CCM Showcases the Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt with a World Premiere

CCM continues its popular Studio Series with the world premiere of THEY WERE YOU, a musical revue showcasing the songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt. Devised and directed by Aubrey Berg, the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre at CCM, THEY WERE YOU plays Oct. 5-9 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

The logo for THEY WERE YOU: The Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt.Conceived and curated by Berg with musical arrangements by CCM faculty member Stephen Goers and choreography by alumna Katie Johannigman, THEY WERE YOU features songs from some of Jones and Schmidt’s most beloved musicals, including The Fantasticks, Celebration and 110 in the Shade. The production represents the first comprehensive revue of Jones and Schmidt’s work.

Jones, a Texas native, is widely known not only for his lyrics and librettos but also for his directing and acting chops. He directed a New York City revival of The Fantasticks in 2006, and also played the role of Old Actor in that production. He has written a screenplay for that show and a book called Making Musicals: An Informal Introduction to the World of Musical Theater.

Schmidt, also a Texan, attended the University of Texas at Austin to study art, but began to play piano as an accompanist for Jones during his time there. In addition to composing some of the world’s most beloved musicals, Schmidt has also continued to work as an illustrator for Life, Harper’s Bazaar, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and other publications.

The duo’s work together earned them several Tony Award nominations and the 1992 Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, as well as induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

THEY WERE YOU is organized thematically, moving from “innocence” to “experience” through the course of the performance. Each song along the way showcases some universal emotion and lauds the resilience of humanity in the face of sorrow and disillusionment. The program promises favorites like “Try to Remember” from The Fantasticks and “My Cup Runneth Over” from I Do! I Do! alongside other songs from throughout the celebrated duo’s oeuvre.

Admission to THEY WERE YOU is free, but tickets are required. CCM’s Studio Series productions often sell out quickly, so visit our guide to Studio Series tickets for tips on how to secure your seats.

THEY WERE YOU: The Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt
Lyrics by Tom Jones
Music by Harvey Schmidt
Aubrey Berg, director
Stephen Goers, musical director
Katie Johannigman, choreographer

Cast List:

  • Gabe Wrobel
  • Emily Fink
  • Stavros Koumbaros
  • Aria Braswell
  • Karl Amundson
  • Michelle Coben

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7
  • 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission
Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 3. Please 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 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 & Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

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Story by Alexandra Doyle and Curt Whitacre

CCM News
Photography from CCM's Nov. 2015 production of 'The Merry Widow' by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow

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CCM’s Mainstage Series resumes this evening through this Sunday, Nov. 22, with a delightful new production of Franz Lehár’s witty operetta The Merry Widow. Conducted by Aik Khai Pung with stage direction by Emma Griffin, this production of The Merry Widow will be sung in English with a translation by renowned American lyricist Sheldon Harnick. Tickets are still available for select performances.

Featuring a score that Stage and Cinema describes as “a rich musical mix of Viennese waltzes, Hungarian folk dances and French insouciance,” The Merry Widow is a sparking romp in which farce, romance and jealousy abound. Join us for a fantastical Parisian bar crawl, as the fate of an entire nation hangs in the balance!

Learn more about the creation of The Merry Widow‘s costumes by clicking here.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov.19
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID.

$12-$15 student rush tickets will become available one hour prior to each performance; limit two student rush tickets per 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/mainstage/merry-widow.

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’s Mainstage Series Presents Franz Lehár’s ‘The Merry Widow,’ Nov. 19-22

CCM’s Fall 2015 Mainstage Series comes to a witty and whimsical conclusion with Franz Lehár’s comic operetta The Merry Widow, playing Nov. 19 – 22 in Patricia Corbett Theater.

Conducted by Aik Khai Pung with stage direction by Emma Griffin, this production of The Merry Widow will be sung in English with a translation by renowned American lyricist Sheldon Harnick.

'The Merry Widow' photography by Mark Lyons.

From left to right: Andrew G. Manea as Danilo and Nicolette Book as Hanna in CCM’s production of ‘The Merry Widow.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

A glorious early-20th century operetta and forerunner to the modern musical, The Merry Widow tells the fizzy tale of star-crossed lovers and political shenanigans in a glitzy and idealized version of Paris. Madame Hanna Glawari, the widow of the wealthiest man in Petrovenia, is in Paris for the first time following her elderly husband’s demise. Concerned by the widow’s many suitors, Petrovenian Ambassador Baron Zeta assumes the role of matchmaker to ensure that Hanna’s wealth remains within the country, rather than fall into foreign hands. To set his plan in motion, the baron sends his secretary to fetch Hanna’s old flame, Danilo, from another party. Unfortunately, the baron becomes so obsessed with his own schemes that he fails to notice the affair between his wife and rival party member Camille.

What begins as a pleasant, professional party at the Petrovenian Embassy rapidly devolves into a drunken debacle by the time Hanna and her entourage arrive at the famous nightclub, “Maxim’s,” in the early hours of the morning.

“In some ways, it’s a very simple idea,” explains Griffin, an assistant professor of opera at CCM. “The Merry Widow is about the sort of things that happen when you’re 25 years old and you go to three parties over the course of a single night. The opera is about these beautiful people, which doesn’t diminish the love stories at the heart of The Merry Widow. Instead, it instills the show with a feverish and heightened romantic atmosphere.”

Griffin read 18 different translations of The Merry Widow before settling on Harnick’s adaptation, which is written in a decidedly American vernacular.

“Our voice and opera majors don’t always get much experience performing in American English, so this is an opportunity for our students to exercise some different muscles,” she explains. Bursts of spoken dialogue also give The Merry Widow the charming feel of musical theatre.

The hybrid sensibilities of this operetta are even reflected in the production’s sizable cast, which features students from CCM’s departments of opera, musical theatre and drama. With choreography by Patti James, who promises a can’t-miss can-can number, CCM’s Mainstage Series production of The Merry Widow is sure to be magical, colorful and – of course – delightfully merry.

Featuring a score that Stage and Cinema describes as “a rich musical mix of Viennese waltzes, Hungarian folk dances and French insouciance,” The Merry Widow is a sparkling romp in which farce, romance and jealousy abound. Join us for a fantastical Parisian bar crawl, as the fate of an entire nation hangs in the balance!

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov.19
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID. $12-$15 student rush tickets will become available one hour prior to each performance; limit two student rush tickets per 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/mainstage/merry-widow.

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
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