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This week’s theater news blog…

Published April 11th, 2014 by | No Comments

Theater news for the week of April 11-18, 2014


Jersey Boys Broadway Montage

Each week, we’re going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway news and stories. Check back every Friday to see what you missed this week and to catch a glimpse of what’s going on at PlayhouseSquare this weekend. Enjoy!

Happening on Broadway …

Jersey Boys Becomes 13th Longest-Running Musical
After 3,487 performances, Jersey Boys is officially the 13th longest-running musical of all time! The Tony, Olivier and Grammy Award-winning musical opened in 2005 and has been seen by 19 million people worldwide. Jersey Boys comes to PlayhouseSquare May 6 – 18. Read more (Playbill.com).

Michael Cera to Make Broadway Debut
The Hollywood actor, Michael Cera, is set to star alongside Kieran Culkin and pre-teen fashion icon Tavi Gevinson in a revival of Kenneth Longeran’s This Is Our Youth. The production, which illustrates the limbo between adolescence and adulthood, opens in New York on September 11. Read more (The Hollywood Reporter).

The King and I Musical Expected in 2015
The beloved show, The King and I, is set for its first revival production since 1996. Kelli O’Hara, the star of The Bridges of Madison County and four-time Tony nominee, is expected to headline the show, which will open at LincolnCenter in the Spring of 2015. Read more (Broadway.com).

Upcoming Events at PlayhouseSquare

Clybourne Park – Cleveland Play House
Flanagan’s Wake
Scab – Cleveland State University Dept of Theatre & Dance
As You Like It – Great Lakes Theater
Jessica Lang Dance – DANCECleveland
Informed Consent – Cleveland Play House

Share your thoughts on this week’s news below, or talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Flashdance In CLE!

Published April 4th, 2014 by | No Comments

Did you catch Corey Mach and Syndey Morton earlier this week on Fox Morning News, New 102, and The Plain Dealer’s Entertainment section? We got to know the leads of Flashdance during their Cleveland press adventures on Wednesday. Corey Mach, a Strongsville native, told us he was very excited to perform for a theater full of friends and family and Sydney Morton, of Cincinnati, dished that she spent time with Berry Gordy while on tour with Motown The Musical’s original cast. (Fun fact: She’s on the Motown poster on the Palace Theatre doors!)  If you missed Sydney and Corey’s interviews, we captured the highlights for you!


Fox Morning News

Fox 8
The List
Cleveland Scene
Corey Mach
Cleveland's New 102
Cleveland's New 102

Want more? Get the full interviews here:

Fox 8
New 102
The Plain Dealer

This week’s theater news blog…

Published April 3rd, 2014 by | No Comments

Theater news for the week of April 4-11, 2014


Disney’s The Lion King provides an impromptu performance for plane passengers!

Each week, we’re going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway news and stories. Check back every Friday to see what you missed this week and to catch a glimpse of what’s going on at PlayhouseSquare this weekend. Enjoy!

Happening on Broadway …

Broadway vet Jesse Tyler Ferguson to host 2014 Drama League Awards
Emmy nominee and Broadway veteran Jesse Tyler Ferguson will host the 2014 Drama League Awards on May 16. The ceremony will include special honors for Barbra Cook, John Tiffany and Key Brand. Nominations will be announced later this month on April 23.  (broadway.com) Read more.

Disney’s The Lion King surprises with impromptu performance
The cast of Australia’s Disney’s The Lion King decided to hold an impromptu performance  -  on a plane ride. The group was flying back to Sydney after an appearance in Brisbane and decided to burst into “The Circle of Life” prior to take off. What a fun treat for the passengers! (broadway.com) Read more.

Hats off to Kyle Dean Massey and Ciara Renee
Hats off the Kyle Dean Massey and Ciara Renee – the two stars took their first bow under the big tent of Pippin on Broadway on April 1. Massey is currently starring as the title prince and Renee, a Baldwin Wallace University Graduate, is starring as Leading Player. Check out these photos from their first Pippin curtain call here. Pippin comes to PlayhouseSquare as part of the KeyBank Broadway Series February 3-15, 2015. (broadway.com) Read more.


Upcoming Events at PlayhouseSquare

Clybourne Park – Cleveland Play  House
Flanagan’s Wake
Flashdance The Musical – KeyBank Broadway Series
Scab – Cleveland State University Dept of Theatre & Dance
As You Like It – Great Lakes Theater
Bob Woodward – Town Hall Speaker Series
Theresa Caputo
Robert Pinsky – William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series
Jessica Lang Dance – DANCECleveland

Share your thoughts on this week’s news below, or talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!

An Interview with Flashdance Costume Designer, Paul Tazewell

Published March 31st, 2014 by | No Comments

 

Paul Tazewell

PlayhouseSquare writer, Robin Pease, spoke with five time Tony nominee Paul Tazewell costume designer for FLASHDANCE THE MUSICAL. Tazewell has designed for Broadway shows Memphis, The Color Purple and In the Heights. Nationally, his work has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera and internationally for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada, the Kenyan productions of The Birds and Take Flight, and the story of Amelia Earhart, produced in Japan.

 

PEASE:  You are from Akron!  How did you get from there into costume design?
TAZWELL:  (Laughs.) I am. BuchtelHigh School had a performing arts focus with at least two productions every year and an agreement with the University of Akron for interships. So I was exposed to a lot of theater that was above what most high schools were doing in the area. I originally wanted to be a performer, but there was another side of designing costumes and scenery that I enjoyed. I went to Pratt Insitute for a year. The idea was to audition for productions, study dance and singing, but with the culture shock of going from Akron, Ohio to New York City, after a year, I decided to transfer to North Carolina School of the Arts. I entered as a costume design major, then I went to NYU for my graduate degree.

 

PEASE: What’s your process for designing costumes?
TAZWELL:   After reading the script, I find out the director’s concept of how they want to tell the story. Then, I research, go to my laptop and collection of books, read critical essays of the period. I put together two-dimensional images that speak to what our conversation has been saying about the production. From research, I start to draw it out, making sketches of all the different characters and thinking about qualities of fabric, what colors I want to use. Knowing how fabric is going to move in space; if they are costumes that are going to dance. Making choices if it needs to stretch or be light and fluffy or snappy, jazzy, hot and sexy. As I make the drawings, I take all these qualities into consideration. I am receptive of the period and create style lines that look 1920s or 1930s or whatever the show is. I end up with a stack of sketches that get painted. All these sketches are approved by the director and choreographer. Since the colors that I use will work in a specific way, I check in with the scene designer. But the design is just the beginning. We start working with a regional theater or shops where you bid the sketches out and get prices. I might have to redesign to make it a little less expensive or make it more theatrical because the design needs to fit within the parameters of what the budget will allow. Keep massaging the design until it all makes sense. When the cast is set, we get measurements and then shop for fabric, hats, shoes and clothing. If you’re building, there are drapers, dressmakers, tailors and mock-ups of the basic version of the design done to get the right fit on the actor’s body. There might be shifts in what the design is for that actor specifically, choices that feel right for the actor playing that role.

 

PEASE: So, you don’t just design the costume, you are in for the whole process from start of the design to the finished costume.
TAZWELL:   Yes, I leave once the production is open. On a Broadway show or tour, if there are new people that go into a specific role, I might come in to recreate the same design. Or if it’s a celebrity, there might be a new design specific for that celebrity. Other than that, there are people that maintain the production. I might visit to make sure the design is holding up, but largely I’ve done what I’ve been contracted to do once the show has opened.

 

PEASE: What’s your favorite period for design?
TAZWELL:   I prefer creating a full and abundant world of images, so I tend to do a lot of musicals, classics and opera. Pieces that are set in a period other than the contemporary world allows for more creative input.

 

PEASE: How many productions do you work on at once?
TAZWELL:  I average three at a time, at different stages. I might be having coversations about one or two shows that are not happening for another year and another production happening in four months. Then there is a production that I am in tech for with previews tonight with another production starting up in a week and a half. A lot of scheduling goes on to make it all happen.

 

PEASE: Actors have agents. How does a costume designer find work?
TAZWELL:   Directors. Sometimes the theaters know me and suggest my name, or I’ve worked with a director before and they ask for me. Keeping up contacts is the most important.

 

PEASE: The story of your mother putting food coloring on your high chair as your introduction to art, is that true?
TAZWELL:   (Laughs.) It is true. From the age of three, I used to be fascinated with the boxes of food coloring and playing with them. It is why I was drawn to theater. I grew up being asthmatic and didn’t go out and run around with other kids. Because I spent a lot of time inside, my mother came up with activities to keep me busy. That’s how I learned to sew and draw. From a very early age, I was painting, playing and experiencing color.

 

PEASE:  This is FLASHDANCE. Will we get to see any ripped sweatshirts?
TAZWELL:   That’s still in there. There are certain things we had to hold on to. Loosely set in the ‘70s-‘80s, it’s not a wax replica of what that period is. We’ve kept it relatable, but not feeling it is a send up of the ‘70s show. We wanted parents feeling nostalgic for the film, but also to experience it new with their children. It was a film that was very close to my heart in high school, the aspiration to perform. Now to be designing it is wonderful. I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

This week’s theater news blog…

Published March 28th, 2014 by | No Comments


If I Then to release cast album this June.

Theater news for the week of March 28 – April 4, 2014

Each week, we’re going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway news and stories. Check back every Friday to see what you missed this week and to catch a glimpse of what’s going on at PlayhouseSquare this weekend. Enjoy!

Happening on Broadway …

Newsies celebrates two years on Broadway
The cast of Newsies celebrated two years on Broadway on March 26. The cast celebrated after the show with a sweet Newsies inspired cake and cast picture. Newsies dances into Cleveland in November 2014 as part of the KeyBank Broadway Series.  (broadway.com) Read more.

Pippin celebrates their first birthday on Broadway
Patina Miller and the cast of Pippin threw a party for their first birthday on Broadway! After the March 26 matinee performance, the cast celebrated with a whimsical cake and circus celebration. Pippin tumbles into Cleveland in February 2015 as part of the KeyBank Broadway Series (broadway.com) Read more.

If I Then to release cast album
The cast album for the new musical starring Idina  Menzel, If I Then, is set to start recording their cast album on April 7 with a June 3 release date. If I Then began preview performances at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on March 5 and will officially open on Broadway on March 30.  (broadway.com) Read more.

Jonathon Groff and Lucy Liu to announce 2014 Tony nominations
Jonathon Groff and Lucy Liu will co-host the 2014 Tony Award nominations announcement on April 29 at the Diamond Horseshoe at the Paramount Hotel. The nominations will be aired live at 8:30 a.m. EST on CBS This Morning. (broadway.com) Read more.

 

Upcoming Events at PlayhouseSquare
Clybourne Park – Cleveland Play  House
Jim Gaffigan
Flanagan’s Wake
Tyler Perry’s Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned
Bobby McFerrin
Flashdance The Musical – KeyBank Broadway Series
Scab – Cleveland State University Dept of Theatre & Dance
As You Like It – Great Lakes Theater

Share your thoughts on this week’s news below, or talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!

Retro Sign Update

Published March 24th, 2014 by | No Comments

Did you catch our newest addition to the neighborhood? The Retro-sign, which sits atop 1317 Euclid, was installed last week and pays tribute to the original PlayhouseSquare signage. The enormous creation is a whopping 48-feet tall, with each letter standing at 9-feet. In terms of lighting, the sign will illuminate the area with 900 light bulbs and the Hanna Building got a new light treatment, too!

If you haven’t gotten the chance to see it all in person, here are some behind-the-scenes photos to tide you over!

 

Retro Sign

Retro Sign

Retro Sign Installation

Retro Sign

Retro Sign

Architectural Lighting - Hanna

 What part of Dazzle The District are you most excited for?

 

10 Things Children Gain from Theater

Published March 19th, 2014 by | No Comments

Theater is a thrilling, creative, mind-opening experience for all of us, but what exactly can theater contribute to the lives of our children? In honor of “World Theatre for Children and Young People Day”, here are 10 solid reasons to involve your child in theater:

 1. Imagination

Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Theater fosters your child’s imagination by transporting them to another space and time. They begin to realize anything they can imagine can come to life through art.

 2. Laughter

Humor makes everything better. Theater brings learning to life by making it engaging and exciting!

 3. Curiosity

Children are naturally curious. Theater causes children to question even more, which helps them form their own decisions and opinions.

 4. Improved Academic Performance

There are many studies demonstrating a significant link between arts education and educational success. Test scores are just one aspect:

  • Students involved in drama performance coursework or experience outscored non-arts students on the 2005 SAT by an average of 65 points in the verbal component and 34 points in the math component
  • Students involved in drama performance scored an average of 65.5 points higher on the verbal component and 35.5 points higher in the math component of the SAT

 SAT Scores(The College Entrance Examination Board)

 5. Emotional Intelligence / Empathy

Empathy needs to be practiced, especially in today’s world. By sympathizing with characters in theater performances, children can begin to understand what it means to empathize. They also gain a better understanding of non-verbal communication and learn how to interact effectively with others.

 6. Exposure to Different Cultures and Perspectives

Theater allows children to put themselves in the shoes of another person, perhaps with a different viewpoint than their own. This fosters understanding and acceptance, while expanding their worldview.

 7. Confidence

Performing in front of an audience for the first time is nerve-wracking to say the least, but eventually, overcoming this fear makes children feel an overwhelming sense of pride. They realize they can accomplish anything with practice. This confidence is transferred to all aspects of their lives, including academics.

 8. Creative Outlet for Expression

One of the biggest benefits of the arts is that they provide an outlet for expression and are a productive use of energy. The creativity developed through theater will set children apart and allow them to excel in their future careers.

 9. Problem Solving Skills

Theater helps children learn without them even realizing it! While watching a production, children witness a conflict and solution process. While working on a production, they will be faced with script, actor, or staging problems that require a quick, creative solution. These experiences help children form critical problem-solving skills.

 10. Friends / Team-building

Theater isn’t mean to be experienced alone. By participating in theater, children can bond with current friends while making new ones. They learn about teamwork and compromising with others, both essential to their careers and to their lives.

Looking for ways to bring theater into your child’s life? Make sure to stop by PlayhouseSquare’s International Children’s Festival from May 6 – 14! http://www.playhousesquare.org/childrensfestival/

Children's Fest

This week’s theater news blog…

Published March 14th, 2014 by | No Comments

Theater news for the week of March 7-14, 2014

Each week, we’re going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway news and stories. Check back every Friday to see what you missed this week and to catch a glimpse of what’s going on at PlayhouseSquare this weekend. Enjoy!

Happening on Broadway …

Clifton Oliver & Allison Semmes to star in national tour of Motown the Musical
Clifton Oliver and Allison Semmes have been cast as Berry Gordy and Diana Ross in the first national tour of Motown the Musical. The national tour kicks off April 22 in Chicago. Oliver has performed on Broadway in Disney’s The Lion King, In The Height and Wicked – he’s also performed in the national tours of The Lion King, Rent and Ragtime. Semmes has performed on Broadway in Motown the Musical and The Book of Mormon – she’s also done the national tour of The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, The Wiz and Candide.  (broadway.com) Read more.

2014 Olivier nominations announced
The nominations for the 2014 Olivier Awards, the West End’s version of Broadway’s Tony Awards, were announced March 10, with musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along lead the group with seven nominations apiece. (broadway.com) Read more.

Pretty Woman may be heading for Broadway
According to the New York Post, Pretty Woman may be headed for Broadway. Movie director Garry Marshall, producer Paula Wagner and screenwriter J.F. Lawton are rumored to be interested in adapting the hit movie for Broadway – but only time will tell. (broadway.com) Read more.

Upcoming Events at PlayhouseSquare

Flanagan’s Wake
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – KeyBank Broadway  Series
Too True to Be Good – CPH/CWRU MFA Program
C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce
The Sing-Off Live Tour
Not By Bread Alone
Andrew Solomon -Writer’s Center Stage Series
Sesame Street Live: Elmo Can’t Stop Singing
TAO
Clybourne Park – Cleveland Play House

Share your thoughts on this week’s news below, or talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!

American Idol on Broadway

Published March 12th, 2014 by | No Comments

During their time in Cleveland, Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo have answered question after question about their American Idol past. If you’re a fan of the show, you know that Ace and Diana aren’t the only Idols to take over Broadway. It’s practically a launch pad for theater careers! After all, Bernard Telsey, a New York casting director, called the show “a televised open call.”[1] The combination of musical talent, acting chops, and free publicity is the perfect storm for any entertainment career. So who else has traded LA for NYC? Here are some American Idol contestants – turned Broadway stars:

 Season 1

Justin Guarini

Good Vibrations, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, American Idiot, Rent, Romeo and Juliet, Wicked

justin guarini

 Tamyra Gray

Bombay Dreams, Rent, Twist

tamyra gray

Season 2

Clay Aiken

Spamalot, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat

Clay Aiken

 Trenyce

Dreamgirls, Love in the Nick of Tyme, Ain’t Misbehavin, Thriller 

trenyce

Season 3

Fantasia Barrino

The Color Purple, After Midnight

fantasia barrino

 

Diana DeGarmo

Hairspray, The Toxic Avenger, Hair, 9 to 5, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

diana degarmo

 

LaToya London

Issues, We All Got ‘Em, Beehive, The Color Purple

latoya london

 

Jennifer Hudson

Hair, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

jennifer hudson

 

 Season 4

Constantine Maroulis

The Wedding Singer, Jacque Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Rock of Ages, The Toxic Avenger, Jekyll & Hyde

constantine maroulis

Season 5

Taylor Hicks

Grease

taylor hicks

 

 Ace Young

Grease, Hair, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 

ace young

 

Season 6

Jordin Sparks

In the Heights 

jordin sparks

 

Season 7

Syesha Mercado

Dreamgirls, Once on This Island, The Book of Mormon 

syesha mercado

 

 

 

Who is your favorite Idol contestant – turned – Broadway star?


[1] http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/former-american-idol-contestants-making-their-mark-on-broadway-1008441.php

This week’s theater news…

Published March 7th, 2014 by | No Comments


Annie is hitting the big screen this Christmas!

Theater news for the week of February 28 – March 7, 2014

Each week, we’re going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway news and stories. Check back every Friday to see what you missed this week and to catch a glimpse of what’s going on at PlayhouseSquare this weekend. Enjoy!

Happening on Broadway …

Pippin star Patina Miller to join CBS Drama Pilot
Patina Miller is headed to Capitol Hill – atleast, on TV she is. The Pippin Tony Award winner is set to join the cast of the CBS Pilot Madam Secretary, which explores the personal and professional life of a female Secretary of State. Miller joins the ensemble cast as press coordinator Daisy.   (broadway.com) Read more.

New Annie trailer released
Annie fans, rejoice! A trailer for the film remake, starring Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz, has recently been released. Annie is set to hit movie theaters on Christmas Day of this year.  (broadway.com) Read more.

Steven Spielberg eyes West Side Story remake
A West Side Story remake? According to Deadline, the Oscar winner has registered his interest in a do-over, so Fox has unlocked the movie title. No writer and no other details about the possible remake have been released. The original 1957 Broadway production, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, was adapted into the legendary 1961 musical film. Starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn and Rita Moreno it won 10 Oscars, including Best Picture.  (broadway.com) Read more.

 

Upcoming Events at PlayhouseSquare

Flanagan’s Wake
Deathtrap – Great Lakes Theater
Breath and Imagination – Cleveland Play House
Lysistrata – Cleveland State University Dept. of Theatre & Dance
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – KeyBank Broadway  Series
Too True to Be Good – CPH/CWRU MFA Program
Trisha Brown Dance Company
Lily Tomlin
C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce
The Sing-Off Live Tour

Share your thoughts on this week’s news below, or talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!

About Us

A not-for-profit performing arts center that presents and produces a wide variety of performing arts, advances arts education and creates a destination that is a superior location for entertainment business and residential living, thereby strengthening the economic vitality of the region.

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