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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

Icy ladies seek revenge, hire hitmen in ‘raw’ Ohio State production ‘The Norwegians’

September 28, 2014
There’s a saying that warns about leaving a woman scorned, and in the Ohio State Department of Theatre’s upcoming production of “The Norwegians,” two women have it out for their exes in a hilarious way. Written by C. Denby Swanson, the play follows two women who hire Norwegian hitmen to take care of their ex-boyfriends. “It’s about two women who have both recently moved to Minnesota, and they kind of find each other, and they’ve gone through some heartache, so they decide to hire some very nice hitmen to take care of their ex-boyfriends,” said assistant director and graduate student Shelby Brewster. Brewster also served as the play’s dramaturg, who… Read more

Quartet’s death springs desire to be ‘Forever Plaid’ in CATCO musical

September 23, 2014
Do you ever wonder if there is life after death? Although the answer is a mystery, the musical “Forever Plaid” toys with the idea of an afterlife. The musical tells a story of four young men during the 1950s with dreams and aspirations of becoming a successful “guy group” like The Four Aces or The Hi-Lo’s. The quartet named themselves the Plaids. Unfortunately, their music careers quickly ended when they died in a car crash. The musical “Forever Plaid” begins at that end — with the Plaids resurrected for a final shot at a successful music career. CATCO, a local theater company in Columbus, is producing the musical. Matt Clemens,… Read more

Ohio State student thespians experiment in lab series

September 8, 2014
The lights, costumes and music can all be sensorially evocative of a night out in a modern theater. All the flaws and virtues of the actors are heightened when you reduce the stage to people in a box — but the basics are the same. For Ohio State undergrads in theater, there’s a forum to hone their craft without the distractions. Select students are staging their own creative visions this fall as a part of the Ohio State Department of Theatre’s Lab Series, which has been presenting student-written and directed works every term since 2011. The Lab Series, formed and coordinated by Jennifer Schlueter — assistant professor and director of… Read more