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
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.
____

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News

CCM Drama, Dance, Choral, Piano, Musical Theatre And More On Display This Weekend!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

CCM’s stars of tomorrow will be shining bright in a wide variety of concerts and productions running this weekend!

CCM’s 2012-13 Studio Series concludes with a production of Emily Mann’s powerful docu-drama Execution of Justice, running through April 20 in UC’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required. This production contains mature subject matter. Learn more about this production here.

CCM’s Ballet Ensemble also presents its annual Spring Dance Concert this weekend, with performances running through April 20 in Patricia Corbett Theater. This year’s program features unique collaborations with CCM’s Chamber Choir and Chamber Players. Learn more about this production here.

At 8 p.m. this Saturday, April 20, the CCM’s Chorale and Concert Orchestra join forces with a variety of special guests to present Benjamin Britten’s Spring Symphony and other works in Corbett Auditorium! Learn more about this performance here.

CCM’s annual celebration of the art of the piano returns at 7 p.m. this Sunday, April 21, as Pianopalooza VIII showcases our most spectacular student pianists! Learn more about this performance here.

CCM News CCM Slideshows

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

Carnegie_5072

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.

CCM News

CCM Winds, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Guitar And More On Display This Weekend!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You will find something for everyone on the CCM stage this weekend!

At 8 p.m. this evening (Friday, April 12), the CCM Wind Orchestra closes out its successful 2012-13 season with a survey of contemporary American composers. The eclectic program will include works by Samuel Barber, Warren Benson and more! Learn more about this performance here.

CCM welcomes acclaimed tenor Lawrence Brownlee to the stage at 8 p.m. this Saturday, April 13, for an encore performance of the program from his recent Carnegie Hall debut. Brownlee will be accompanied by composer, conductor and pianist Damien Sneed for this special performance. Learn more about this performance here.

CCM’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band will celebrate the impact of adjunct instructor of jazz drums and “living guru of big band drumming” John Von Ohlen with a swinging tribute concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. Learn more about this performance here.

CCM News

The CCM/Carnegie Theatre Co-Production of ‘Parade’ Earns Four LCT Nominations

The Carnegie presents ‘Parade’ April 5 – 21, featuring Jenny Hickman and Collin Kessler. Photography by Matt Steffen.

The Carnegie presents ‘Parade’ April 5 – 21, featuring Jenny Hickman and Collin Kessler. Photography by Matt Steffen.

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized the CCM and Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center co-production of  Parade with four LCT nominations:

  • Ensemble Acting
  • Music Direction (Steve Goers)
  • Featured Actor (Noah Ricketts)
  • Lighting Design (Alan Hanson/Wes Richter)

LCT panelists also distinguished Parade as a recommended production. Congratulations to everyone involved with this show!

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes

CCM Musical Theatre and the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center Present Tony Award-Winning ‘Parade’ Next Month

The Carnegie presents 'Parade' april 5 - 21, featuring Collin Kessler (front), Matt Hill, Jenny Hickman, Noah Ricketts and Alison Bagli (rear, L to R). Photography by Matt Steffen.

The Carnegie presents ‘Parade’ april 5 – 21, featuring Collin Kessler (front), Matt Hill, Jenny Hickman, Noah Ricketts and Alison Bagli (rear, L to R). Photography by Matt Steffen.

Next month, the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington, Kentucky, presents Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown’s Parade, the 2000 Tony Award winner for “Best Book” and “Best Score.” This transformational story of a country at odds with its declarations of equality is brought to life by the remarkable talent from CCM’s Department of Musical Theatre!

Running April 5 – 21 in the Carnegie’s Otto M. Budig Theatre, Parade is directed by Ed Cohen and Dee Anne Bryll with musical direction by Stephen Goers.

CCM News