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Italian burlesque opera to sound off on issues of self-discovery at Ohio State

September 2, 2014
Gender identity, self-discovery, love and family relationships are all major themes explored in “Operetta Burlesque,” an Italian production coming to Ohio State as its first performance in an English-speaking country. “We’re bringing the world to OSU,” said Leslie Ferris, interim chair of the Department of Theatre. Written and directed by Emma Dante and performed by Compagnia Sud Costa Occidentale, the play follows a 40-year-old man named Pietro from a small Italian village near Naples, Italy, who doesn’t feel comfortable with himself because he identifies as a woman and feels trapped inside his male body. “The only escape he has is to get on a train and go to Naples, get… Read more

Ohio State theater sets its stages for global, local productions

August 24, 2014
As students flock back onto campus, Ohio State’s Department of Theatre has made a head start on its productions for the semester. Its first show of the year, “Operetta Burlesque,” happened to be the most difficult to coordinate, Lesley Ferris, interim chair of the Department of Theatre, said. To be performed by Sicilian troupe Compagnia Sud Costa Occidentale, the production, set to run from Sept. 3-5, came stateside as the result of a lengthy advocacy from graduate student Francesca Spedalieri. “She had this dream of possibly bringing them, and we thought it was impossible,” Ferris said. “But she did a proposal, and we all thought it was great, but we… Read more

The Who rock opera ‘Tommy’ to hit Short North Stage

April 9, 2014
Flashing pinball machines, costumes straight out of the 1960s and soaring riffs on the guitar transport audiences of The Who’s rock opera, “Tommy,” to the golden age of English rock ‘n’ roll. The musical shares its name with The Who’s 1969 album, “Tommy,” and is set to be performed by the Short North Stage, a local professional theater organization housed at Columbus’ Garden Theater, Thursday through April 27. “It sort of fuses two things together … This love of this music and this rock album that a lot of people grew up with,” said Edward Carignan, the director of this Short North Stage production. Carignan, who spent 12 years in… Read more

Ohio State students bring American performance, art to China

March 18, 2014
It is not every day that Ohio State receives recognition for its art programs instead of its engineering or business departments. One group of students studying the arts might have impacted what OSU is known for globally when it traveled to China this month. Nearly 30 OSU students involved in the performing arts went to China from March 7 to Monday in order to showcase their work for audiences. Students from OSU’s Jazz Ensemble, some members that are involved in the Department of Dance and the Freestyle Rap and Beatbox Club presented their performances in the cities of Nanning, Xinxiang, Shenyang and Changchun. Trips such as this show the arts… Read more

Review: Recreation of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ makes for great scenery, passable performance

March 8, 2014
How does one introduce “The Phantom of the Opera”? It’s a cultural juggernaut; it’s ubiquitous – and it’s been reimagined. In some incarnation, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” has been around for what seems forever: With more than 10,000 performances spanning more than 25 years, it’s the longest running show on Broadway, and it’s been playing in London for a few years more. But though the production that came to Columbus Friday night shared a name with Lloyd Weber’s magnum opus, it was, in many ways, billed as a different show. The story is the same: A malformed musical prodigy, the show’s namesake (played by Cooper Gordin),… Read more

‘The Phantom of the Opera’ to fill Columbus with music of the night

March 4, 2014
The Ohio Theatre is set to resound with “the music of the night” as a newly reimagined production of “The Phantom of the Opera” takes center stage in Columbus. The production, slated to run at the Central Ohio venue from March 5-16, is set to feature new scenic design and staging, as well as new choreography and special effects, according to the touring production’s website. Despite these changes, many aspects of the production remain true to the original show, said Hannah Florence, a cast member in the current North American tour. “Audiences who are familiar with the original Broadway version can expect the same beautiful music, the same score, the… Read more

Review: ‘House of Spirits’ solemn, simple in stage; ambitious, commendable in Ohio State performance

February 27, 2014
In a culture where family means everything, how can you hold firm to that which causes you so much anguish? It’s a struggle at the center of the Ohio State Department of Theatre’s production of “The House of Spirits,” which spans three generations of the Trueba family in the 20th century in an unnamed Latin American country. The play, based on Isabel Allende’s novel of the same name, was adapted for the stage by Caridad Svich. In what has been described as “magical realism,” a young woman, Alba, is held hostage by a brutal regime that her own grandfather, Esteban, helped bring to power. The “magical” part of the story… Read more

‘The House of the Spirits’ production set to bring novel to life on Ohio State stage

February 23, 2014
The story of one South American family’s struggles is set to come to life in the Ohio State Department of Theatre’s upcoming production of “The House of the Spirits.” The play, based on Isabel Allende’s novel of the same name, focuses on three generations of the Trueba family, spanning from the 1920s to the 1970s, and is heavily influenced by surrealism in the plot, said Beth Kattelman, director of the production and associate professor of theatre. “Different generations are able to connect across times,” Kattelman said. Jesse Massaro, a third-year in theatre, plays the role of Esteban Trueba, the patriarch of the family. He describes the character as a complicated… Read more

Opinion: ‘Scrubs’ musical to fulfill fans’ fantasies

February 16, 2014
Dr. John Dorian once said, “The easiest way to lose something is to want it too badly.” If that’s true, I might have to calm down as I wait anxiously for the 2000s television series “Scrubs” to be brought to Broadway sometime roughly in the next three years, because this is not something I want to lose. According to a recent “Entertainment Weekly” interview with Bill Lawrence, creator of the iconic show, after licensing for the show is in order, a musical will be in the works. I had never thought about it before, but a musical is probably the perfect setting for a “Scrubs” revival — from Ted’s a… Read more

All the world to be a stage in Ohio State production of ‘As You Like It’

February 6, 2014
All the world is set to be a stage this weekend. Ohio State Theatre is slated to open William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” at the Lincoln Theatre Friday. The play details the romantic misadventures of Rosalind and Orlando in the Forest of Arden after being banished from the royal court. Maureen Ryan, director of the production and an associate professor of theatre at OSU, calls “As You Like It” a play about redemption, loss, love and community. “It is a comedy, but one that is rooted in the high stakes of exile and banishment. We watch a witty and fun group of characters overcome their trials and ultimately find… Read more