New Season Announcements from Arts Organizations


Staff Reports



Otterbein Summer Theatre Announces 51st Season, New Direction. Season of “Epic Imagination, Intimate Encounters” under new Artistic Director Lenny Leibowitz

WESTERVILLE – Otterbein Summer Theatre unveiled its 51st season with promise of a fresh vision for the future. Newly appointed Artistic Director Lenny Leibowitz is reimagining the creative possibilities for this, one of Central Ohio’s longest running summer theatre programs, in a season he has dubbed as one of “Epic Imagination, Intimate Encounters.”

“We’re beginning a new chapter in our story, and entering a new era of artistic enterprise. This season we will stage two of the most captivating musicals ever written with a dynamite company of our very own Otterbein students working both onstage and behind the scenes,” Lenny Leibowitz said.

The season will open with “My Fair Lady” which will feature a resourceful cast of 11 — many playing multiple roles — and a radically reimagined scenic design that eschews elaborate set changes, placing primacy instead on actor-driven ingenuity and a joyous sense of theatricality. The production will be staged in the small, 237-seat on-stage arrangement in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall by Leibowitz with music direction by Lori Kay Harvey. “My Fair Lady” will run June 1-24. Cowan Hall is located at 30 S. Grove St.

“I love the challenge of re-envisioning a big musical in a small space; it can be a thrilling, exhilarating experience for audiences and artists alike to encounter a show like ‘My Fair Lady’ in a setting much more intimate than they may be accustomed to when experiencing a large-scale musical,” Leibowitz said.

The tale of a cockney flower girl transformed into an elegant woman, “My Fair Lady” features one of musical theatre’s greatest scores. Songs include “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “With a Little Bit of Luck,” “The Rain in Spain,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On the Street Where You Live,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.”

The summer season will continue with the Neil Simon and Marvin Hamlisch collaboration of “They’re Playing Our Song” from July 6-22 in Riley Auditorium at the Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park St. The big-hearted musical will be directed by Melissa Lusher with music direction by Dennis Davenport, both Otterbein faculty members.

Set in the 1970s, “They’re Playing Our Song” is a funny, romantic show about an established composer and his relationship with an aspiring young female lyricist. Professionally, their relationship works beautifully, but ultimately leads to conflict on the home front. Of course, there’s a happy ending.

The usual three-show season will be shortened to just two in order to make way for renovations to the theatrical rigging system in Cowan Hall, but will be the start of many new, exciting changes.

According to Leibowitz, “We plan to maintain our commitment to providing our students practical pathways to the professional stage. At the same time, we plan to expand our artistic family by returning to the tradition of occasionally bringing in exciting, talented guest artists from further afield, enlarging our creative breadth as well as our external reputation.”

Other additions will include the introduction of a staged reading series and the continued commitment to produce big plays and musicals with great stories in a way that defies expectations and transcends conventional thinking.

Season ticket packages, which will be available for sale in April, are $61 each. Individual tickets, which go on sale beginning May 15, will be $33 each.

Opening night performances begin at 7:30 p.m., Sunday and Friday matinees are at 2 p.m., and all other performances begin at 8 p.m.

The Otterbein Summer Theatre Box Office will officially open on May 15. Box office hours will be Monday through Friday from 12-4 p.m., and one hour prior to all performances. For more information about Otterbein Summer Theatre and the 2017 Season, please contact Otterbein University Theatre at 614-823-1109 or visit www.otterbein.edu/drama.

Details:

My Fair Lady

Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, Music by Frederick Loewe

Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s Motion Picture “Pygmalion”

Directed by Lenny Leibowitz; Music Direction by Lori Kay Harvey; Choreography by Stella Hiatt Kane

June 1-4, 8-11, June 15-18, and June 22-24 (Two performances Friday, June 9 – 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.),

All performances ONSTAGE in the Fritsche Theatre, 30 S. Grove St.

Onstage in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall

Performance Schedule:

Thursday, June 1 7:30 p.m.; Friday, June 2 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 3 8 p.m.; Sunday, June 4 2 p.m.; Thursday, June 8 8 p.m.; Friday, June 9 2 p.m.; Friday, June 9 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 10 8 p.m.; Sunday, June 11 2 p.m.; Thursday, June 15 8 p.m.; Friday, June 16 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 17 8 p.m.; Sunday, June 18 8 p.m.; Thursday, June 22 8 p.m.; Friday, June 23 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 24 8 p.m.

The tale of a cockney flower girl transformed into an elegant lady features one of musical theatre’s greatest scores. Songs include “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “With a Little Bit of Luck,” “The Rain in Spain,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On the Street Where You Live,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.”

They’re Playing Our Song

Book by Neil Simon, Music by Marvin Hamlisch, Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager

Directed by Melissa Lusher; Music Direction by Dennis Davenport; Choreography by Stella Kane

July 6-9, 13-16, and 20-22 (Two performances July 14 – 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.)

All performances in Riley Auditorium at the Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park St.

*NOTE CHANGE IN LOCATION FOR THIS PRODUCTION.

Performance Schedule:

Thursday, July 6 7:30 p.m.; Friday, July 7 8 p.m.; Saturday, July 8 8 p.m.; Sunday, July 9 2 p.m.; Thursday, July 13 8 p.m.; Friday, July 14 2 p.m.; Friday, July 14 8 p.m.; Saturday, July 15 8 p.m.; Sunday, July 16 2 p.m.; Thursday, July 20 8 p.m.; Friday, July 21 8 p.m.; Saturday, July 22 8 p.m.

Set in the 1970s, “They’re Playing Our Song” is a funny, romantic show about an established composer and his relationship with an aspiring young female lyricist. Professionally, their relationship works beautifully, but ultimately leads to conflict on the home front. Of course, there’s a happy ending.

Ticket Information:

Season ticket packages, which will be available for sale in April, are $61 each. Individual tickets will go on sale beginning May 15 for $33 each.

Opening night performances begin at 7:30 p.m., Sunday and Friday matinees are at 2 p.m., and all other performances begin at 8 p.m.

The Otterbein Summer Theatre Box Office will officially open on May 15. Box office hours will be Monday through Friday 12-4 p.m., and one hour prior to all performances. For more information about Otterbein Summer Theatre and the 2017 Season, please contact Otterbein University Theatre at 614-823-1109 or visit the Otterbein University website, www.otterbein.edu/drama.

OPERA COLUMBUS TO CELEBRATE COLLABORATION IN 2017-18 SEASON. Subscriptions on sale.

Opera Columbus today announced its most collaborative season to date for the 2017-18 season, showcasing the artists of Juilliard, the Columbus Symphony, Against the Grain Theatre, and Company XIV in a not-to-be-missed trilogy of timeless operatic repertoire presented in what has become Opera Columbus’ signature forward-thinking style.

Opera Columbus continues its artistic collaboration with The Juilliard School’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts and its Artist Diploma in Opera Studies (ADOS) program for a second season, opening with the Opera Columbus debut of two highly gifted ADOS sopranos in a brand new production of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw.

This will be followed by a concert version of Verdi’s Aida co-presented with the Columbus Symphony, featuring the Columbus Symphony Chorus, exceptional guest vocalists, the trumpet section of The Ohio State University Marching Band, and animals from the Columbus Zoo.

The 2017-18 season will conclude with Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, showcasing artists from Toronto’s Against the Grain Theatre and NYC’s Company XIV alongside a trio of Opera Columbus guest vocalists in a modern-day and spectacular reimagining of one of the most beautiful operatic scores the world has ever known.

Opera Columbus’ main stage productions for the 2017-18 season include:

Britten’s The Turn of the Screw

Wednesday, September 27, 7:30 p.m. (dress rehearsal preview); Friday, September 29, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, October 1, 2 p.m. Southern Theatre (21 E. Main St.)

Stephen Wadsworth, director; Juilliard ADOS artist Christine Taylor Price, Governess; Juilliard ADOS artist Felecia Moore, Mrs. Grose

Based on Henry James’ fabulously creepy novella, Benjamin Britten’s 20th-century operatic masterpiece The Turn of the Screw is incisive, evocative, spare, and profoundly mysterious. Hired to tutor two children living at a great estate deep in the English countryside, a governess is strongly warned never to ask help of her employer and to rely solely on the housekeeper, but she soon discovers there are more people inhabiting the estate than she was aware. Who are these mysterious residents and what exactly is their relationship with the children? This new production by renowned American director Stephen Wadsworth (Met, La Scala, Vienna State Opera, London’s Royal Opera) stars two new young virtuosos from our Juilliard collaboration, sopranos Christine Taylor Price and Felicia Moore. Performed with the Columbus Symphony. Sung in English. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Aida in Concert

Friday, February 2, 2018, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, February 4, 2018, 2 p.m.; Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.)

Rossen Milanov, conductor; Columbus Symphony; Columbus Symphony Chorus – Ronald Jenkins, chorus director

Michelle Johnson, Aida; Laura Tucker, Amneris; Marc Heller, Radamès; Brian Major, Amonasro

Opera Columbus joins forces with the Columbus Symphony, Columbus Symphony Chorus, and a host of internationally renowned guest vocalists to present a concert version of one of the most famous grand operas of all time, Verdi’s Aida. Egyptian military commander Radamès must choose between his love for enslaved Nubian princess Aida and his loyalty to a Pharaoh whose daughter is madly in love with him. Special appearances by the trumpet section of The Ohio State University Marching Band and exotic animals of the Columbus Zoo. Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice

Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 7:30 p.m. (dress rehearsal preview); Friday, April 20, 2018, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 22, 2018, 2 p.m.; Southern Theatre (21 E. Main St.)

Joel Ivany, director; Austin McCormick, choreographer; Jason Hiester, conductor; John Gzowski, sound designer; Siman Chung, Orphée; Mireille Asselin, Eurydice; Marcy Richardson, Amour

Opera Columbus, Toronto’s Against the Grain Theatre, and NYC’s Company XIV collaborate to explore this gripping and timeless love story through the lens of today’s technology. While staying true to the original score and honoring the traditions of Baroque opera, this full production pushes the boundaries of operatic presentation through digital sound augmentation, captivating choreography, video projections, and aerial artistry. Countertenor Siman Chung makes his Opera Columbus debut in the title role, introducing Columbus audiences to his rare and beautiful voice type in some of the world’s most exquisite melodies of love, loss, and desperation. Performed with the Columbus Symphony. Berlioz version. Sung in French with English surtitles.

Subscriptions range from $69-$204 per person. They can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), by phone at 614-469-0939, or online at www.OperaColumbus.org.

Support for Opera Columbus’ 2017-18 season is provided by the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the Ohio Arts Council, The Columbus Foundation, The Columbus Performing Arts Prize, Nationwide, and Cardinal Health.

About Opera Columbus

Under the vision of Artistic Director Peggy Kriha Dye, Opera Columbus is redefining the concept of regional opera with world-class, original productions that celebrate extraordinary young talent and artistic collaboration, engaging a new, diverse audience for this most magnificent of art forms. Opera Columbus is currently engaged in a collaboration with the Artist Diploma for Opera Studies (ADOS) program at The Juilliard School which brings exceptional Juilliard ADOS artists to perform in Opera Columbus’ mainstage productions. For more information, visit www.OperaColumbus.org.

CAPA AND PNC BROADWAY IN COLUMBUS ANNOUNCE 2017-18 SEASON. National tour of Hamilton Coming in 2018-19 Season.

The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) and Broadway in Columbus (BIC) today announced the 2017-18 PNC Broadway in Columbus season. The five-show season, supported in part by PNC, features three productions never before seen in Columbus including School of Rock, Waitress, and An American in Paris. The 2017-18 season also includes the 2015 Tony Award-winning Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodger’s & Hammerstein’s The King and I and Chicago starring Ohio State football superstar Eddie George.

The national tour of the Broadway musical Hamilton will make its Columbus premiere as part of the 2018-19 season. The best way to guarantee tickets to Hamilton is to purchase a season subscription for the 2017-18 season. Subscribers who renew their subscription for the 2018-19 season will be able to guarantee their tickets to Hamilton before tickets become available to the general public. Information regarding Hamilton dates will be announced at a later time.

In addition to the five-show season package, there will be three 2017-18 season add-on options—the return of the spectacular new production of The Phantom of the Opera, The Book of Mormon, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.

Subscriptions for the 2017-18 PNC Broadway in Columbus season are on sale and include:

SCHOOL OF ROCK

October 10-15, 2017; Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.)

School of Rock is a New York Times Critics’ Pick and “An inspiring jolt of energy, joy, and mad skillz!” (Entertainment Weekly). Based on the hit film, this hilarious new musical follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher, who turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. This high-octane smash features 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, all the original songs from the movie, and musical theatre’s first-ever kids rock band playing their instruments live on stage. Vanity Fair raves, “Fists of all ages shall be pumping!”

WAITRESS

November 7-12, 2017; Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.)

Brought to life by a groundbreaking, all-female creative team, this irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by six-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam), and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin, Finding Neverland). Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker, who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. Don’t miss this uplifting musical celebrating friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.

CHICAGO starring Eddie George

February 6-11, 2018; Palace Theatre (34 W. Broad St.)

This triumphant hit musical is the recipient of six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy®, thousands of standing ovations, and is now the #1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history. Chicago has everything that makes Broadway great—a universal tale of fame, fortune, and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. The production holds an added punch of hometown pride as former NFL legend, OSU superstar, and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George makes his Columbus stage debut as the fast-talking lawyer Billy Flynn.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

March 6-11, 2018; Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.)

An American in Paris is the new Tony Award®-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl, and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Acclaimed director/choreographer and 2015 Tony Award® winner Christopher Wheeldon brings the magic and romance of Paris into perfect harmony with unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin in the show that earned more awards than any other musical in the 2015 season!

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I

April 24-29, 2018; Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.)

Two worlds collide in the Lincoln Center Theater production of this “breathtaking and exquisite” (The New York Times) musical directed by Bartlett Sher. One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, THE KING AND I boasts a score that features such beloved classics as “Getting to Know You,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Hello Young Lovers,” “Shall We Dance,” and “Something Wonderful.”

Subscriptions range from $160-$565 per person and are on sale now at www.BroadwayInColumbus.com, by phone at 800-294-1892 (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.), or in person at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.). CAPA Ticket Center hours are Mondays-Fridays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Five-Installment, Interest-Free Payment Plan Available

Subscriptions purchased by May 5, 2017, are eligible for a five-installment, interest-free payment plan. The first installment is charged the day the subscription is purchased with the next four installments being automatically charged to the same credit card on June 7, July 7, August 7, and September 7.

In addition, the 2017-18 PNC Broadway in Columbus season will include three season add-on productions. The additional shows are not included in the 2017-18 subscription, but subscribers are given the opportunity to purchase tickets prior to each going on sale to the general public.

2017-18 season add-ons include:

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL

December 16 & 17, 2017; Palace Theatre (34 W. Broad St.)

The beloved TV classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, and of course, Rudolph as they come to life in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Don’t miss this wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

January 3-14, 2018; Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.)

Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera returns to Columbus as part of a brand new North American tour. Hailed by critics as “bigger and better than ever before,” this production boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier, new scenic and lighting designs, new staging, and new choreography. The beloved story and thrilling score will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this Phantom one of the largest productions now on tour.

THE BOOK OF MORMON

May 22-27, 2018; Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.)

The New York Times calls it “the best musical of the century.” The Washington Post says, “It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals.” Entertainment Weekly says, “Grade A: the funniest musical of all time.” Jimmy Fallon of “The Tonight Show” calls it “Genius. Brilliant. Phenomenal.” It’s The Book of Mormon, the nine-time Tony Award®-winning Best Musical. This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. Now with standing room only productions in Australia, London, on Broadway, and across North America, The Book of Mormon has truly become an international sensation. Contains explicit language.

The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, education excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. CAPA also appreciates the support of the Chester B. and Harriet D. Isaac, Barbara J. Haddox, and Charlotte R. Haller funds of The Columbus Foundation, assisting donors and others in strengthening our community for the benefit of all of its citizens, and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, supporting the city’s artists and arts organizations since 1973.

About CAPA

Owner/operator of downtown Columbus’ magnificent, historic theatres (Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre, Southern Theatre) and manager of the Riffe Center Theatre Complex, Lincoln Theatre, and Shubert Theater (New Haven, CT), CAPA is a not-for-profit, award-winning presenter of national and international performing arts and entertainment in operation for more than 40 years. For more information, visit www.capa.com.

About Broadway Across America

BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com and The Broadway Channel. Led by nine-time Tony-winning producer John Gore (Owner & CEO), BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 41 markets with over 270,000 subscribers. Current and past productions include Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, Dear Evan Hansen, Fiddler on the Roof, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Quartet, Hairspray, On Your Feet!, School of Rock, and The Producers. Broadway.com is the premier theatre website for news, exclusive content, and ticket sales. For more information, please visit BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com and Broadway.com.

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Staff Reports