Hannah Zazzaro as Peter Pan and Nathaniel Irvin as Captain Hook in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Peter Pan.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series Proudly Presents Broadway’s Timeless Musical ‘Peter Pan’ March 5-8, 2015

CCM continues its 2014-15 Mainstage Series with the classic fairytale musical Peter Pan. Directed and choreographed by guest artist Joe Locarro, with musical direction by CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky, this production promises to whisk audiences away to a place where dreams are born and no one ever grows up! Peter Pan makes its CCM debut at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, in Corbett Auditorium and plays through March 8, 2015. Tickets are on sale now.

Hannah Zazzaro as Peter Pan and Nathaniel Irvin as Captain Hook in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Peter Pan.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

Hannah Zazzaro as Peter Pan and Nathaniel Irvin as Captain Hook in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Peter Pan.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

Based on J.M. Barrie’s classic tale and featuring an unforgettable score by Morris “Moose” Charlap and Jule Styne with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Peter Pan is one of the most beloved family favorites of all time. This high-flying Tony Award-winning musical has been performed around the world and delighted audiences for 60 years.

Peter Pan’s enduring status comes as no surprise to Locarro, who brings years of Broadway experience to CCM’s production. In addition to providing perspective on the end of the Victorian Era, Locarro explains that Barrie’s fairy tale is also “a story of longing and the continuum of life. Although Peter Pan is the catalyst, it is really Wendy’s journey through adolescence and subsequently the journey of her daughter Jane and Jane’s daughter after that. Having a 20-year-old daughter of my own, I too see the importance of this journey for all of our children and understand why Peter Pan is popular to this day.”

While CCM is widely known for its remarkable stage productions, audiences can expect something truly remarkable for this production of Peter Pan. This is thanks to Locarro’s unique vision and also to an exciting collaboration between CCM’s faculty, student and staff talent and the expertise of theatrical flying effects and equipment industry leaders, ZFX, Inc. CCM Professor of Drama and Peter Pan fight choreographer k. Jenny Jones explains, “ZFX Flying Effects and I are creating sword fights with aerial dynamics that have never been tried before. Several years ago, I commissioned ZFX for a study of the variables of fighting while flying, and how flying may enhance the action of staged combat. The duel between Peter and Hook in this production is a perfect representation of this research and it will make CCM’s Peter Pan quite special.”

ZFX is one of the many professional industry leaders in theatre technology that will be in Cincinnati for the 55th annual United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Conference and Stage Expo, which comes to the Duke Energy Convention Center March 18-21, 2015. Expo attendees will have the opportunity to visit CCM Village to see Peter Pan‘s groundbreaking flying effects set up for themselves even after the production has closed.

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Hannah Zazzaro, a senior from Clearwater, Florida, is one of two CCM students playing the demanding part of Peter Pan. She shares the role with junior musical theatre major Clara Cox. The role of Peter Pan will alternate between Cox (March 6; March 7 matinee) and Zazzaro (March 5; March 7; March 8 matinee).

Download Peter Pan‘s cast list here.

Zazzaro’s preparation began back in November when she read and re-read the script and watched every version of Peter Pan that she could find. Her goal was to understand her part in the storytelling and to know the text forward and backward. “Peter Pan is a demanding role in every way,” says Zazzaro. “I have to run, jump, fly, dance, sing while flying, do cartwheels, and sword fight both in the air and on the ground. I started a 60-day physical training program called ‘Insanity’ that I will continue to do regularly through the end of the show… and maybe even after because I like it so much!”

In addition to her copious musical theatre experience, Zazzaro is a classically trained singer, which makes her a perfect choice for this role. “My favorite part of the show is when Peter Pan turns into a ‘lady’ and sings a short aria with Captain Hook. This show has given me the opportunity to finally show off my low notes, my high belt and my high soprano! It’s so much fun,” she says enthusiastically.

Under Jones’ guidance, Zazzaro has also learned to sword fight. “Three things that I know I have to focus on are: trusting my wrists and allowing my sword to swing rather than forcing it to, having a spacial understanding with whomever I’m swinging at, and communicating with them through body language in order to be successful and safe,” Zazzaro explains. Mastering all of these things at once has been challenging, but Zazzaro states it’s been “completely worth it.”

Senior Dallas Padoven plays the role of Cecco the pirate alongside Zazzaro, but he faces his own unique challenges. Padoven is also Captain Hook’s understudy, meaning he has to be prepared to take on the iconic villain’s role on short notice. “Preparing for two characters is extremely interesting,” says Padoven. “I have to be on my toes while working at all times. While I am learning the pirate role, I also have to keep one eye on Hook to make sure I know what he is doing. I am in the same scenes as two different characters.”

Both Zazzaro and Padoven agree that working with Locarro has been wonderful. “He has a lot of experience in the field,” says Padoven. “While we are working with him we are figuring out our blocking and choreography but he also tells us about various shows he’s been in. He really teaches through personal stories, so we’ve learned a lot, especially things like what to do and not to do in audition and rehearsal situations.”

Zazzaro particularly appreciates Locarro’s attention to detail. “One of the hardest things is the Corbett Auditorium. The stage is huge, but it has seemed almost effortless for Joe to create pictures that fill out the entire stage.”

CCM’s production of Peter Pan also features scenic design by Mark Halpin, costume design by Dean Mogle and Rebecca Senske, lighting design by Chris Carter, sound design by Jeremy Lee and wig and make-up design by Kelly Yurko. With the iconic songs “I’m Flying,” “I Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up” and “Never Never Land,” and a rousing book full of magic, warmth and adventure, Peter Pan is the perfect show for the child in all of us who dreamed of soaring high and never growing up.

About Joe Locarro
Joe Locarro is a director, choreographer and producer who has directed for stage, film and television. His film Finding Billy was nominated for two New York Emmy Awards (for best direction and best documentary) and was an official selection of the 2012 Dance on Camera Festival. Finding Billy has also been broadcast nationally on PBS for the past five years.

Locarro’s recent directing credits include two seasons of the PBS National series Intelligence Squared Debates, productions of Les Misérables for the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department (April 2014) and Music Theatre of Wichita (August 2013), and the PBS series Vine Talk starring Stanley Tucci. Some of his PBS specials include Remember Me with Parsons Dance Co & The East Village Opera Company, A Tale of Two Cities in Concert and three specials with Deepak Chopra.

Locarro specializes in filming and editing dance, theatre and music and is currently guest director for the live web broadcasts from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room. He has also directed numerous stage productions including regional productions of Ragtime and Les Misérables.

Locarro began his career as a dancer and choreographer, dancing with the Boston, Joffrey and Hartford Ballet Companies creating and choreographing 30 works for dance companies across the U.S. After a career in ballet, he went on to perform on Broadway and first national tours in six musicals including the role of ‘Enjolras’ in Les Misérables (both on Broadway and in the first national tour), the original Broadway companies of Ragtime, Goodbye Girl and Merlin as well as the role of Munkstrap in Cats and West Side Story.

Locarro brings his many years of performance experience to his work with artists and arts organizations. He continues to film and edit for dance companies around the world, as well as create promotional videos and documentaries for arts organizations and individual artists.

About ZFX, Inc.
Founded in 1994, ZFX, Inc. is the complete service provider for Flying Effects. They don’t just handle the rigging or flying harnesses. They’re not just skilled at automation, choreography and flying design. ZFX covers every aspect of flying possibilities. From high schools to Broadway, churches to special events, ZFX zealously pursues its goal of worldwide domination of the performer flying industry. Their infectious enthusiasm comes at no additional charge. They don’t wake up and put their pants on one leg at a time like the other guys. They wrap themselves in kilts and stride boldly out into the world. ZFX offers performer flying, high speed hoists, flying of props, automated systems, stunt gags, truss equipment mounting, aerial acts, manually operated systems, corporate shows and events, custom harnesses, spectacle flying and safety consultation. Learn more by visiting www.zfxflying.com.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 5
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 6
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Peter Pan are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID.

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/peter-pan-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

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Peter Pan is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | http://www.MTIShows.com

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'Metamorphoses,' from CCM's acclaimed 2013-14 Mainstage Series.

Announcing CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series of Opera, Musical Theatre and Drama

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is pleased to announce initial details for its 2014-15 Mainstage Series of opera, musical theatre and drama productions.

The 2014-15 Mainstage Series features a dazzling collection of both classic and contemporary masterworks, including a gender-bending new production of Shakespeare’s gripping tragedy Macbeth, an extended run of the high-energy romantic-comedy Legally Blonde – The Musical and a magical production of the opera Hänsel and Gretel.

In early 2015, CCM’s student and faculty artists will also present Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and zeitgeist-dominating The Heidi Chronicles and a soaring musical production of Peter Pan. Mozart’s Così fan tutte will close out the series, with a new production directed by Robin Guarino, who recently staged this masterpiece at the Metropolitan Opera.

This year’s must-see Mainstage Series features six fully staged works guaranteed to fill audiences with delight, with performances scheduled from Oct. 1, 2014, through April 12, 2015. All performances take place in the Corbett Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Cincinnati campus.

Production and ticketing details are below. Priority subscription packages go on sale May 2014. Single tickets become available in August, but subscribing is the only way to guarantee your seats for these must-see shows!

Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/subscribe to register for CCM’s mailing list, and the Box Office will provide you with additional information on this year’s subscription options.

Additional Information
Titles and dates are subject to change—rights pending. To order subscriptions, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183. For additional information, visit ccm.uc.edu, email boxoff@uc.edu or call the Box Office.
CCM News

CCM Review Round-Up: ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘El Niño’

The critics can’t stop talking about CCM’s productions of Les Misérables and El Niño! Catch up with the latest “buzz” in today’s review round-up!

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.

  • Rick Pender calls CCM’s new production of Les Misérables “magnificent” in his CityBeat review, concluding, “Peeled back to its raw essence, CCM’s staging of Les Misérables is powerful and memorable, one of the best musical theater productions on a Cincinnati stage this season.” Read the full review here.
  • Paige Malott reviews the production for iSPYCiNCY and observes, “Capturing the larger-than-life Les Misérables with perfection, CCM put on a better-than-Broadway performance that is guaranteed 2-4-6-0-fun.” Read the full review here.
  • In his Talkin’ Broadway review, Scott Cain explains, “Musicals presented at… CCM always feature splendidly talented student performers who rarely disappoint. Their current production, Les Misérables, is no exception and does showcase many stunning voices and meticulously detailed acting.” Read the full review here.
  • In his review for The Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard suggests, “I’ve seen a lot of shows in Cincinnati over the last couple of years… [and] CCM’s Les Misérables just might be the greatest production I’ve ever seen.” Read the full review here.
  • Rafael de Acha reviews the production for Seen and Heard International and writes, “Keeping the entire undertaking tightly reined in and mercifully devoid of any Broadway clichés, [Aubrey] Berg delivers a fresh and finely-wrought production.” Read the full review here.
  • Emily Begely reviews Les Misérables for UC’s News Record and concludes, “An exemplary cast, a familiar plot and simple props created an unforgettable work of art.” Read the full review here.
Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams' EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams’ EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

  • Janelle Gelfand reviews CCM’s “powerful” performance of John Adams’ El Niño for the Cincinnati Enquirer, and observes, “[Earl] Rivers balanced the work’s intimate emotions against powerful ones, propelled tempos well and drew excellent playing from the orchestra.” Read her full review here.
  • Mary Ellyn Hutton reviews El Niño for ConcertoNet and writes, “John Adams’ oratorio El Niño had its regional premiere in Cincinnati March 2, and it couldn’t have been in better hands. ” Read the full review here.

Performances of Les Misérables resume this evening (Tuesday, March 4) and run through Sunday, March 9. Learn more by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/lesmiserables.

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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.

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CCM Slideshows: Les Misérables

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Tonight through March 9, CCM’s Mainstage Series proudly presents production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical Les Misérables. In honor of opening night, we present a stunning preview slideshow courtesy of photographer Mark Lyons!

Aubrey Berg, CCM’s Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre, directs this new production.

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‘Hear the People Sing’ in CCM’s Highly Anticipated Mainstage Production of ‘Les Misérables’

Seniors Blaine Krauss as Jean Valjean and Kimber Sprawl as Fantine in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Les Misérables.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

Seniors Blaine Krauss as Jean Valjean and Kimber Sprawl as Fantine in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Les Misérables.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series presents the CCM debut production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical Les Misérables. Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, this iconic show runs Feb. 27 – March 9 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now.

Set in France in the early 19th-century, Les Misérables is the story of Jean Valjean and his quest for salvation after serving 19 years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his starving sister’s child. Relentlessly tracked and hounded by police inspector Javert, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into a student revolution, as a group of young idealists make their last stand at a street barricade.

Les Misérables was first presented at the Palais des Sports in Paris in 1980. Its English language adaptation opened at the Barbican Centre in London in 1985, overcoming bad notices through word of mouth and launching the beginning of what has turned out to be a global sensation. The Broadway production opened in 1987 and ran until 2003, closing after 6,680 performances. The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score.

Aubrey Berg, CCM’s Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre, directs this new production. He explains, “I have been waiting not-so-patiently to present Les Misérables with the students at CCM for over twenty years, since I first saw it at the Barbican Theatre in 1985. It is an ideal vehicle for our talented students and production staff. We are extremely excited to bring a ‘local’ production of this master work to Cincinnati audiences.”

With a score by Schönberg that has risen to pop-culture status, Les Misérables presents an incredible learning opportunity to CCM students. “Needless to say,” continued Berg, “the musical theatre majors were thrilled at the prospect of working on these meaty parts.” In order to involve as many students as possible, the notable roles of Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert are double-cast. The cast for a particular performance will be displayed in the lobby prior to each show.

CCM News

CCM Slideshows: The Magic Flute

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CCM’s acclaimed 2012-13 Mainstage Series comes to a close this week with a colorful new production of Mozart’s beloved comedic singspiel The Magic Flute. This production runs April 4–7 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Janelle Gelfand recently visited CCM to take a behind-the-scenes look at The Magic Flute‘s costumes, wigs and make-up designs. Watch her exclusive video preview here.

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