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Theatre review: ‘The Nutcracker’ filled with humor, dazzling performances

December 13, 2014
The weather outside was not too frightful, but opening night of BalletMet Columbus’ “The Nutcracker” turned out to be quite delightful. This was my first time seeing the holiday classic performed on stage instead of through a TV screen or in a movie theater, so the magic of the experience stayed with me the entire night. The first act opened with an adorable display of young children skidding across an icy sidewalk as Clara and her brother Fritz go to greet their godfather Herr Drosselmeyer, who always has a magic trick up his sleeve. Because this is a ballet performance, no dialogue is spoken between any of the characters, so… Read more

‘The Nutcracker’ makes its return to BalletMet Columbus

December 12, 2014
Christmas comes every year, and for BalletMet Columbus, so too does “The Nutcracker.” The ballet, with its world of toys and adventure in a little girl’s dream land, is makes its return Friday to the central Ohio ballet company, which has performed it every year since 1978, said BalletMet communications manager Ann Mulvany in an email. “The current version of BalletMet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ was created in 2003 by Robert Post and former BalletMet artistic director Gerard Charles,” Mulvany said. Current artistic director Edwaard Liang, a former dancer with New York City Ballet who joined BalletMet in 2013, has the reins on this year’s production. The two-act production itself has a… Read more

CATCO to give ‘Christmas Carol’ a new tune

December 4, 2014
“It’s a play within a play.” That’s how acting apprentice Andrew Protopapas described his theater company’s spin on “A Christmas Carol,” which CATCO is currently performing until Dec. 21. Charles Dickens’ story is book-ended by that of characters in 1940s England who find their way into an old, abandoned theater during a bomb raid. They come across the script for “A Christmas Carol,” find props and costumes in the theater and put on the show, director Joe Bishara said. That’s when the classic holiday story unfolds, but with a twist. While this kind of play traditionally consists of a cast of 50 or more individuals, CATCO’s version only has seven,… Read more

Miranda July to stage a spirited performance at Capitol Theatre

November 20, 2014
It might be the middle of November, but a little July will be found at the heart of Columbus. Miranda July’s theatrical experiment, “New Society,” is set to be performed Thursday in the Capitol Theatre at the Riffe Center, presented by the Wexner Center for the Arts. July’s work was selected by the Wexner Center for the Arts as part of its 25th anniversary season celebration, said Erik Pepple, spokesman for the center.  July has received many awards and major recognition for her art, filmography and writing, according to her website. Her film “Me and You and Everyone We Know” — a story of a shoe salesman and performance artist… Read more

Eyes, mind, reason, love at the heart of Ohio State’s production of ‘In Here Out There’

November 13, 2014
Since January, students in Ohio State’s Master of Fine Arts in Acting program have worked with autistic children in social skills training, inspiring the creation of “In Here Out There,” a play that opens Thursday.   The nine students collectively wrote the piece as part of the MFA Acting Outreach and Engagement Project, which is required in the program, said Lesley Ferris, interim chair of the Department of Theatre. “A lot of people see autism as a disability,” said MFA acting student Aaron Lopez. “But this whole experience has taught me that it’s not a disability. It’s how they get through the world, which they view in this different and beautiful… Read more

Theater review: Lights, camera, Buddy — charismatic actor redeems musical’s foibles

October 30, 2014
“City of Angels” is a grand affair that pulls out all the stops to make us feel as if we are on a Hollywood set while immersing us in the world of the movie. The play is a collaboration between the School of Music and the Department of Theatre, that features a writer in Hollywood struggling to adapt his novel about a 1940s detective into a screenplay. I was rather impressed with all of the elements used to make the viewer feel as if they are watching a movie. Before a single character arrived on stage, opening credits was played, introducing the show like you would find at any movie… Read more

Real life meets ‘reel life’ in Ohio State’s production of ‘City of Angels’

October 26, 2014
A tale of two Hollywoods comes to life in an collaborative effort between the Ohio State Department of Theatre and School of Music. “City of Angels” is an upcoming musical production that blurs the line between reality and fiction. The Tony award-winning jazz musical is an homage to 1940s film noir, according to the Department of Theatre’s website. The musical made its Broadway debut in 1989 and follows Stine, a writer struggling to adapt a detective novel into a screenplay in present-day Hollywood. His novel, which shares the name of the musical, comes to life and follows the adventures of a private eye, Stone, in 1940s Hollywood. “What you see… Read more

Character’s artistry, play’s set evolve in theater production of ‘My Name is Asher Lev’

October 21, 2014
In a culture of typically uniform and muted clothing, one Hasidic Jew broke away into a world fueled by vibrant hues and expression. At least that’s the premise of Chaim Potok’s 1972 novel, “My Name Is Asher Lev,” which is being brought to life on stage by theater company CATCO at Studio Two in the downtown Riffe Center beginning Wednesday. Asher Lev is a Hasidic Jew living in 1950s Brooklyn, N.Y., Lev was born with artistic aspirations and has a desperate need to paint, which conflicts with his family’s heavily religious views. The challenge for Lev is that he feels like he has to create art, while art was viewed… Read more

A queen for a lion king: Columbus’ stage production pride led by local actress

October 16, 2014
Disney’s “The Lion King” is roaring into Columbus this week, and one Ohio native just can’t wait to be queen in her hometown. Tryphena Wade, a Columbus native, portrays the character Queen Sarabi in the touring stage production of the 1994 Disney animated film, which opened Tuesday at the Ohio Theatre. Wade has been performing in the musical’s North American tour since 2010, and this will be her first hometown professional performance, according to a press release.  The actress went through several auditions before she landed the part. “I went to a few open calls in New York, and then I had the opportunity to audition in ‘The Lion King’s’… Read more

Hollywood classic ‘Sunset Boulevard’ reanimated on Short North Stage

September 30, 2014
A local Columbus theater is bringing one of Hollywood’s most famous streets to High Street with a musical that has been described as too big to produce. “Sunset Boulevard,” the Short North Stage’s latest production, is a musical based on the 1950 movie of the same name, with music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The story revolves around Joe Gillis, a screenwriter, and Norma Desmond, a faded silent film star looking to make her comeback. “(Norma) kind of captures Joe in this plan to help her write this movie so that she can make her return to the big screen because she hasn’t been on screen for 20 to 30… Read more