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 Performances and Collaborations Highlighted on Several “Best of 2013″ Lists

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As we ring in a new year, several local arts writers have released their “year in review” lists for 2013. Rafael de Acha, Mary Ellyn Hutton, Kirk Sheppard, Rick Pender and Janelle Gelfand help us take a look back at the year that was:

In his “best of” roundup for Music for All Seasons, Rafael de Acha commented, “(CCM) consistently achieves professional level in its numerous productions of operas, musicals and concerts which approached the four-digit mark this past year.” Last spring’s original production of Into a Lamplit Room: The Songs of Kurt Weill and the recent concert production of Verdi’s Don Carlos, along with CCM’s Mainstage Series productions of Singin’ in the Rain and Owen Wingrave, all received special mention in de Acha’s review.

Mary Ellyn Hutton presented her top 16 performances for Music in Cincinnati, which included three CCM productions: Verdi’s Don Carlos, Bach’s St. John Passion and Britten’s Owen Wingrave. Of Verdi’s Don Carlos, Hutton commented, “This gets my vote as perhaps the single finest concert of 2013 in Cincinnati.”

Compiled for The Snappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard‘s list of favorite theatre productions of 2013 included last spring’s Mainstage production of The Threepenny Opera and the Studio production of Parade produced in collaboration with the Carnegie in Covington. This past fall’s CCM productions of Carrie and Singin’ in the Rain also made Sheppard’s list.

Rick Pender included two CCM productions in his 2013 round up of theatre in Cincinnati for CityBeat. Last spring’s co-production of Parade with the Carnegie and the recent Mainstage production of Singin’ in the Rain received special attention.

Janelle Gelfand also included CCM’s massive concert production of Don Carlos in her list of “Top 13 Classical Music Shows in 2013″ for the Cincinnati Enquirer. In addition to her performance-specific list, she published a summary of “arts highlights” for the year, which included the work of the MYCincinnati after-school program in East Price Hill (learn more about CCM’s connection to the organization here) and the new partnership between Cincinnati’s World Piano Competition, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and CCM.

What were your favorite performances of 2013? What are you looking forward to most in 2014? Get a first look at what’s coming up at CCM in 2014 here!

CCM’s ‘Owen Wingrave’ Hailed As ‘Breathtaking,’ ‘Immaculate’ and a ‘Triumph’ By Critics!

CCM's Mainstage Series production of Benjamin Britten's OWEN WINGRAVE runs Nov. 21 - 24 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Benjamin Britten’s OWEN WINGRAVE runs Nov. 21 – 24 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Photography by Mark Lyons.

The critics are still talking about CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Benjamin Britten’s rarely-seen opera Owen Wingrave!

Janelle Gelfand calls the production “breathtaking” in her review for the Cincinnati Enquirer and suggests that CCM’s mounting “brought clarity to an opera that has been nearly forgotten since its debut on British television in 1971.” Read the full review here.

Mary Ellyn Hutton calls the production a “triumph” in her Music In Cincinnati review, declaring, “The production was by all measures outstanding, one which enveloped the listener like few in recent memory in Cincinnati.” Read the full review here.

Rafael de Acha calls the production “immaculate” in his Music for All Seasons review, observing that CCM has “mounted a strong, streamlined, subtle, sober and somber production, lit by the bright performances of a youthful troupe.” Read the full review here.

If you missed out on this gem of a production, then mark your calendars now for early 2014. CCM’s Studio Opera series presents a FREE production of Chabrier’s L’étoile from Feb. 14 – 16, conducted by Stefano Sarzani with stage direction by Robin Guarino.

CCM’s Mainstage Series also resumes in February with Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, directed by guest artist D. Lynn Meyers, followed by the iconic musical  Les Misérables! Tickets to these and dozens of other performances are on sale now!

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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IT’S A SMASH! Rave Reviews for CCM’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

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.

The reviews are in and the critics are calling CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Singin’ in the Rain a must-see theatre event!

In his review for Theatre Reviews Limited, Rafael de Acha suggests: “the show is one of the best, if not the best production of a musical I’ve seen in my three years in Cincinnati.” Read the full review here.

Rick Pender calls the production “a fabulous recreation of the iconic 1952 movie that featured Gene Kelly” in his CityBeat review. “If you love musicals,” he explains, “you should run, don’t walk to the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music this weekend for the short run of Singin’ in the Rain.” Read the full review here.

David Lyman calls the production “a delight” in his review for the Cincinnati Enquirer, concluding: “It’s pleasurable and immensely satisfying. It is, as Lala wrote in her program notes, like visiting an old friend.” Read the full review here.

In his review for Talkin’ Broadway, Scott Cain says, “The show flows at a quick pace and has apt tone and blocking. The dances, including lots of wonderful tap numbers, are vibrant, fun, and well-executed. Ryan Sigurdson leads a lush 27-piece orchestra that couldn’t sound any better.” Read the full review here.

Singin’ in the Rain runs through Sunday, Nov. 3, in Corbett Auditorium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

Tickets and subscription packages are on sale now, but only a handful of seats remain, so don’t delay – contact the CCM Box Office today!

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UC is Highlighted Among the Nation’s Best Colleges

The Princeton Review SealFor the seventh year in a row, the University of Cincinnati is praised as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company features UC in the new 2014 edition of its annual college guide, “The Best 378 Colleges.”

The Princeton Review’s surveys named CCM, along with UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) and College of Engineering (CEAS), as particular stand outs!

Only about 15 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges and only four colleges outside the U.S. are profiled in the book which is The Princeton Review’s flagship college guide. It includes detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores for all schools in eight categories, plus ranked lists of the top 20 schools in 62 categories based on The Princeton Review’s surveys of 126,000 students attending the colleges.

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CCM and Carnegie Co-Production of ‘Parade’ Continues April 19-21

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Local audiences have only three more opportunities to experience CCM and the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center‘s critically acclaimed co-production of Parade! Don’t miss your chance to see this transformational story of a country at odds with its declarations of equality, brought to life by the remarkable talent of CCM Musical Theatre!

The 1999 Tony Award winner for “Best Book” and “Best Score,” Parade‘s run concludes this weekend with performances April 19 – 21. Ed Cohen and Dee Anne Bryll direct, with musical direction by Stephen Goers.

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High Praise for CCM’s Kurt Weill Festival

CCM presents 'The Threepenny Opera.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM presents ‘The Threepenny Opera.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

This weekend is your last chance to catch CCM’s acclaimed productions of both The Threepenny Opera (March 8 – 10) and the brand-new Kurt Weill revue Into a Lamplit Room (March 10).

The critics have had high praise for both productions, with CityBeat’s Rick Pender calling The Threepenny Opera “authentic,” “compelling” and “visually stunning” and Seen and Heard International‘s Rafael de Acha calling Into a Lamplit Room “heavenly!”

See what the critics have said for yourselves here:

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CCM Slideshows: The Threepenny Opera

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CCM proudly presents The Threepenny Opera, running tonight, March 1, through Sunday, March 10, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. This production contains mature subject matter.

Learn more The Threepenny Opera here.

“[Stage Director Robin] Guarino fearlessly goes back to the musical satire’s socio-political roots in 1920s Berlin,” Jackie Demaline writes in her review for the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Everything about The Threepenny Opera carries out Guarino’s vision, as the cast prowl scenic designer John Arnone’s industrial set of catwalks, with the small orchestra (in costume) perched at the top. Musical director Roger Grodsky as always asks much and gets all from singers and musicians.”

Read Demaline’s full review here.

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