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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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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Five CCM Alumni on Broadway in ‘Annie’ Revival

Distinguished alumna Faith Prince listens to Emily Rosenfeld in the Broadway revival of 'Annie.'

Distinguished alumna Faith Prince listens to Emily Rosenfeld in the Broadway revival of ‘Annie.’

Until Jan. 5, 2014, Broadway audiences have a chance to catch four CCM alumnae in a Tony-nominated musical — the revival of Annie — plus one more if you wait at the back stage door to meet him after the show.

The biggest name of the group is Faith Prince, CCM ’79, HonDoc ’09, who co-stars as Miss Hannigan, the alcoholic matron at the orphanage. She joined the show at the Palace Theatre in the summer (2013).

Also joining the show this year were Justin Patterson, CCM ’99, who plays F.D.R.; Kirsten Wyatt, CCM ’97, who plays Lily St. Regis; Danette Holden, CCM ’96, part of the ensemble and an understudy for Faith Prince; and Derric Nolte, CCM ’11, assistant stage director.

The current revival of Annie was nominated for a Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. The show is expected to run through Jan. 5, 2014, after which a national tour will be launched.

You can learn more about these CCM alumni courtesy of UC Magazine.

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CCM Announces 2013-14 Studio Series of Opera, Musical Theatre, Drama and Dance

CCM's 2013-14 Studio Series includes a production of 'Boeing Boeing' presented by the Carnegie and CCM Drama this November.

CCM’s 2013-14 Studio Series includes a production of ‘Boeing Boeing’ presented by the Carnegie and CCM Drama this November.

CCM is pleased to announce details for its 2013-14 Studio Series of opera, musical theatre, drama and dance productions.

This season’s Studio Series includes eight exciting productions showcasing CCM’s rising stars. The series opens in October with the newly re-imagined musical adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie and concludes in April with the irreverent Shakespearean/zombie mash-up Living Dead in Denmark.

This season’s series includes a revival of the Tony Award-winning comedy classic Boeing Boeing produced in collaboration with the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center and a public reading of the new American opera Fellow Travelers, produced in collaboration with Cincinnati Opera as part of the Opera Fusion program.

Always innovative, CCM’s 2013-14 Studio Series also includes the annual TRANSMIGRATION Festival of student-created new dramatic works and annual student choreographer’s dance showcase. Emmanuel Chabrier’s effervescent opéra bouffe L’étoileand the Tony Award-winning musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee round out this year’s Studio Series.

Tickets and Parking Information
With free admission and limited seating for the six CCM-hosted productions in this series, the Studio Series remains one of the hottest tickets in town. All Studio Series performances held at CCM are free and open to the general public, but reservations are required. Reservations can be made the week of each show by visiting the CCM Box Office in UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts or by calling 513-556-4183.

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 directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

Please see the individual listings below for Boeing Boeing and Fellow Travelers ticketing details.

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CCM Alumna in Tony-Winning Best Musical

 

Tory Ross on opening night of "Kinky Boots"

Tory Ross on opening night of “Kinky Boots”

Tory Ross, CCM ’02, has been in some top-rated TV shows, movies and now a Tony-nabbing Broadway show: Kinky Boots. Ross plays Pat and an ensemble role in the play that just grabbed six Tony Awards on June 16, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Choreography.

Prior to the show opening in April 2013, Ross had appeared in two seasons of the British drama Downton Abbey, which won the Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Drama Series and the Banff Television Festival Award for Best Mini-Series. As of spring 2013, Ross’ latest appearance in that show was scheduled to air in the U.S. on Jan. 5, 2014.

Watch clips of Ross’ performances here.

Find out about other famous alumni from the University of Cincinnati courtesy of UC Magazine here.

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CCM Presents the Iconic Musical ‘The Threepenny Opera’ Feb. 28 – March 10

Sophomore Hannah Zazzaro as Sukey Tawdry and junior Max Clayton as Macheath. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Sophomore Hannah Zazzaro as Sukey Tawdry and junior Max Clayton as Macheath. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Someone sneaking ’round the corner. Is the someone Mack the Knife? Find out for yourself when CCM presents The Threepenny Opera, Feb. 28 through March 10, 2013!

With The Threepenny Opera, composer Kurt Weill and playwright Bertolt Brecht weave the riveting story of notorious bandit and womanizer MacHeath (“Mack the Knife”) and his seedy companions in London’s underworld, inventing a new form of musical theatre in the process!

Influencing shows like Chicago and Cabaret, this jazz-infused musical comes to life in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater for two consecutive weekends courtesy of CCM’s stars of tomorrow!

Directed by Robin Guarino, with musical direction by Roger Grodsky, choreography by Patti James and set designs by Tony Award-winning guest artist John ArnoneThe Threepenny Opera is the must-see theatre event of the year! Learn more here.

This production contains mature subject matter.

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Cincinnati Enquirer’s Jackie Demaline Reviews CCM’s ‘Street Scene’

'Street Scene' photography by Mark Lyons.

‘Street Scene’ photography by Mark Lyons.

Jackie Demaline reviews CCM’s first-ever production of Street Scene for the Cincinnati Enquirer, proclaiming: “It’s a glorious synthesis by composer Kurt Weill and the artistic team and their company of singers and musicians deliver a production that will stand as a high point of the Cincinnati stage season.” Running tonight through Nov. 18 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater, Street Scene is part of CCM’s year-long Kurt Weill Festival.

You can read the full review here.

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