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Brigadoon

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

By Rick Pender · November 17th, 2004 · Curtain Call
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Joseph Medeiros is Harry Beaton and Savannah Wise is Maggie Anderson in CCM's Brigadoon.
Mark Lyons

Joseph Medeiros is Harry Beaton and Savannah Wise is Maggie Anderson in CCM's Brigadoon.



University theaters often provide offerings that you simply won't get to see at venues that are more dependent on ticket sales. The production of BRIGADOON happening this weekend at UC's College-Conservatory of Music is unusual in that it's being directed by RICHARD HESS, who has chaired CCM's drama program for 11 years. While Hess has staged musicals at CCM (he helmed the Hot Summer Nights series for five seasons), it's rare for him to direct a mainstage production like this during the school year. Brigadoon, the tale of a mystical town that appears only once every century, opened in 1947, the first teaming of lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe (they later created My Fair Lady, Camelot and Gigi). Says Hess, "Brigadoon is from a time when the choruses were large, the music was lush and romantic, the dances were integrating themselves into the story in important and meaningful ways, and everything was a bit slower and more relaxed." The show featured Tony Award-winning choreography by Broadway legend Agnes De Mille.

The original dances from the Broadway production have been recreated for this CCM production under the supervision of GEMZE DE LAPPE, De Mille's protégé who was the premier dancer in Brigadoon nearly 60 years ago. De Lappe, now 82, danced in the original productions of Oklahoma!, Carousel, Paint Your Wagon and The King and I. She recently told an interviewer, "I think I'd go crazy if I didn't keep working." Performances are Thursday-Sunday. Tickets: 513-556-4183. ...

It's not often that British playwright Harold Pinter's works are seen locally. His comedy, THE DUMBWAITER (which premiered in 1960), is about two men in an abandoned room where a dumbwaiter delivers unintelligible messages, causes them to disagree and argue violently. You can see a local production at Northern Kentucky University's Black Box Theatre this weekend. It's directed by graduating senior NATHAN GABRIEL, who has worked professionally for the Shakespeare Theatre of Washington, D.C. After graduation he plans to remain in town to become an active participant in the local theater scene. As a first step in that direction, he has cast two of Cincinnati's best actors, MATTHEW PYLE and TAREN FRAZIER. Pyle is most often associated with the Know Theatre Tribe; Frazier has been active with the Performance Gallery. Tickets ($5): 859-620-7529. ...

At the Gallagher Student Center Studio Theatre this weekend the Xavier University Players will present THE KING STAG, an 18th-century tale of romance and betrayal by Carlo Gozzi. The story is a parable good and evil about a king hoping to marry who is manipulated by an evil prime minister. Through some magic means, all is eventually put to right, but not before some major misunderstandings happen. A national touring production of this work, staged by Julie Taymor (creator of The Lion King) stopped by for a night at the Aronoff Center in the fall of 2000. This production is directed by Romanian theater artist CERASELA STAN, who has worked with several Cincinnati theater groups since moving here five years ago with her husband, Cristian Gramiceno, a trombonist with the Cincinnati Symphony. Tickets: 513-745-3939. ...

DON SHERMAN, who created the CINCINNATI BLACK THEATRE COMPANY (CBTC) in 1998, has a major dilemma: Owners of the building that's been the home of the Arts Consortium (1515 Linn St., West End) for 30 years have decided to evict the organization (to build a bingo hall, no less), leaving the company with a season and no venue or offices. CBTC is presently rehearsing its annual BLACK NATIVITY, which will be presented at the College of Mount St. Joseph (Dec. 11), but Sherman is scrambling to find space for future productions (Ain't Misbehavin' is planned for February-March and Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters for March-April). They'll also need facilities to rehearse, build sets and costumes, house administrative functions and so on. Sherman is seeking contributions; CBTC is a 501(c)3 so support is tax deductible. This company represents a significant component of Cincinnati's theater scene. Please consider helping them. Info: 513-241-6060.

 
 
 
 

 

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