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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!

Ace, Diana, and PlayhouseSquare

Published March 5th, 2014 by | No Comments

The day is finally here! Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat is launching the national tour TONIGHT in Cleveland! This morning, we had the chance to hang out with the stars of Joseph, Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo, before their big night. The newlywed couple, along with their Dauschund puppy, Rosie, traveled to WQAL and FOX8 to talk about the show and their American Idol past. Diana cracked jokes on Q104, Ace explained his Idol proposal on Fox 8 “New Day Cleveland”, and Rosie enjoyed a few carrots while “New Day” host David Moss whipped up some “beer stew.” In the time between interviews, Ace and Diana told us about Rosie, their Napa Valley honeymoon, and gushed about the Rainbow Terminal Tower post they saw on our Facebook page!

Thanks for hanging out with us, Ace and Diana! Break a leg tonight!

Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo on Fox 8 News

Fox 8Rosie

New Day Cleveland

New Day Cooking Segment

Technicolor Terminal Tower

Miss the interviews? Check them out here:

Q104: http://q104.cbslocal.com/2014/03/05/former-idol-stars-ace-young-diana-degarmo-drop-by-fees-kompany/

FOX 8: http://fox8.com/2014/03/05/former-idol-stars-kiss-and-tell-on-fox-8/

Joseph cast members come home to Cleveland

Published March 4th, 2014 by | No Comments

JOSEPH Cast Members Come Home to Cleveland

PlayhouseSquare writer, Robin Pease, spoke with Katie Whetsell and Tricia Tanguy of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. Whetsell and Tanguy are Ohio girls returning home. Whitsell has appeared in Private Lives, Dear Edwina, Once Upon a Mattress and Walt Disney World’s Disney on Classic. Tanguy has been seen on tour in Cats, The Producers and Sister Act.

Katie-Whetsell-V2

Pease:  You are from Ohio!
WHETSELL:  Yes, born and raised in Cleveland, North Royalton. College at Otterbein.

Pease:  From college you went straight to New York. What did you do there?
WHETSELL:  Years of auditioning. The funny thing about New York is that you have to live there in order to get work, but the work takes you away from New York. I toured with Wonderful Town, but it only took me to Toledo. It has always been a dream of mine to be able to come back to Cleveland. Particularly PlayhouseSquare, because I have so many fond memories of doing JOSEPH as a kid at the Palace Theatre and Bye Bye Birdie with Rue McClanahan there.

Pease:  So you’ve done JOSEPH before, as a child?
WHETSELL:  Yes. It was such a wonderful, magical experience to walk into the audition and sing music that I really hadn’t touched since I was 12 years old at PlayhouseSquare. When I got the call that I got it, it was awesome. Then finding out that my dear childhood friend, Tricia Tanguy, had gotten it and we were going to be doing the tour together…it was a meant-to-be experience.

Pease:  You and Tricia knew each other when you did JOSEPH at the Palace?
WHETSELL:  Oh yes. We used to carpool and were very close friends when we were kids. We grew up doing theater and cablevision movies. Even through our professional lives, college and when we moved to New York, we would touch base, but we never had the opportunity to work together, like when we were kids. Now to work together, doing JOSEPH, of all things and doing the national tour and opening in Cleveland, in the same theater that we did JOSEPH as kids is a bizarre, awesome, cool thing!

Pease:  Tell me about doing JOSEPH as kids.
WHETSELL:  I was 11 or 12. It was a production that went through town. I was part of the Spotlight Youth Singers. There were tons of choirs that were auditioning for the tour. We were one of the choirs that was chosen. As a kid, I remember being so enamored of the cast and the show. That I was a part of it and got to go to a beautiful theater every night and perform on that stage was so wonderful.

Pease:  What did the kids choir do?
WHETSELL:   There is no kids choir in the production we are about to do, but back then, we sat on the side and provided choral music behind the principals. We started on the stage at the begininning, then at the end we came down on the stage and danced.I love the Palace Theatre, it is kind of the theater that I measure all theaters against. I live for this moment, to come back to my hometown and share the production of JOESPH  with the community.

Tricia-Tanguy-V2

Pease:  Welcome home!  I just spoke with Katie Whetsell. She was telling me about the time you two used to carpool together.
TANGUY:  That happened when we were 12, but you know what is even crazier?  In 2009, I was the narrator in the JOSEPH tour that went out then and I had my own kids chorus. In 2010 and 2011, I was the narrator of JOSEPH at the Beck Center. I had never worked at the Beck Center before. When I was in Cleveland, I worked primarily at Cain Park, Berea Summer Theater and the Cassidy. When I was in Sister Act last year, I came through PlayhouseSquare. Then I auditioned for JOSEPH and found out Katie got it too. We haven’t worked together since we were 12. This JOSEPH just keeps getting better and better. I’m glad to come home and excited. This experience has come full circle.

Pease:  Have any other cast members done JOSEPH before?
TANGUY:  One of the male swings covered JOSEPH in another tour, and one of our dance captains just did a production. There are some JOSEPH alum, including our director and musical director. They went to high school together in Cincinnati and did the show together there. I am thinking, what is with the Ohio connection?

Pease: Have there been any changes or updates to the show for this tour?
TANGUY:  I know they have gotten permission to make some changes musically. They are also doing a lot of projections and that adds a contemporary spin on things. With Ace and Diana doing the show, that already gives it a contemporary spin. Stylewise the fabrics are updated, the color palette is really bright and vibrant. It has a great pop to it. Lighting-wise, this show is like a rock concert. It is an updated take on the show. Visually, it is stunning. Not the same version that has been seen before.

Pease:  This show has been around for more than 40 years. How do you think audiences today will react to it?
TANGUY:  They are going to love it. Especially because it is contemporary. Audiences will relate to it, love it and embrace it. Everyone will get something different from the show. Some people will come to forget their lives. Some come to see a spectacle. Some people will be moved by the family ties in the show. It is all about family, father/son relationships. There is something in it for everyone.

Pease:  That’s funny, because with you and Katie coming back to Cleveland, it is just a whole big family mash up.
TANGUY:  Yes, it gives me goosebumps!

This week’s theater news…

Published February 28th, 2014 by | No Comments


Stomp celebrates 20th anniversary this week!

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 …

Happy birthday Stomp!
Happy birthday Stomp! The show celebrated its 20th anniversary on February 27. In honor of the milestone, the cast lit up the Empire State Building in NYC Red and White. Stomp is a 100 minute music filled, though wordless show that features 8 different personalities telling a story through brooms, poles, garbage cans, intertubes and even a kitchen sink.   (broadway.com) Read more.

Kyle Dean Massey and Ciara Renee join Pippin on Broadway
The roles of Pippin and Leading Player are filled! Starting April 1 at the Music Box Theater, Kyle Dean Massey and Ciara Renee will begin the performances of Pippin. The pair will replace Matthew James Thomas and Patina Miller. Massey is best known for his roles on Broadway in Wicked, Xanadu and Next to Normal, while Renee, a recent Baldwin Wallace University graduate, has performed in Lizzy Borden and Sondheim on Sondheim at PlayhouseSquare, and made her Broadway premiere in Big Fish. (broadway.com) Read more.

Tony Awards look to expand number of nominees in show categories
More nominees means more possibilities for Tony winners! This year, the number of nominees in the Best Musical, Best Play, Best Musical Revival and Best Play Revival categories will expand from four nominees to five nominees. At this time, twelve new musicals have either opened or will open during the 2013-2014 Broadway season, which means you can expect to hear five Best Musical nominees when Tony nominations are announced on April 29.  (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
The 8th Annual Cleveland Blues Festival
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – KeyBank Broadway  Series
Too True to Be Good – CPH/CWRU MFA Program
Trisha Brown Dance Company

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

Academy Nominees: From Stage to Screen

Published February 27th, 2014 by | No Comments

With the Oscars only a few days away, we thought we’d dig up some dirt on the nominees. Did you know that some individual nominees also dabble in the artful fun of theater? That’s what we like to hear! Read on to see how some of the Oscar nominees are no strangers to the stage!

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

Bruce Dern nominated for Nebraska

Theater credits include:
Strangers
Sweet Bird of Youth
The Shadow of a Gunman

OscarsBruceDern

Dern got his start on the stage in Waiting for Godot alongside Lyle Kessler. He is best known for his roles as Captain Bob Hyde in Coming Home, for which he won his first Academy Award nomination, and as Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby (1974).

Best Actress in a Leading Role:

Judi Dench – nominated for Philomena

Theater credits include:
Into the Woods
Amy’s View
King Henry V
Twelfth Night

OscarsJudiDench

Judi Dench began her stage career in 1957 as Ophelia in Hamlet. She is best known for her film roles as M in Skyfall, Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown, and Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love. Theater and film royalty, we’d say!

Meryl Streep – nominated for August: Osage County

Theater credits include:
Happy End
The Cherry Orchard
Secret Service
A Memory of Two Mondays/27 Wagons Full of Cotton
Trelawny of the “Wells”

OscarsMerylStreep

Meryl Streep, or Queen Meryl as we’d like to call her due to her poise and brilliance, began on the stage after graduating from Yale Drama School in the 1960s, but gained notoriety with the 1977 revival of The Cherry Orchard. Meryl is known for her many amazing film roles, but rather than list a few, we’ll just let you pick your favorite!

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Bradley Cooper – nominated for American Hustle

Theater credits include:
Three Days of Rain

OscarsBradleyCooper

A graduate of the acclaimed Actor’s Studio in New York and Los Angeles, Bradley Cooper is a film-focused talent. He is best known for his work in the Hangover and Silver Linings Playbook, for which he received a 2013 Academy Award nomination. Bradley made his stage debut with his friends and colleagues, Julia Roberts and Paul Rudd, in Three Days of Rain.

Best Actress in Supporting Role

Sally Hawkins – nominated for Blue Jasmine

Theater credits include:
Mrs. Warren’s Profession
Much Ado About Nothing
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Constellations

OscarsSallyHawkins

Sally Hawkins first made a name for herself in theater in her 2000 performance in Much Ado About Nothing. She transitioned into film in 2002 as Samantha in All or Nothing. Sally Hawkins won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in 2008 for her performance in Happy-Go-Lucky.

Julia Roberts – nominated for August: Osage County

Theater credits include:
Three Days of Rain

OscarsJuliaRoberst

Julia Roberts made her mark in a big way when she starred in the 1989 film, Steel Magnolias, which earned her an Academy Award nomination. Talk about an entrance! She then went on to win an Oscar for the title role in Erin Brockovich. Roberts debuted on the stage with Bradley Cooper and Paul Rudd in Three Days Rain.

June Squibb – nominated for Nebraska

Theater credits include:
Sacrilege
Gorey Stories
The Happy Times
The Boyfriend
Gypsy

OscarsJuneSquibb

Guess where June learned (almost) everything she knows? Yep, Cleveland! June Squibb started on the stage in St. Louis and then trained at the Cleveland Play House. She starred in Gypsy alongside Ethel Merman, and The Happy Time, which earned her a Tony nomination. Squibb tried her hand in film starting with the 1990 film, Alice directed by Woody Allen and is best known for her roles in Meet Joe Black, Atlas Shrugged Part 1, and Nebraska.
We can’t wait to see who brings home the Academy Award for each category, just as long as they never forget where they came from; theater! We may or may not be pulling for June Squibb, but hey, CLE pride!!

Jump Back Ball 23 Recap

Published February 24th, 2014 by | No Comments

What a night! Sparkling dresses, pressed tuxedos, and brilliant costumes filled the State Theater last Saturday at the 23rd Annual Jump Back Ball. To say the night was a unique experience is quite an understatement. The attendees ate their fill, sipped hand-crafted James Bond-themed cocktails, and danced the night away under the lights of the State Theater stage. The band, “Your Hero My Villain”, got the crowd rocking with their covers of Top 40 hits and crowds flocked to toss in a few chips at the gambling tables. Later in the night, everyone refueled with tasty sliders and topped it all off with music from “Pop Rocks.” It all could have been mistaken for a Bond movie, and that’s just what we intended.

If you couldn’t make it to the party or just want to reminisce, here’s the best of Jump Back Ball 23!

YouTube Screenshot - JBB23Jump Back Ball 23 Red Carpet Cam

Guests felt like Broadway stars as they danced on the stage of the State Theatre.

Guests felt like Broadway stars as they danced on the stage of the State Theatre.

"Your Hero, My Villian" kept the party going all night with songs from Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, and more.

“Your Hero, My Villian” kept the party going all night with songs from Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, and more.

"Shaken, not stirred." Bartenders whipped up ice cold cocktails behind the JBB Buckeye Vodka ice luge.

“Shaken, not stirred.”
Bartenders whipped up ice cold cocktails behind the Buckeye Vodka ice luge.

Guests went "all in" during Jump Back Ball's late night festivities.

Guests went “all in” during Jump Back Ball’s late night festivities.

The lobby of the State Theatre glowed purple and blue during the "Pop Rocks" performance.

The lobby of the State Theatre glowed purple and blue during the “Pop Rocks” performance. 

What was your favorite part of Jump Back Ball 23?


 

This week’s theater news…

Published February 21st, 2014 by | No Comments

Theater news for the week of February 21-28, 2014


The Making of a Broadway Musical – Aladdin on Disney Video

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 …

It’s confirmed – Scrubs the musical is happening!
Scrubs series creator Bill Lawrence has confirmed in a new Entertainment Weekly article that Scrubs the musical is indeed happening. No casting, opening date or any further details have been released yet. Although series Zach Braff, won’t be part of the Broadway cast, he will part of the show’s creative team.  (rollingstone.com) Read more.

Pushing Daisies in talks to become Broadway musical
The cancelled ABC television comedy Pushing Daisies (starring Kristen Chenoweth) is said to be in talks to become a Broadway musical. The shows’ creator, Bryan Fuller, is said to be in talks with Warner Bros. about making the short-lived show into a Broadway musical, as well a potentially a movie. Fingers crossed Kristen Chenoweth will make a return to Broadway in the show! (variety.com) Read more.

Meet the cast of Disney’s Aladdin
Check out this cool photo gallery of the cast of Disney’s Aladdin! Aladdin begins previews on Broadway February 26, with opening night set for March 20. The cast includes Adam Jacobs, Courtney Reed, James Monroe Igleheart and Jonathan Freeman, who voiced Jafar in the 1992 Disney movie.  (broadway.com) Read more.

Josh Gad and wife welcome baby No. 2
Congratulations are in order for Josh Gad (Frozen, The Book of Mormon) and his wife, Ida Darvish. The couple welcomed a new baby daughter to their family on February 18. No word yet on the baby girl’s name. The new addition to their family already has a big sister, Ava.  (broadway.com) Read more.

Upcoming Events at PlayhouseSquare

Flanagan’s Wake
Breath and Imagination – Cleveland Play House
Deathtrap – Great Lakes Theater
1964 The Tribute
Michael Ruhlman – Town Hall Speaker Series
Lysistrata – Cleveland State University Dept. of Theatre & Dance

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

Jump Back Ball: 4 Days and Counting!

Published February 19th, 2014 by | No Comments

Brace yourselves, Cleveland! We’re just a few days away from the event everyone’s been waiting for! Jump Back Ball! The wait is almost over, but if you’re as excited as we are, a week seems like forever! So, to tide you over until the big day, we have an inside look at the preparations for JBB 23:

DECORATIONS:

Glitter, stencils, spray paint, hot glue, OH MY! Over the past month, volunteers have worked tirelessly to create the glamorous decorations for Cleveland’s big event. Decorating for Jump Back Ball is no easy task, but thanks to these dedicated people, it’s going to be an event to remember!

Shop NightShop NightShop Night

Shop Night Pic Stich

OUTFITS:

No Jump Back Ball would be complete without dazzling gowns and stunning tuxedos! Obviously, we can’t give away all the surprises, (where’s the fun in that?) but we can give you a taste of this Saturday’s glamour!

Poise In Parma Outfit PreviewFrom PoiseInParma’s Instagram: http://instagram.com/p/kh9Ho4rYAV/

JBB Outfit PreviewJBB Outfit Preivew

JBB Outfit Preivew

 

How are you getting ready for the 23rd Annual Jump Back Ball?

 

About Us

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