Scenes from CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'The Heidi Chronicles.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: The Heidi Chronicles

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CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series continues TONIGHT with Wendy Wasserstein’s groundbreaking comedy The Heidi Chronicles, playing through Sunday, Feb. 15, in Patricia Corbett Theater. See a complete list of performance times below.

Winner of the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play, The Heidi Chronicles is directed by CCM’s A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance Richard Hess.

Rick Pender takes a closer look at The Heidi Chronicles and the legacy of playwright Wendy Wasserstein for CityBeat. Read the story online here.

David Lyman previews the production for the Cincinnati Enquirer. Read the story online here.

Sexuality, feminism, education, gender equality, marriage, women’s rights – there’s no hot-button issue the play doesn’t touch. Learn more about this poignant comedy here.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to The Heidi Chronicles are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID.

Saturday matinee student rush discount tickets are available beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14 and are $12-15.

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/heidi-chronicles-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.
____

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
Sarah Davenport as Heidi Holland in CCM's Mainstage Series production of THE HEIDI CHRONICLES. Photography by Jay Yocis.

CCM’s Mainstage Series Presents the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-Winning ‘The Heidi Chronicles’ Next Week

Sarah Davenport as Heidi Holland in CCM's THE HEIDI CHRONICLES. photography by Mark Lyons.

Sarah Davenport as Heidi Holland in CCM’s THE HEIDI CHRONICLES. photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Department of Drama opens its spring Mainstage Series with its debut of Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles, running Feb. 11 through Feb. 15, in the Patricia Corbett Theater.

An examination of feminism and its evolution from the 1960s through the late 1980s, The Heidi Chronicles follows Heidi Holland, a successful art historian, who tries to find her true self in a rapidly changing world as the roles of women were being redefined.

Students and audience members alike will get the chance to witness a piece of history on stage as director Richard E. Hess, A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance, attempts to make connections between a generation who lived through the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s and students who are now products of this age.

Hess asks a thought-provoking and timely question: “What would Wendy think of life in America in 2015, where we still must deeply question this country’s commitment to racial and gender equality?”

Wasserstein was the first woman playwright to receive a Tony Award for Best Play for The Heidi Chronicles. Her work also earned her prestigious awards including the 1989 Pulitzer Prize, a New York Drama Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk Award, among others.

Hess says that Wasserstein liked to create characters “who struggled with the shifting demands and definitions of self, unique to a time and place.” This struggle rings true even today.

Second-year Theater Design and Production graduate student Jillian Coratti serves as costume designer for this production. She talked with Hess at the beginning of rehearsals about his vision for the look and feel of the production. “The hardest part about this production was making it look real,” she explains. “This show is dramatic and thoughtful, but very rarely flashy. The characters are real and contemporary, so I didn’t want to make anything come across as overly theatrical.”

Coratti did a great deal of research in magazines and blogs, even pulling out older family photo albums. Her uncles grew up as members of the “baby boomer” generation, so she was able to find looks from the 70s and 80s in their wedding albums. Since each scene in The Heidi Chronicles is set in a new time period, there are a lot of quick costume changes. Heidi alone has 13 changes!

But the easiest and most rewarding part has been the fittings. Coratti says, “The actors are so eager and willing to see their costumes because they can connect with these clothes. They’re very similar to what we wear everyday, yet some come from our parents closets.”

  • Richard E. Hess, director
  • Thomas C. Umfrid, scenic designer
  • Jillian Coratti, costume designer
  • Taylor Malott, wig & make-up designer
  • Joe Beumer, lighting designer
  • Corbin Wescott, sound designer
  • k. Jenny Jones, fight choreographer
  • Susan Stephenson, stage manager

The Heidi Chronicles Cast List:

  • Sarah Davenport as Heidi Holland
  • Clare Combest as Susan Johnston
  • Colin Edgar as Peter Patron
  • Connor Lawrence as Scoop Rosenbaum
  • Ryan Garrett as Chris Boxer/Steve/Waiter
  • Katie McDonald as Jill/Sandra Zucker-Hall
  • AC Horton as Fran
  • Julia Netzer as Becky
  • Rachel Baumgarten as Debbie
  • Owen Alderson as 1968 Hippie/Mark/Dr. Ray
  • Michaela Tropeano as Molly McBride/Clara
  • Alice Skok as Lisa
  • Carli Rhoades as Betsy
  • Sydney Ashe as Denise
  • Katie Langham as April

About The Heidi Chronicles
After its initial opening in November 1988 Off-Broadway, The Heidi Chronicles was praised by the New York Daily News as “witty, hilarious…not just a funny play, but a wise one… I doubt we’ll see a better play this season.” Even Variety raved, “Not many plays manage Heidi’s feat of inducing almost continuous laughter while forcing the audience to examine its preconceptions.” In March of 1989, The Heidi Chronicles was transferred to Broadway and became a long-running success with an impressive 622 performances when it closed in September of 1990.

Comprised of a series of interrelated scenes, the play traces the coming of age of Heidi Holland, a successful art historian, as she tries to find her bearings in a rapidly changing world. Gradually distancing herself from her friends, she watches them move from the idealism and political radicalism of their college years through militant feminism and, eventually, back to the materialism that they had sought to reject in the first place. Eventually Heidi comes to accept the fact that liberation can be achieved only if one is true to oneself, with goals that come out of need rather than circumstance.

Read Rick Pender’s thoughts on the legacy of Wendy Wasserstein and the importance of The Heidi Chronicles, courtesy of CityBeat.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11 (preview)
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to The Heidi Chronicles are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID. Saturday matinee student rush discount tickets are available beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14 and are $12-15. Tickets to the Feb. 11 preview performance are just $12.

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/heidi-chronicles-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.
____

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
Senior musical theatre major Lawson Young as Elle in CCM's production of LEGALLY BLONDE, playing Oct. 23 - Nov. 2, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: Legally Blonde – The Musical

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CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series continues TONIGHT with the all-singing, all-dancing romantic comedy Legally Blonde – The Musical, playing through Sunday, Nov. 2, in Patricia Corbett Theater. See a complete list of performance times below.

Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the MGM motion picture of the same name, Legally Blonde is a modern-day coming of age tale featuring perky and lovable sorority girl Elle Woods. Elle enrolls in Harvard Law School in an attempt to win back her lost love, Warner. In order for Elle to make it at Harvard she must prove to everyone, including herself, that she has what it takes. When her resolution is tested, Elle discovers what she is truly made of, surpassing her own wildest expectations and finding her inner strength and intelligence.

Legally Blonde is a lively musical romp with a touching lesson. Audiences will thoroughly enjoy this production and may even learn not to judge a book by its cover!

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to Legally Blonde are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID, with $12-$15 student rush tickets available for both of the Saturday matinees beginning at 1 p.m. on Oct. 25 and Nov. 1.

Customizable subscription packages are also available. 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/legally-blonde-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.

____

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

Legally Blonde: The Musical 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

CCM News CCM Slideshows
Senior musical theatre major Lawson Young as Elle in CCM's production of LEGALLY BLONDE, playing Oct. 23 - Nov. 2, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series Proudly Presents ‘Legally Blonde – The Musical’

Senior Lawson Young as Elle and junior Chris Collins-Pisano as Emmett in CCM's production of LEGALLY BLONDE, playing Oct. 23 - Nov. 2, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Senior Lawson Young as Elle and junior Chris Collins-Pisano as Emmett in CCM’s production of LEGALLY BLONDE, playing Oct. 23 – Nov. 2, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM continues its 2014-15 Mainstage Series this week with the upbeat musical, Legally Blonde.

Directed and choreographed by Professor of Musical Theatre Diane Lala with musical direction by second-year graduate student Craig DaltonLegally Blonde makes its CCM debut Oct. 23 – Nov. 2 in Patricia Corbett Theater.

Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the MGM motion picture of the same name, Legally Blonde is a modern-day coming of age tale featuring perky and lovable sorority girl Elle Woods. Elle enrolls in Harvard Law School in an attempt to win back her lost love, Warner. In order for Elle to make it at Harvard she must prove to everyone, including herself, that she has what it takes. When her resolution is tested, Elle discovers what she is truly made of, surpassing her own wildest expectations and finding her inner strength and intelligence.

Guest artist Joe Leonard provides the scenic design for this musical movie adaptation. A 1989 graduate of CCM’s Department of Theatre Design and Production, Leonard’s vision for Legally Blonde was incredibly dynamic. This result is a set in which everything moves, flips, turns and flies. “The positive energy of Elle’s story is carried through to every element of the production,” Lala explains.

Legally Blonde features 16 memorable musical numbers by the Drama Desk and Tony Award nominated composer and lyricist team of Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, with a book by Heather Hach.

The role of Elle Woods is incredibly fun but is also very demanding. Because Elle appears in every scene of this high-energy musical, the role has been double cast and will be played by Sarah Bishop and Lawson Young, both senior musical theatre majors. Likewise, the role of Emmett will be played by senior Nathanial Irvin and junior Chris Collins-Pisano.

Legally Blonde also features two special performers who are brand new to the CCM stage. Jackson and Jilly will play the parts of Rufus and Bruiser, two of musical theatre’s most beloved dogs. Jilly is a Legally Blonde veteran, having played the part of Bruiser in Covedale Theater’s production of Legally Blonde last spring. Jackson is making his acting debut in this fun-filled production.

Legally Blonde is a lively musical romp with a touching lesson. Audiences will thoroughly enjoy this production and may even learn not to judge a book by its cover!

Read more about the production here.

CCM News

CCM’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ Earns 4.5 Star Rating by the League of Cincinnati Theatres

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin' in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

We are delighted to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Mainstage Series production of the classic film musical Singin’ in the Rain with a four and a half star rating!

Panelists praised the production as “Joyful, happy, shining and memorable… An uplifting story and a treat for the eyes.” Diane Lala was commended both for her direction (“a standout production all-around with many delightful and excellent elements that really lived up to the silver screen standard of the film”) and for her contribution to the choreography, along with co-choreographer Patti James: “Covering multiple styles and always challenging the students, the choreography was truly the star of this show, and it was executed brilliantly by the talented performers.”

Ryan Sigurdson’s music direction was also recognized as “solid and impressive”. Scenic Designer Mark Halpin delivered a wonderful set—“layered in a complex, but very functional way that delivered the many silver-screen settings”–and technical director Steve Miller was also given a nod for his contribution to the “fantastic and well-executed” rain effects in the iconic title number. Reba Senske’s costume design was described as “numerous, timely, lush, complimentary to character, and a delight to look at.” Finally, from a technical aspect, CCM Electronic Media students were recognized for the “hilarious” and “seamlessly executed” videos they created for many of the scenes.

From a performance standpoint, the entire ensemble was applauded for outstanding dancing and singing.” Matt Hill, as Cosmo Brown, and Sarah Bishop, as Lina Lamont, were particularly singled out as “dead-on portraying their characters and handling the timing and humor effectively.”

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes

IT’S A SMASH! Rave Reviews for CCM’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin' in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

The reviews are in and the critics are calling CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Singin’ in the Rain a must-see theatre event!

In his review for Theatre Reviews Limited, Rafael de Acha suggests: “the show is one of the best, if not the best production of a musical I’ve seen in my three years in Cincinnati.” Read the full review here.

Rick Pender calls the production “a fabulous recreation of the iconic 1952 movie that featured Gene Kelly” in his CityBeat review. “If you love musicals,” he explains, “you should run, don’t walk to the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music this weekend for the short run of Singin’ in the Rain.” Read the full review here.

David Lyman calls the production “a delight” in his review for the Cincinnati Enquirer, concluding: “It’s pleasurable and immensely satisfying. It is, as Lala wrote in her program notes, like visiting an old friend.” Read the full review here.

In his review for Talkin’ Broadway, Scott Cain says, “The show flows at a quick pace and has apt tone and blocking. The dances, including lots of wonderful tap numbers, are vibrant, fun, and well-executed. Ryan Sigurdson leads a lush 27-piece orchestra that couldn’t sound any better.” Read the full review here.

Singin’ in the Rain runs through Sunday, Nov. 3, in Corbett Auditorium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

Tickets and subscription packages are on sale now, but only a handful of seats remain, so don’t delay – contact the CCM Box Office today!

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes

Discussing ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ with Musical Supervisor Roger Grodsky

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin' in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

In honor of tonight’s opening performance of Singin’ in the Rain, CCM Professor of Musical Theatre and Singin’ in the Rain Musical Supervisor Roger Grodsky discusses the history of this film musical’s journey to the stage and details what makes CCM’s new production so special:

“Since movies learned to talk in the late 1920s, Broadway musicals were adapted into films. The reverse was not true until much later. The idea of a movie musical being a Broadway show, a trend that sometimes seems to have taken over today’s theatre, did not really begin in earnest until Lerner and Loewe’s Gigi in 1973. Many of these early efforts were not successful (Gigi ran just a few months and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers lasted a week in 1982).

CCM News Student Salutes