Alumni Showcase Spotlight: Broadway Star Betsy Wolfe

CCM highlights alumni guest artists who will return to campus for the Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase in a series of alumni spotlight stories.

Cincinnatians have the opportunity to see and hear renowned classical musicians along with stars from the Metropolitan Opera and Broadway at CCM’s Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase this Saturday, April 21! Musical Theatre alumna Betsy Wolfe (BFA, 2004) returns to sing a collection popular Broadway and Off-Broadway tunes including “A Summer in Ohio” from The Last Five Years, “She Used to Be Mine” from Waitress and “Meadowlark” from The Baker’s Wife.

Betsy Wolfe in “Waitress.”

Wolfe has established herself as one of the most versatile and keenly intelligent Broadway performers of her generation. She just finished starring in the Tony-nominated musical Waitress, where she gave a multi-faceted performance as Jenna, a woman struggling in an abusive relationship. Prior to that, she played Cordelia, one of the lovable “lesbians from next door,” in the Broadway revival of Falsettos, directed by James Lapine, which recently aired on PBS. She is perhaps best known for her critically acclaimed performance as Cathy in the Off-Broadway revival of The Last Five Years.

Originally from California, Wolfe received her BFA in musical theatre from CCM. At age 20 — prior to graduation and to being able to drink legally or get a British pilot’s license — she made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under Maestro Erich Kunzel. After receiving her BFA, Wolfe quickly moved on to star as Rona Lisa Peretti in the San Francisco and Boston companies of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Soon after, she made her Broadway debut in the revival of 110 in the Shade. Wolfe gained attention for her next role in both the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Sherie Rene Scott’s Everyday Rapture, where she played one of the two Menonettes.

Her casting in Everyday Rapture would prove prescient as, only a few years later, Wolfe would be Scott’s successor in one of contemporary musical theatre’s most challenging and well-known roles: Cathy in Second Stage Theater’s revival of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years. Critics and audiences alike lauded her complex and idiosyncratic performance in the two-person musical.

Wolfe’s other Broadway credits include Ellen in the 2014 production of Bullets Over Broadway, directed by Susan Stroman, and Rosa Bud in the revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. A few blocks east of Broadway, she appeared as Beth in the City Center Encores! production of Merrily We Roll Along. On the West Coast, she starred in the La Jolla Playhouse world premiere production of Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s new musical Up Here, and she created the role of Mary Ann Singleton in ACT’s world premiere of Tales of the City, a musical based on the Armistead Maupin novels.

In 2013, Wolfe made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Douglas Carter Beane’s adaptation of Die Fledermaus. She has been a guest artist for over 40 symphony, pops and philharmonic orchestras across the U.S. and internationally, including the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Recently, she has collaborated with the New York Pops and played to sold-out crowds at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center with their Broadway Today and Women of Notes concerts.

She can be heard on the recordings of Falsettos, Bullets over Broadway, The Last Five Years, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Everyday Rapture, Stage Door Canteen, 35MM and Merrily We Roll Along. She can also be seen in the film adaptation of The Last Five Years where she plays a stripper with a snake named Wayne.

Wolfe lives in New York with her husband, Adam Krauthamer. She likes cats and, according to the New York Times, has a rock collection.

Learn more about the Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase concert and view a complete list of guest artists at ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/save-the-date/sesquicentennial-alumni-showcase.
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SESQUICENTENNIAL ALUMNI SHOWCASE CONCERT

REPERTOIRE
STRAUSS: Overture to Die Fledermaus (1874); featuring the CCM Philharmonia led by Christopher Allen
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 82 “Emperor” (1811); featuring Anton Nel, piano
WALLER: Ain’t Misbehavin’; featuring Janelle Reichman, saxophone
WARREN: There Will Never Be Another You; featuring Janelle Reichman, saxophone
WAGNER: “Mild und leise,” from Tristan und Isolde (1859); featuring Tamara Wilson, soprano
-Intermission-
ROSSINI: “Cruda sorte,” from L’Italiana in Algeri (1813); featuring Helene Schneiderman, mezzo-soprano
SCHUMANN: Konzertstück for Four Horns, Op. 86 (1849); featuring Allene Hackleman, Julie Beckel Yager, Nathaniel Willson, Jennifer Paul, soloists
BROWN: “A Summer in Ohio,” from The Last Five Years; featuring Betsy Wolfe, vocalist, with Roger Grodsky, conductor
BAREILLES: “She Used to Be Mine,” from Waitress; featuring Betsy Wolfe, vocalist, with Roger Grodsky, conductor
SCHWARTZ: “Meadowlark,” from The Baker’s Wife; featuring Betsy Wolfe, vocalist, with Roger Grodsky, conductor
SAINT-SAENS: Violin Concerto No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 61; featuring Yang Liu, violin
STRAUSS: Champagne Song from Die Fledermaus; featuring Tamara Wilson, soprano, and Helene Schneiderman, mezzo-soprano

PERFORMANCE TIME
8 p.m. Saturday, April 21

Please note: UC’s Nippert Stadium will also host an FC Cincinnati game at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The full FC Cincinnati Soccer game schedule can be found at www.fccincinnati.com/2018-schedule.

LOCATION
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

PURCHASING TICKETS
Tickets for CCM’s Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase Concert are $20 general, $15 non-UC students, and FREE for 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 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 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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