CCM Sound Design Alumnus Wins Daytime Emmy for Disney’s Broadway Hits Broadcast

Theatre will always be Matt Kraus’ first love, but the CCM alumnus has made a name for himself by taking on diverse sound design opportunities in multiple mediums. He’s worked on theatrical productions with Liza Minelli and Kristen Chenoweth, and has also been involved in many live telecasts such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar live in concert.

Most recently, Kraus (BFA Sound Design, 2001) won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing for his work on the TV broadcast of Disney’s Broadway Hits at Royal Albert Hall. Directed by Jeff Lee, the production brought well-known Disney artists and beloved hits to the London stage.

The broadcast featured the BBC orchestra, led by Keith Lockhart, and nine Broadway vocalists including CCM alums Alton Fitzgerald (BFA Musical Theatre, 1986) and Ashley Brown (BFA Musical Theatre, 2004). It also included the West End cast of Aladdin, a children’s choir of 100 singers and award-winning composer Alan Menken. Kraus has worked on similar shows with Disney over the years but says that this production was much larger.

“The logistics were daunting, as we were loading into the iconic venue and performing all in the same day,” he remembers. “We prepared for months to make sure that once we arrived at Royal Albert Hall, we would have all the tools at hand that we’d need to do the show.”

“The hardest part was keeping the audio team on track to make sure that we kept up with the tight schedule and quality of the audio. All that while getting nine primary vocalists and a world-renowned orchestra comfortable and happy with the sound.”

Disney’s Broadway Hits at Royal Albert Hall aired to much acclaim internationally on SKY TV, Broadway HD and BBC Radio. Kraus says he has enjoyed his work with Disney Theatrical because the productions always bring together a talented team of artists, musicians and directors.

Kraus has worked on many live telecasts, including Macy’s July 4th Fireworks, Tony Bennet’s 90th Birthday Celebration at Radio City, The Wiz, Peter Pan, The Sound of Music and the 2016 International Jazz Day broadcast live from the White House. He has also been the audio coordinator on remote shoots of the Tonight Show, which has filmed all over the country. He’s worked on hundreds of high-profile events like iHeart Radio’s annual Music Festival in Las Vegas, a Gucci/H&M Fashion Show featuring Prince and Nicki Minaj, and Elton John’s 60th Birthday Celebration at St. John the Divine.

Kraus is now a nationally-known sound designer, but he still fondly remembers his time as a student at CCM. He recalls countless late nights drafting and finishing CCM tech rehearsals and finishing the long days with “a milkshake at UDF and a high five.” He credits CCM with molding him into the sound designer he is today.

“Current students should be open to all kinds of opportunities that may come their way,” Kraus advises. “It’s normal to be focused on one medium or design aspect, but there are so many rewards to becoming a well-rounded artist with diversified projects.”

“Theatre will always be my first love, but I’ve had some really amazing experiences working on concerts, live events and television.”

Learn more about CCM Sound Design at ccm.uc.edu/theatre/tdp/sound.

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CCM Alumni in 5 Tony-Nominated Productions

Update: Congratulations to CCM alumnus Stephen Flaherty (BM Composition, 1982), who wrote the music for Once On This Island — winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical! Alysha Deslorieux (BFA Musical Theatre, 2012) plays the role of Andrea in the musical and Chris Fenwick (BM Piano, 2001) is the music supervisor.

Tony Awards LogoCCM alumni are involved in at least five productions that have been nominated in the 2018 Tony Awards, which air live on CBS at 8/7 central on Sunday, June 10.

John Riddle (BFA Musical Theatre, 2012) stars as Hans in Disney’s Frozen, the Broadway installment based off the hit animated feature film. Noah Ricketts (BFA Musical Theatre, 2014) also performs in the Frozen‘s ensemble. The musical has received three Tony nominations.

Joe Medeiros (BFA Musical Theatre, 2006) is in the ensemble for Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, which received six Tony nominations.

Christine Cornish Smith (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013) is in the ensemble of the Broadway revival of My Fair Lady, which received 10 Tony nominations.

Alysha Deslorieux (BFA Musical Theatre, 2012) plays the role of Andrea in the Broadway revival of Once On This Island, which was nominated for eight Tony Awards. The musical features music by CCM alumnus Stephen Flaherty (BM Composition, 1982) with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and alumnus Chris Fenwick (BM Piano, 2001) is the music supervisor.

Nick Belton (BFA Musical Theatre, 2002), Garrett Hawe (BFA Musical Theatre, 2009) and Kelly McCormick (MM Theatre Performance and Voice, 1996) are ensemble members in the Broadway revival of Carousel, which received 11 Tony nominations. Belton is also the understudy for the leading role of Billy Bigelow and McCormick is the understudy for the role of Mrs. Mullin.

The Tony Awards, hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, will be broadcast live on CBS at 8/7 central on Sunday, June 10. Find out more by visiting tonyawards.com.

Are you a CCM alum with news? Stay in touch by sharing your story with us!

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Photography from CCM's Fall 2017 Mainstage Series production of 'Seussical' by Mark Lyons.

CCM Announces 2018-19 Mainstage Series of Acting, Dance, Musical Theatre and Opera

Photography from CCM's Fall 2017 Mainstage Series production of 'Seussical' by Mark Lyons.

Photography from CCM’s Fall 2017 Mainstage Series production of ‘Seussical’ by Mark Lyons.

The best is yet to come with CCM’s eight-part series of theatre arts productions! With new streamlined subscription packages, it’s never been easier to get the best tickets at the season’s best prices.

CCM will present eight masterworks spanning the spectrum of the theatre arts during its 2018-19 Mainstage Series of Acting, Dance, Musical Theatre and Opera. Running from October 2018 through April 2019, these productions will showcase the phenomenal talent and polished professionalism of CCM’s young performing, design and media artists.

This season’s Mainstage Series includes classic and contemporary musicals with Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling’s Guys and Dolls and Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz and Peter Parnell’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the best of comedic and dramatic acting with Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector and Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good, great operas from master composers with Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and W.A. Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, and innovative dance programs that include a mixed repertoire concert of Birthday Variations and a fully-staged story ballet production of Prokofiev’s Cinderella.

The complete 2018-19 Mainstage Series lineup is listed below. Titles and dates are subject to change – rights pending. For the most current calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.
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CCM’S 2018-19 MAINSTAGE SERIES
Acting, Musical Theatre, Opera, Dance

"The Government Inspector" promo image by Mark Lyons.THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the original by Nikolai Gogol
Richard E. Hess, director

When the locals in a small Russian hamlet learn that an undercover government inspector is coming for a surprise visit, a case of mistaken identity sends the whole village spiraling into a world of panic and greed. Part farce, part slapstick and wholly entertaining, this timely and spirited adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s classic play exposes the corruption of a provincial town with biting hilarity.

Performance Dates: Oct. 3 (preview), Oct. 4-7, 2018
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

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"Guys and Dolls" preview photography by Mark Lyons.GUYS AND DOLLS
Book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Based on The Idyll of Sarah Brown and characters by Damon Runyon
Diane Lala, director and choreographer
Roger Grodsky, musical director

Set in Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City, Guys and Dolls is the perfect musical comedy. Nathan Detroit is a gambler trying to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck. Meanwhile, his girlfriend and nightclub performer, Adelaide, laments that they’ve been engaged for 14 years. Nathan turns to fellow gambler Sky Masterson for the dough, and Sky ends up chasing straight-laced missionary Sarah Brown as a result. Guys and Dolls takes us from the heart of Times Square to the cafés of Havana, Cuba and even into the sewers of New York City, but eventually everyone ends up right where they belong.

Performance Dates: Oct. 19 and 21, Oct. 26-27, 2018
Note: A special gala performance of Guys and Dolls will be presented on Saturday, Oct. 20, in honor of CCM Musical Theatre’s 50th anniversary; special pricing applies.
Location: Corbett Auditorium

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"The Turn of the Screw" preview photography by Mark Lyons.THE TURN OF THE SCREW
Music by Benjamin Britten
Libretto by Myfanwy Piper, after a story by Henry James
Aik Khai Pung, conductor
Vince DeGeorge, director

Based on Henry James’ classic ghost-story novella, Britten’s compelling chamber opera presents the story of a governess charged with the care of two orphaned children at their absentee uncle’s country estate, where the ghosts of a former valet and his lover haunt the grounds. With a blend of 12-tone techniques, arresting motifs and stirring lyricism, the action moves with incredible fluidity, creating a chilling tale of sexual repression and the corruption of innocence. For mature audiences.

Performance Dates: Nov. 15-18, 2018
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

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"Birthday Variations" preview photography by Mark Lyons.BIRTHDAY VARIATIONS
Jiang Qi, director

CCM Dance showcases an array of classic and contemporary works restaged and choreographed by CCM Dance faculty members. The thrilling highlight of the evening is Birthday Variations, originally choreographed by Gerald Arpino, former Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet, to music by Giuseppe Verdi. Birthday Variations is presented by arrangement with the Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation.

Performance Dates: Dec. 6-9, 2018
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

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"Our Country's Good" preview photography by Mark Lyons.OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD
By Timberlake Wertenbaker
Based on the novel The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally
Susan Felder, director

Set in Botany Bay in 1789, Our Country’s Good is a darkly comedic tale based on the true story of Australia’s first theatrical performance. A marine lieutenant decides to put on a play to celebrate the king’s birthday. He casts the play with convicts who populate an Australian prison camp. Few of them can read, let alone act, and the play is produced against a background of food shortages and barbaric prison punishments. Our Country’s Good is as an inspiring tribute to the transforming power of drama. For mature audiences.

Performance Dates: Feb. 13 (preview), Feb. 14-17, 2019
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

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"Hunchback of Notre Dame" preview image by Mark Lyons.THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Book by Peter Parnell
Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney film
Originally developed by Disney Theatrical Productions
Aubrey Berg, director
Stephen Goers, musical director
Katie Johannigman, choreographer

Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, The Hunchback of Notre Dame begins as bells sound through the famed cathedral in fifteenth-century Paris. Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer, observes all of Paris reveling in the Feast of Fools, but he is held captive by his devious caretaker, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo. He escapes for the day and joins the boisterous crowd, only to be treated cruelly by all but the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda. Quasimodo isn’t the only one captivated by her free spirit, though — the handsome Captain Phoebus and Frollo are equally enthralled. As the three vie for her attention, Frollo embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies and it’s up to Quasimodo to save them all. Parental discretion is advised. Victor Hugo’s novel contains mature themes and situations, which may be distressing for young viewers.

Performance Dates: March 7-10, 2019
Location: Corbett Auditorium

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"La Clemenza di Tito" preview photography by Mark Lyons.LA CLEMENZA DI TITO
(THE CLEMENCY OF TITUS)
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Caterino Mazzolà
Jiannan Cheng, conductor
Robin Guarino, director

Mozart’s last opera seria displays some of his most memorable and marvelous arias! The story centers on Roman emperor Titus (Tito) who must choose a wife, but is unable to find a suitable match. In his search for an empress, Tito narrowly avoids an assassination plot instigated by his best friend Sesto and the former emperor’s daughter, Vitellia, who wants the throne for herself. Caught between his duty and his heart, the emperor must choose whether to rule with mercy or with an iron fist.

Performance Dates: April 12-14, 2019
Location: Corbett Auditorium

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CCM Dance preview image by Mark Lyons.CINDERELLA
Jiang Qi, director

Celebrate spring’s arrival with a fully staged fairytale ballet. A poor girl wishes to escape the authoritarian rule of her evil stepmother and stepsisters, so her fairy godmother gives her a ticket to the ball! The girl meets Prince Charming and they fall in love, but she vanishes when the clock strikes midnight. Set to music by Sergei Prokofiev, Cinderella is known for its jubilant melodies, lush scenery and graceful retelling of the timeless romance by Charles Perrault.

Performance Dates: April 26-28, 2019
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

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Mainstage Series Subscriptions
The 2018-19 CCM Mainstage Series of Acting, Musical Theatre, Opera and Dance productions includes subscription packages for combinations of Eight Shows, Six Shows, Four Shows or Three Shows. Newly streamlined subscription packages make this process easier than ever before. Simply choose your shows and select whether you want seats in Section A (the best views) or Section B (the lowest prices)!

Renewal subscriptions are on sale now with packages ranging in price from $78-$176. Subscribers to CCM’s 2017-18 Mainstage Series can receive priority access to seating by renewing their subscriptions by May 1, 2018.

Subscription packages for new subscribers go on sale May 2, 2018, with packages ranging in price from $81-$192.

Single tickets go on sale beginning Sept. 10, 2018, but subscribing is the only way to guarantee your seats and your savings for CCM’s Mainstage Series!

To order subscriptions, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or boxoff@uc.edu.

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2018-19 MAINSTAGE SERIES PERFORMANCE TIMES

THE GOVERNEMENT INSPECTOR
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 (preview)
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7

Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

GUYS AND DOLLS
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19
  • 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 (CCM Musical Theatre 50th Anniversary gala performance; special pricing applies)
  • 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21
  • 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27

Location: Corbett Auditorium

THE TURN OF THE SCREW
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18

Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

BIRTHDAY VARIATIONS
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8
  • 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9

Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 (preview)
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17

Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 7
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 8
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, March 9
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, March 9
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 10

Location: Corbett Auditorium

LA CLEMENZA DI TITO
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 12
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, April 14

Location: Corbett Auditorium

CINDERELLA
Performance Times:

  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 26
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 27
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28

Location: Patricia Corbett Theater

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

CCM News
Leonard Bernstein

CCM Celebrates Bernstein’s Broadway Legacy in Concert

The CCM Philharmonia and Musical Theatre stars of tomorrow present Broadway hits from Leonard Bernstein, Frank Loesser and Jule Styne in concert on Sunday, Feb. 25.

The CCM Philharmonia and Musical Theatre stars of tomorrow present Broadway hits from Leonard Bernstein, Frank Loesser and Jule Styne in concert this Sunday, Feb. 25.

One of the world’s most comprehensive celebrations of Leonard Bernstein’s musical legacy continues at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music on Sunday, Feb. 25. CCM’s Bernstein Festival presents “Lenny and Friends on Broadway,” featuring the CCM Philharmonia with Musical Theatre alumni and students in concert at 7 p.m. in Corbett Auditorium.

To celebrate Bernstein’s Broadway legacy, the concert showcases popular music from Wonderful Town, On the Town and West Side Story. Highlights also include hit selections from Jule Styne’s Gypsy, Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate and Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

The acclaimed CCM Philharmonia will be joined by current Musical Theatre students Bailee Endebrock and Frankie Thams, along with recent graduates Paul Schwensen and Emily Kristen Morris, for this Prestige Series performance. Luke Flood, Henry Lewers, Buddy Langley and Mark Gibson conduct.

Tickets are on sale now for CCM’s “Lenny and Friends on Broadway.” For ticketing information visit the CCM Box Office or refer to the event information below.

Leonard Bernstein at 100 logo.About CCM’s Bernstein Festival
Leonard Bernstein at 100 is the world-wide celebration of the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein and his monumental career as a composer, conductor, educator, musician, cultural ambassador and humanitarian. CCM’s Bernstein Festival continues through November 2018, spanning two concert seasons and over a dozen major performances! Highlights include Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, the Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront, The Age of Anxiety, Trouble in Tahiti, Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, Chichester Psalms, Songfest, Fancy Free and much more. View a complete listing of upcoming performances at ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/save-the-date/bernstein-centennial-festival.
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Repertoire
BERNSTEIN: Overture to Wonderful Town (1952-53)
LOESSER: Selections from Guys and Dolls (1950)
BERNSTEIN: Selections from On the Town (1944)

– Intermission –

STYNE: Overture to Gypsy (1959)
PORTER: Selections from Kiss Me Kate (1948)
BERNSTEIN: Selections from West Side Story (1957)
LOESSER: Selections from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1957)

Performance Time
7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati 

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for non-UC students and FREE for UC students with valid ID.

Single tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online through our e-Box Office! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

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 information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the 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

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CCM Alumni in Seven Tony-Nominated Productions

Tony Awards LogoCCM alumni are involved with at least seven productions that have been nominated in the 71st Tony Awards, which air live on CBS at 8/7 central on Sunday, June 11. This year’s nominees include two Broadway musicals that were not only written by CCM alums, but also feature the work of alumni on stage.

Nominated for two Tony Awards, Anastasia features music and lyrics by alumnus Stephen Flaherty (BM Composition, 1982) and his long-time writing partner Lynn Ahrens. Alumna Christy Altomare (BFA Musical Theatre, 2008) performs the title role in the production. Musical Theatre alumni Kathryn Boswell (BFA, 2013) and Kyle Brown (BFA, 2008) perform in the show’s ensemble. In addition to the Tony Award nominations, Anastasia has been nominated for one Chita Rivera Award, two Drama League Awards, 9 Drama Desk Awards and 13 Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Also nominated for two Tony Awards is Bandstand: The New American Musical, with music, book and lyrics by Richard Oberacker (BFA Acting, 1993). Greg Anthony Rassen (MM Orchestra Conducting, 2003) is the co-orchestrator, music supervisor and music arranger of the show. He and co-orchestrator Bill Elliott were nominated for Tony Awards and won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations in Bandstand. David Kreppel (BFA Musical Theatre, 1992) is the vocal music arranger of the production. Two musical theatre alumni have roles in BandstandGeoff Packard (BFA, 2004) as Wayne Wright and Max Clayton (BFA, 2014) as an ensemble member. Clayton, who is also the understudy for Bandstand’s lead role Donny Novitski, received a Chita Rivera Award nomination for Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show. Bandstand has been nominated for six Chita Rivera Awards, two Drama League Awards, seven Drama Desk Awards and three Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Sharon Wheatley (BFA Musical Theatre, 1990) and Josh Breckenridge (BFA Musical Theatre, 2007) perform in Come From Away, which was nominated for seven Tony Awards, two Chita Rivera Awards, one Drama League Award, nine Drama Desk Awards and seven Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Sean Montgomery (BFA Musical Theatre, 2007) and Joseph Medeiros (BFA Musical Theatre, 2006) are in Groundhog Day, nominated for seven Tony Awards, one Chita Rivera Award, two Drama League Awards, one Drama Desk Award and five Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Nicholas Belton (BFA Musical Theatre, 2002) plays Bolkonsky/Andrey in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. Blaine Krauss (BFA Musical Theatre, 2014) performs in the show’s ensemble. Hair and wig design for the show is by Leah Loukas (BFA Make-Up & Wig Design, 2004). The musical has been nominated for 12 Tony Awards, one Chita Rivera Award, three Drama League Awards, four Drama Desk Awards and three Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Eric Santagata (BFA Musical Theatre, 2004) is the associate director of Falsettos, which features Betsy Wolfe (BFA Musical Theatre, 2004) as Cordelia. The musical has been nominated for five Tony Awards, two Drama League Awards, three Drama Desk Awards and three Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Stephanie Jae Park (BFA Musical Theatre, 2014) and Angel Reda (BFA Musical Theatre, 2003) perform in War Paint. The musical has been nominated for four Tony Awards, three Drama League Awards, seven Drama Desk Awards and four Outer Critics Circle Awards.

The Tony Awards, hosted by Kevin Spacey, will be broadcast live on CBS at 8/7 central on Sunday, June 11. Find out more by visiting www.tonyawards.com/en_US/nominees/.

Are you a CCM Alumnus with news? Stay in touch by sharing your story with us!

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CCM Alumna Betsy Wolfe to Replace Sara Bareilles in Broadway’s ‘Waitress’

CCM Musical Theatre alumna Betsy Wolfe (BFA 2004) has made a name for herself by winning major roles, including Cordelia in the current Broadway revival of Falsettos, which was recently nominated for five Tony Awards. She will take on her next Broadway role as Jenna Hunterson in Waitress on June 13.

Waitress features music and lyrics by six-time Grammy Award nominee Sara Bareilles, who is currently playing Jenna on Broadway. Bareilles is leaving the show on June 11, and Wolfe will take her place.

The musical is about a waitress and excellent pie-maker (Jenna) who feels trapped in her loveless marriage and small town. A baking contest and the arrival of an attractive young doctor help her realize her dreams, giving her a chance at a fresh start. With a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus, the musical is based on the 2007 film of the same name.

Wolfe was recently awarded CCM’s 2017 Musical Theatre Young Alumni Award, which recognizes the outstanding professional achievements of young graduates of the college’s Musical Theatre program. She returned to CCM in March for the annual Musical Theatre Senior Showcase and spoke to students about her career.

Local audiences may remember Wolfe from the enormously successful semi-staged version of The Music Man, which she starred in with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra in May 2015.

Since graduating from CCM, Wolfe has starred in 110 in the Shade, Everyday Rapture, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Bullets Over Broadway and Falsettos. She also starred in the off-Broadway revival of The Last Five Years and in Merrily We Roll Along at City Center Encores. She’s been a hot commodity on the concert circuit as well, having soloed with the Cincinnati Pops, New York Pops, New York City Ballet and more.

For more information about Wolfe visit broadwayworld.com/people/Betsy-Wolfe/.

For more information on Waitress visit waitressthemusical.com.

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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

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CCM Acting Alumnus Takes New Musical ‘Bandstand’ to Broadway

Five alumni from UC’s College-Conservatory of Music are involved in a swing-filled, all-American musical that opens on Broadway on April 26. Bandstand: The New American Musical features alumni from CCM’s Acting, Musical Theatre and Orchestral Conducting programs.

Bandstand, set in 1945, tells the story of Donny Novitski, a World War II veteran who decides to enter a national contest seeking America’s newest musical sensation. He quickly assembles a ragtag jazz band of fellow veterans, along with a beautiful young war widow to be the band’s lead singer, and enters the contest. It’s a post-war Cinderella story told in an era when young Americans were fighting for their identity in the face of a dramatically changed world.

Richard Oberacker (BFA Acting, 1993) wrote the music, book and lyrics for Bandstand. While Oberacker received his undergraduate degree in acting, he has become a successful conductor, composer and lyricist. He is currently the conductor of Cirque du Soleil’s in Las Vegas, and he composed the score for a new musical version of The Great Gatsby, which will premiere in Tokyo later this year.

Oberacker returned to CCM in 2015 to teach a "Singing Actor" master class.

Oberacker returned to CCM in 2015 to teach a “Singing Actor” master class.

“Richard Oberacker was born to make music. He is a storyteller by nature, and now America will get to enjoy just how good he is when Bandstand opens on Broadway,” said Richard Hess, Professor of Acting and the A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance.

“He has such a big heart, and he inspires excellence in everyone around him. Cincinnati taught Richard how to fly; now he’s ready to soar.”

Greg Anthony Rassen (MM Orchestral Conducting 2003) is co-orchestrator, music supervisor and music arranger for Bandstand.  During his time on Broadway, he has conducted An American in Paris, The Little Mermaid, The Book of Mormon and Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. He is also an accomplished pianist and was featured on the Grammy-nominated cast recording of An American in Paris. He currently holds a position with the New York Pops.

The vocal music arranger for the show is David Kreppel (BFA Musical Theatre, 1992), who is currently the Associate Music Supervisor for The Lion King worldwide and has conducted Aladdin, Sister Act, Rock of Ages and A Chorus Line on Broadway.

Two CCM alumni have roles on stage in this production. Geoff Packard (BFA Musical Theatre, 2004) plays Wayne Wright, the trombonist in the band. His Broadway credits include Matilda, Rock of Ages and Phantom of the Opera, and he has participated in national tours of Wicked and Phantom of the Opera.

Max Clayton (BFA Musical Theatre, 2014) is in the ensemble and is also an understudy for Donny Novitski, the male lead. On Broadway, he has been seen in Something Rotten!, On the Town and Gigi.

Bandstand opens on April 26 at Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 West 45th Street in New York City.  You can learn more about the show at bandstandbroadway.com.

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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

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