismatic throughout this show, has great poise and vocal talent, and made a stunning transformation from Louise to Gypsy Rose that never seemed forced or faked. She is truly a star.”

CCM News Student Salutes

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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