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.
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World-Renowned Concert Pianist and Psychiatrist Richard Kogan Explores the Mind and Music of Chopin on Oct. 10

Guest artist Richard Kogan.

Guest artist Richard Kogan.

World-renowned concert pianist and psychiatrist Richard Kogan takes the stage at CCM at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 10, for a celebration of the mind and music of Polish composer and virtuoso pianist Frédéric François Chopin.

Presented by the Friends of CCM and the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute, this unique concert program combines the cherished works of Chopin with observations about the relationship between the composer’s mind, his creative motivations and his music. A frequent performer with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Kogan is a Juilliard-trained pianist and an alumnus of Harvard Medical School.

About Richard Kogan
Richard Kogan has a distinguished career both as a concert pianist and as a psychiatrist. He has been praised for his “eloquent, compelling, and exquisite playing” by the New York Times, and the Boston Globe wrote that “Kogan has somehow managed to excel at the world’s two most demanding professions.” He has gained renown for his lectures and recitals that explore the role of music in healing and the influence of psychological factors on the creative output of composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein.

He performed Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and gave an address entitled “The Power of Music in Healing Mind and Body” at the 2009 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He has recorded a DVD for Yamaha/Touchstar Productions entitled Music and the Mind. Yo Yo Ma wrote of this DVD, “I came away from this extraordinary lecture and performance deeply moved by a fascinating presentation that only Dr. Kogan, psychiatrist and concert pianist, can deliver.” Kogan has won the Concert Artists Guild Award and the Chopin Competition of the Kosciuszko Foundation and received the 2005 Artsgenesis Creative Achievement Award.

Dr. Kogan’s presentations are extraordinary, one-of-a-kind performances. He tells vivid stories about famous composers who suffered mental problems—frequent among highly creative people—while illustrating the composer’s work by exquisitely playing excerpts from their compositions. From composers such as Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Schumann, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Leonard Bernstein, Dr. Kogan shares an insight and journey into some of the most creative minds, while humanizing medicine and bringing more of the person into medical practice. Dr. Kogan will open your ears and eyes to the symphony that is humanity, music and medicine.

Kogan is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music Pre-College, Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. He completed a psychiatry residency and an academic fellowship at NYU. He has a private practice of psychiatry in New York City and is affiliated with Weill Cornell Medical College as co-director of its Human Sexuality Program. He is also co-chairman of the recently established Weill Cornell Music/Medicine Initiative.

Performance Time
7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10

Location
Patrica Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets for this Prestige Event Series concert are $50 for general admission, $40 for Friends of CCM members. Event proceeds raised by the Friends of CCM support student Scholarships and travel for CCM’s “stars of tomorrow.” Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute’s sponsorships will benefit their core programs.

Tickets can be purchased over the telephone at 513-556-2100 or online at ccm.weshareonline.org/ws/opportunities/TheMindandMusicofChopin. A dessert reception will follow the program.

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.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

This performance is presented by the Friends of CCM and the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute.

CCM News
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.

CCM’s Studio Series Opens Next Week With Award-Winning Musical ‘Blood Brothers’

Karl Amundson as Eddie and Thomas Knapp as Mickey in CCM's Studio Series production of BLOOD BROTHERS, playing Oct. 9 - 11 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater.

Karl Amundson as Eddie and Thomas Knapp as Mickey in CCM’s Studio Series production of BLOOD BROTHERS, playing Oct. 9 – 11 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater.

CCM kicks off its 2014-15 Studio Series with Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers. Opening Thursday, Oct. 9 and running through Saturday, Oct. 11 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater, Blood Brothers will enthrall audiences with four performances.

Like all Studio Series productions, admission to Blood Brothers is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 6.

Visiting Professor Vince DeGeorge returns to the Studio Series stage as both choreographer and director of this much-anticipated musical. Last season, DeGeorge’s studio production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee received numerous accolades, including nominations for three League of Cincinnati Theatre Awards: Best Musical, Best Director of a Musical and Best Ensemble in a Musical.

Blood Brothers, winner of the 1983 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, is loosely based on the 1844 novella The Corsican Brothers by famed author Alexandre Dumas. DeGeorge describes it as “an epic story of nature versus nurture and class distinction.” It tells the tale of twin brothers separated at birth, but DeGeorge explains that it is also “the personal narrative of two women and the extremes that they’ll go to in order to keep their children safe.”

It was the emotional strength of this story that initially drew DeGeorge to the title. “This is an incredibly well crafted musical with book, music and lyrics by Willy Russell. Every character, scene and song in this piece pushes the narrative forward to its inevitable, tragic conclusion,” he says.

Brianna Barnes, a junior in the musical theatre program at CCM, will play the role of Mrs. Lyons, a major character in Blood Brothers. Barnes talks about developing her character: “playing a character that is significantly older than your actual age is always a challenge, [especially] grasping that level of maturity and wisdom. Love, however, is a universal feeling everyone can relate to. And that’s what is at the core of these two women, their unconditional and relentless love for their children.”

Barnes has immensely enjoyed working with DeGeorge. “Vince undoubtedly has an incredible vision for the production, and really collaborates that vision with our specific abilities.”

The CCM production of Blood Brothers is elegant in its simplicity. The staging serves to emphasize the musical’s raw emotion and the choreography plays a part in setting the stage. Audiences will enjoy movement inspired by the swing era of the mid 40s and 50s. Musical director Steve Goers supports the purity of the performance with his effortless arrangements and graceful piano accompaniment. Blood Brothers is a performance that will deeply affect audiences through its emotional delivery and masterful artistry.

With free admission and limited seating, CCM’s Studio Series productions remain one of the hottest tickets in town. Learn more about how secure your tickets by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/did-you-know/how-to-studio-series.

Cast List
Mrs. Johnstone……………………………………………………………. Hannah Kornfeld
Mrs. Lyons………………………………………………………………….. Brianna Barnes
Mr. Lyons……………………………………………………………………. John Battaliegse
Mickey Johnstone………………………………………………………… Thomas Knapp
Edward Lyons……………………………………………………………..  Karl Amundson
Sammy……………………………………………………………………….. Zach Erhardt
Linda………………………………………………………………………….. Kaela O’Conner
Narrator………………………………………………………………………. Tyler Huckstep
Ensemble……………………………………………………………………. Alec Cohen, Emily Fink, Louis Griffin, Jackson Mattek, Emily Royer, Keaton Whittaker, Hannah Zazzaro

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets

Admission is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 6. Visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order.

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.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News
CCM's Mainstage Series proudly presents MACBETH, playing Oct. 2 - 5, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: Macbeth

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CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series opens with a dynamic new production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, playing tonight through Sunday, Oct. 5, in Patricia Corbett Theater.

In the dark and twisted landscape of 11th century Scotland, Macbeth will go to any means necessary to prove that he’s a man (even if this Macbeth is played by a woman). With the help of his wife, and pushed by a trio of gnarly creatures (witches who were women once), Macbeth schemes to take the throne and eliminate anyone standing in his way.

Brant Russell directs this iconic tragedy in his Mainstage Series debut!

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Macbeth are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 UC students with a valid ID, with $12-$15 student rush tickets available for the Saturday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. on Oct. 4. 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/macbeth-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.

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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News CCM Slideshows
CCM Drama major Laura McCarthy as Macbeth.

CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series Opens This October With a Gender-Bending Production of ‘Macbeth’

CCM student Laura McCarthy as Macbeth. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM student Laura McCarthy as Macbeth. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM opens its 2014-15 Mainstage Series with William Shakespeare’s dark and twisted tragedy Macbeth. Under the direction of Brant Russell, Assistant Professor of Drama, Macbeth will make its CCM debut Oct. 2 through 5 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater, with a preview performance at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Russell’s unique take on this classic features third-year female drama student Laura McCarthy in the title role.

Macbeth is the tale of a man, hungry to claim the throne and fulfill a prophesy that named him king. Cajoled by his wife, he achieves his ambitions through treachery and murder, only to find that victory isn’t as sweet as it seemed. “I wanted to explore transgendered identity and how it translates into masculinity, and in turn how that would be a part of the character dynamic,” says Russell on his decision to cast a woman as Macbeth. In addition, there are several other traditionally male roles that will be played by women, including Banquo, Angus and Cathness.

McCarthy has been preparing for the role of Macbeth since she was cast last spring. She’s given up her vegetarian diet and taken up a weight-training regimen. “I’m more conscious of when I’m being feminine or when I’m being masculine,” says McCarthy.

Watch McCarthy begin her transformation into Macbeth in an exclusive behind-the-scenes video, shot and edited by CCM Electronic Media major Dan Marque:

To complete the transformation, McCarthy decided to shave her head. In addition to rehearsing the substantial Shakespearian material, she talks about the personal aspects of her metamorphosis: “The CCM community has been very vocal in their support, which has been very important to me. I pass people in the hallway and they will say ‘you look great’ or something to that effect. It has given me the confidence that I need in an otherwise vulnerable position.”

Overall, though, McCarthy describes the general public’s interactions with her now as “cautious.” “It is as if… [the people around me] are trying to place me but can’t and therefore are on edge. It is the lack of identifiable gender that sets them off I think. I live in the unknown grey area now.” McCarthy explains that Russell is the perfect conduit for this performance. “He gives just the right amount of freedom to all the artists involved to make it their own… Through conversation and exploration he humbly lights our way to finding our own interpretation of the text.” This powerful directorial style lends an important gravity to each individual’s personal performance. Audiences can expect a genuine experience, profound in its honesty.

Despite being Shakespeare’s most popular play, Macbeth is making its first appearance on the CCM stage with this production. In addition, this drama marks Russell’s inaugural Mainstage production. Russell’s transition to the Mainstage is a natural progression, considering his success last year directing Boeing Boeing, a collaboration with the Carnegie’s Theatre Series in Covington. Russell also received critical acclaim this summer for his production and direction of the World’s Fair Play Festival at the Queens Theater in the Park, which received a coveted New York Times ‘Critic’s Pick.’ Read more about Russell’s Queens Theater success by visiting NYTimes.com.

About Brant Russell
Brant Russell is a graduate of Kenyon College (BA, political science) and Northwestern University (MFA, stage direction). He is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, an associate member of SDC and has worked on the staffs of Writers’ Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Steppenwolf. He has worked as a producer and/or director for Theater Seven, Steep Theater, Steppenwolf, Collaboraction, MoonPie Productions, Next Theater, Victory Gardens, the Side Project and Around the Coyote, among others. Collaboraction and American Blues Theater have produced his short plays. Russell has appeared onstage in productions and readings for Next, Theater-Hikes, Steep / Naked Angels and Strawdog Theater. He has taught at Northwestern University, Kenyon College and Steppenwolf.

In January 2015, Russell will direct the American premiere of Brett Neveu’s RED BUD at Signal Ensemble in Chicago. He will also direct a CCM Studio Series production in the spring entitled You’re Welcome (A Cycle of Bad Plays) and produce the 2015 installment of the popular TRANSMIGRATION Festival. At CCM, he teaches Artist in Society, Script Analysis, History of Directing and graduate courses including Intro to Dramaturgy and Collaboration Techniques. He has taught independent studies in Absurdist Theater, Politics in Drama and Performance Art.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1 (preview)
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Macbeth are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 UC students with a valid ID, with $12-$15 student rush tickets available for the Saturday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. on Oct. 4. Tickets to the Oct. 1 preview performance are just $12.

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/macbeth-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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News
Professor Scott Belck and the CCM Jazz Ensemble. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM’s Fall Jazz Series Honors Legendary Musicians Buddy Rich, Charles Mingus and Stan Kenton

Cincinnati jazz icon John Von Ohlen and the CCM Jazz Ensemble. Photography by Dottie Stover.

Cincinnati jazz icon John Von Ohlen and the CCM Jazz Ensemble. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM’s Department of Jazz Studies highlights a collection of the genre’s most famed royalty this fall.

CCM Jazz Ensembles kick off the season with a tribute to legendary drummer Buddy Rich on Sunday, Sept. 28. “Burning for Buddy” will highlight the talents of CCM senior drummer David Albanese. CCM Professor and Director of Jazz Studies Scott Belck explains, “This is a high energy, traditional jazz piece that has never been featured at CCM.”

On Sunday, Oct. 12, the Jazz Ensembles pay tribute to the life and style of virtuoso bass player, pianist, bandleader and composer Charles Mingus. Belck and first-year faculty member Craig Bailey lead CCM’s big bands in a musical journey back to the 1960s when protest, freedom and risk-taking reverberated through Mingus’ music.

Cincinnati’s very own John Von Ohlen joins the Jazz Ensemble in a highly anticipated tribute to the Stan Kenton Orchestra on Sunday, Nov. 2. Von Ohlen was Kenton’s drummer in the early 70s before joining the Blue Wisp Big Band. Tickets will not last long for this audience favorite, so contact the CCM Box Office today!

This spectacular season of iconic jazz artists also features several free events, including the CCM Faculty Jazztet’s celebration of the legendary “Birth of the Cool” recording sessions with Miles Davis and Gil Evans; a guest artist concert exploring “The Art of the Jazz Duo” with saxophonist Andrew Bishop and pianist Ellen Rowe; and the Annual Holiday Concert, which promises to swing everyone into the season with a special appearance by the Grinch!

Event Information

All events listed below take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise indicated. Please see individual event information for single ticket prices and ordering information.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit ccm.uc.edu or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 for the most current event information.

CCM News
CCM's acclaimed Wind Orchestra.

CCM’s Wind Series Honors American Icon Leonard Bernstein, the Art of the American Symphony and More This Fall

Composer, conductor, author and pianist Leonard Bernstein.

Composer, conductor, author and pianist Leonard Bernstein.

CCM’s Department of Wind Studies turns its spotlight on the American composer this fall. From Sept. 21 through Dec. 3, CCM’s Wind Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Chamber Players present a variety of exciting concerts, including several free performances.

Under the direction of Professor Glenn D. Price, the CCM Wind Orchestra opens its season at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25, with a celebration of American icon Leonard Bernstein, featuring music from West Side StoryCandide and more.

“It’s hard to believe that it was almost exactly 24 years ago that he passed away,” Price observes. “I was studying at Tanglewood at the time, in no small part because he was going to be there. He conducted what turned out to be his final two concerts for us, in the Shed with the Tanglewood Orchestra, and two days later with the BSO.”

Price honors this American legend with a program of some of Bernstein’s most popular compositions, including Slava, “Suite” from Candide, “Profanation” from Symphony No. 1, ”A Simple Song” from Mass and “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story.

“I am using this opportunity to enlighten our students who were born into a post-Bernstein world about the richness that he provided to many of us. Visiting his music in depth is a great luxury, and one that I hope is meaningful for them,” explains Price.

Following this touching tribute, Price constructs his very own “American Symphony” at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24, in Corbett Auditorium, taking pieces from four symphonies by four American composers – Vittorio Giannini, John Barnes Chance, Ingolf Dahl and James Barnes – and creating a new musical mosaic from their works.

The Winds Orchestra Series closes with “War and Peace,” a bombastic evening of Barber’s Commando March, Rautaavara’s A Soldier’s Mass, Gilmore’s Five Folksongs for Soprano, Husa’s Music for Prague 1968 and Reed’s Rejoicing in the Beauty of Peace at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 3, in Corbett Auditorium.

CCM’s Wind Ensemble and Chamber Players offer even more opportunities to experience the music of American composers Steve Reich, Eric Whitacre, Michael Kevin Daugherty and more this fall in a series of free concerts. See below for detailed program information.

Event Information
All events listed below take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise indicated. Please see individual event information for single ticket prices and ordering information.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit ccm.uc.edu or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 for the most current event information.

CCM News