The Tony-winning writing team of composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens.

CCM Alumnus Stephen Flaherty Composes ‘Little Dancer’ For Kennedy Center

The official poster for the Kennedy Center musical 'Little Dancer.' Illustration/Kennedy Center.

The official poster for the Kennedy Center musical ‘Little Dancer.’ Illustration/Kennedy Center.

Thanks to the brilliant composition by CCM alumnus Stephen Flaherty (BM, ’82), Edgar Degas’ most renowned sculpture “Little Dancer, Aged 14” will magically come to life in the world premiere Kennedy Center musical Little Dancer beginning this Sunday, Oct. 5 Saturday, Oct. 25, and running through Nov. 30, 2014!

Those without tickets to the sold-out world premiere can get a box seat right on their couches when the center streams the show live, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Flaherty, the Tony-winning composer of the Broadway musical Ragtime, composed the music for what is being called “the splashiest Kennedy Center production of the season.”

His lyricist partner Lynn Ahrens penned the lyrics and book for Little Dancer. In 1998, they both won Tony and Drama Desk awards for Best Original Musical Score for Ragtime. In 1991, they won the Best Musical Tony Award for Once on This Island.

Learn even more about this new musical via Deborah Rieselman and the UC Magazine.

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CCM Welcomes Filmmaker James Chressanthis For Master Class and Film Screening on Feb. 17

CCM welcomes special guest James Chressanthis on Monday, Feb. 17, 2014.

CCM welcomes special guest James Chressanthis on Monday, Feb. 17, 2014.

CCM’s Division of Electronic Media welcomes cinematographer James Chressanthis, ASCfor a master class and film screening beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17, in CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.

An award-winning filmmaker, Chressanthis will host a free public lecture with a question and answer session from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. This will be followed by a free screening of his feature film directing debut, the Emmy-nominated No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos.

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CCM Alumnus Flaherty’s Score for ‘Rocky’ Heads to Broadway

A scene in the ring from the musical "Rocky."

A scene in the ring from the musical “Rocky.”

After more than a year of packed houses in Hamburg, Germany, Rocky: The Musical will soon open on Broadway, with a score composed by Stephen Flaherty (Composition, 1982), and his lyricist writing partner Lynn Ahrens. Tickets are already on sale for previews starting Feb. 11, 2014, at the Winter Garden Theatre and for an official opening on March 13.

Flaherty and Ahrens wrote 20 new songs for the show and retained three popular oldies: “Eye of the Tiger,” “Gonna Fly Now” and “Take You Back.” Because the story is set in Philadelphia in 1975, “the score combines a lot of sounds of the period — funk, soul, pop, rock and folk,” Flaherty says. “We look back to that time, but it is really a contemporary score.”

Rocky: Das Musical opened in Germany in November 2012, produced by Stage Entertainment, as well as Sylvester Stallone, creator, writer and star of the 1976 Rocky movie, which received 10 Oscar nominations. Germans loved the show. The front page of Hamburg’s daily newspaper declared, “Big Emotions, Big Theater.” And the city’s biggest tabloid announced, “‘Rocky’ Knocks Hamburg Out!”

Of course, both producers had hoped to move the show to Broadway eventually and did so even though the German production is still packing houses to rave reviews more than a year later.

“It has been an amazing adventure,” Flaherty says. “Our international cast in Germany comes from 12 different countries, and our band features some of the best players I’ve ever worked with. I’m having the time of my life. Thank God for the ‘Basic German For Dummies’ app!”

The Tony-winning writing team of composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens.

The Tony-winning writing team of composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens.

Flaherty and Ahrens have been writing popular musicals for 30 years, including two shows that won Tonys for best scores — Once on This Island in 1991 and Ragtime in 1998. The book for the latter was written by Terrance McNally, who won a Tony for his creation and who also wrote the book for Rocky.

In addition, Flaherty received a 2001 Drama Desk nomination for outstanding music for Seussical, which was originally scored for Broadway, later revised for a national tour, then revised again for junior-theater productions. For years, it has been one of the top three most-licensed properties in Music Theatre International’s licensing catalog.

You can learn more about Stephen Flaherty courtesy of UC Magazine.

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CCM Alumnus David Daniels Featured on NPR’s Morning Edition

Countertenor David Daniels (right) and dancer Reed Luplau in the Santa Fe Opera's world-premiere production of Oscar, based on the life of Oscar Wilde.

Countertenor David Daniels (right) and dancer Reed Luplau in the Santa Fe Opera’s world-premiere production of Oscar, based on the life of Oscar Wilde.

Acclaimed countertenor and CCM alumnus David Daniels (BM, 1990) was the topic of discussion on NPR’s Morning Edition today, as Renée Montagne and Miles Hoffman previewed Theodore Morrison’s new opera Oscar, which premieres Saturday at the Santa Fe Opera with Daniels in the title role. Based on the life of Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde, Morrison wrote Oscar specifically for Daniels.

You can listen to the entire broadcast here.

A 2012 Opera News Awards recipient, Daniels returned to CCM last September for a master class. He sang the title role in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Giulio Cesare earlier this year.

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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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