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Jeffrey Ellis

Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.
MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: CPA's MARY POPPINS Flies High in NashvilleBWW Review: CPA's MARY POPPINS Flies High in Nashville
Posted: Apr. 20, 2015


MARY POPPINS Flies Onstage at Nashville's Christ Presbyterian AcademyCPA's MARY POPPINS Opens 4/16
Posted: Apr. 10, 2015


BWW Reviews: Lipscomb University's Lyrical and Sentimental DANCING AT LUGHNASABWW Reviews: Lipscomb's DANCING AT LUGHNASA
Posted: Apr. 17, 2015


Jeremy Benton Directs SWEET SWING! Reading in New York 4/20Jeremy Benton Directs SWEET SWING! Reading in New York 4/20
Posted: Apr. 15, 2015


GODSPELL Onstage at Keeton Theatre Through 4/25Keeton's GODSPELL Runs Through 4/25
Posted: Apr. 10, 2015


WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Jason LewisWhere Are They Now? Jason Lewis
Posted: Apr. 22, 2015


LAST 365 DAYS

HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Hume-Fogg's Jessie GholsonHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Hume-Fogg's Jessie Gholson
Posted: Jan. 15, 2015


COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Marymount Manhattan's Blake MarshallCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Marymount Manhattan's Blake Marshall
Posted: Feb. 10, 2015


HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: MBA's Jess DarnellHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: MBA's Jess Darnell
Posted: Dec. 11, 2014


COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Boston Conservatory's James Spencer DeanCollegiate Theatrics: James Spencer Dean
Posted: Jan. 20, 2015


Collegiate Theatrics: Emma Jordan of Wright State UniversityCollegiate Theatrics: Emma Jordan
Posted: Dec. 2, 2014


COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: University of Evansville's Rachel WoodsCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: University of Evansville's Rachel Woods
Posted: Feb. 17, 2015


HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Arden Taylor GuiceHigh School Drama: Arden Taylor Guice
Posted: Feb. 27, 2015


CRITICS' CHOICE: What's Happening in Tennessee This Weekend?CRITICS' CHOICE: What's Happening in Tennessee This Weekend?
April 24, 2015

Looking for something fun to do in Nashville - say, in the next few days or so? That doesn't involve running in the Country Music Marathon? Have no fear, gentle BWW Nashville readers, our team of writers have done the necessary legwork - we're all about saving you time, keeping you out of the marathon traffic and helping you make informed decisions about how to spend your entertainment dollar, after all - and we are delighted to present you with our very first, official Critic's Choice column, filled to the veritable brim with suggestions for great stuff going on around our fair state.
THE FRIDAY FIVE: Adams, Byrd & Street-Kavanaugh from STEEL MAGNOLIASTHE FRIDAY FIVE: Adams, Byrd & Street-Kavanaugh from STEEL MAGNOLIAS
April 24, 2015

Inspired by BroadwayWorld.com's Friday Six, welcome to BroadwayWorld Nashville's latest installment of The Friday Five: five questions designed to help you learn more about the talented people you'll find onstage throughout the Volunteer state. This week the spotlight shines on Kate Adams, Britt Byrd and Ann Street-Kavanaugh - Steel Magnolias' M'Lynn, Shelby and Ouiser from Imaginary Theatre's production of Robert Harling's classic comedy, opening in East Nashville tonight.
THE FRIDAY FIVE: Boman, Delaney & Walker-Hill from SINGIN' IN THE RAINTHE FRIDAY FIVE: Boman, Delaney & Walker-Hill from SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
April 24, 2015

Inspired by BroadwayWorld.com's Friday Six, welcome to BroadwayWorld Nashville's latest installment of The Friday Five: five questions designed to help you learn more about the talented people you'll find onstage throughout the Volunteer state. This week the spotlight shines on Danny Boman, Jake Delaney and Katherine Walker Hill- the stars of Singin' in the Rain, opening tonight at Crossville's Cumberland County Playhouse, directed by Britt Hancock.
BWW Reviews: Gaslight's THE ANDREWS BROTHERSBWW Reviews: Gaslight's THE ANDREWS BROTHERS
April 24, 2015

Perhaps no singing group more aptly captures the spirit of America during World War II than the glorious Andrews Sisters: the sound of Patty, Maxene and Laverne somehow encapsulates the romantic notions of a world at war that still delights audiences and conjures up visions of all-American spirit and spunk. With songs like 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,' 'Hold Tight,' 'Three Little Sisters,' and 'Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree,' audiences are immediately taken away to wartime - well, actually, the war's in its waning days (the time is March 1945), but young men are still risking their lives to ensure our liberties while saving the world from the Axis powers.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Jason LewisWHERE ARE THEY NOW? Jason Lewis
April 22, 2015

Today, our focus is on one of our favorites: Jason Lewis, who's been in New York City for the past several years but has been able to maintain his connection to Music City through a variety of successful projects, some of which have brought him back to Nashville for another stint.
Sadie Bo Sommer To Retire From NASHVILLE BALLET After MIDSUMMER...Sadie Bo Sommer To Retire From NASHVILLE BALLET After MIDSUMMER...
April 21, 2015

Nashville Ballet company dancer Sadie Bo (Harris) Sommer, who has performed with the organization since 2001, will retire at the end of the current performance season, dancing in her final mainstage performance as Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream for a three-day run April 24-26 at TPAC's Andrew Jackson Hall.
COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Texas A&M's CASEY GILBERTCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Texas A&M's CASEY GILBERT
April 21, 2015

A native of Cypress, Texas, Casey Gilbert came to Nashville to go to school at Belmont University and quickly made a name for herself on local stages. But it seemed, at least to her legions of fans in Music City, that no sooner had she arrived and made herself a home here, she was on her way back to Texas. Of course, there were all sorts of things happening that resulted in that move, not the least of which was a change in college major, family ties and more.
BWW Review: CPA's MARY POPPINS Flies High in NashvilleBWW Review: CPA's MARY POPPINS Flies High in Nashville
April 20, 2015

If writer P.L. Travers, the notoriously protective creator of Mary Poppins, was even half so prickly as we have been led to believe she was - thanks in large part to the screenplay for Saving Mr. Banks, the film retelling of her experiences with Walt Disney, et al, over the film adaptation of her beloved work - it's very easy to imagine how she might cringe at the thought of high school students taking on the musical theater version of her timeless story. However, if she knew in advance that it was being produced by Nashville's Christ Presbyterian Academy, under the direction of an artist as exacting as Paula Flautt, we rather think Miss Travers would be pleased -and without reservation.
CRITICS' CHOICE: What's Happening This Week in NashvilleCRITICS' CHOICE: What's Happening This Week in Nashville
April 19, 2015

Looking for something fun to do in Nashville this week? Have no fear, gentle BWW Nashville readers, our team of writers have done the necessary legwork - we're all about saving you time and helping you make informed decisions about how to spend your entertainment dollar, after all - and we are delighted to present you with our very first Critic's Choice column, filled to the veritable brim with suggestions for great stuff going on around our fair state. Now, get out there and have some fun, y'all! And while you're at it, you'll be doing some good for the community by supporting the arts in the Volunteer State!
BWW Reviews: Lipscomb University's Lyrical and Sentimental DANCING AT LUGHNASABWW Reviews: Lipscomb University's Lyrical and Sentimental DANCING AT LUGHNASA
April 17, 2015

Now onstage through this weekend as part of Lipscomb University's theatre department's 2014-15 season, the Beki Baker-directed rendition of Friel's exquisitely written play is brought to life by an impressive cast of eight student actors who are given ample opportunity to show us exactly what they have learned in the classroom. With performances that are richly nuanced and significantly heartfelt, Baker's ensemble bring their characters to the stage, mostly free of artifice and in so doing create a memorable theatrical experience that is affecting and compelling.
THE FRIDAY FIVE: Adkins, Campbell and Pitt from THE PHILADELPHIA STORYTHE FRIDAY FIVE: Adkins, Campbell and Pitt from THE PHILADELPHIA STORY
April 17, 2015

Inspired by BroadwayWorld.com's Friday Six, welcome to BroadwayWorld Nashville's latest installment of The Friday Five: five questions designed to help you learn more about the talented people you'll find onstage throughout the Volunteer state. This week the spotlight shines on Maggie Pitt, Jaymes Campbell and Susan Adkins - The Philadelphis Story's Tracy Lord and C.K. Dexter Haven and the director of Lakewood Theatre's production opening in Old Hickory this weekend.
BWW REVIEWS: Nashville Rep's Starry VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKEBWW REVIEWS: Nashville Rep's Starry VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE
April 15, 2015

Now onstage at TPAC's Andrew Johnson Theatre as the season-ending production from Nashville Repertory Theatre, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike has a lot to say and, for the most part, it does so with vigor and bite. Durang's play somehow remains an artful blending of hilarity and gloom that succeeds on many levels, credit for which is due both writer and director, in this case Nashville's own imaginative visionary aka Nate Eppler.
Jeremy Benton Directs SWEET SWING! Reading in New York 4/20Jeremy Benton Directs SWEET SWING! Reading in New York 4/20
April 15, 2015

Broadway triple threat Jeremy Benton adds the role of 'developing director' to his already laudable resume when he stages an upcoming industry reading of the new musical, Sweet Swing!, in New York City next week. Benton directs and choreographs the six-person musical, which has book and music by Diane Tauser (Notre Dame de Paris and Stone Cold Beauty), and tells the real story of a wartime romance during World War Two.
BWW REVIEWS: Keeton Theatre's GODSPELLBWW REVIEWS: Keeton Theatre's GODSPELL
April 10, 2015

Its Vacation Bible School vibe aside, Godspell - the Stephen Schwartz musical from 1971 that grew from a class project at Carnegie Mellon University that most recently was revived on Broadway in 2011 - relates the parables of Jesus Christ in a sprightly, colorful way that can be entertaining and elucidating. Now onstage at The Larry Keeton Theatre, Nashville's theater home for classic musical comedies, Godspell features a winning cast led by Wesley King and Elliott Robinson under the direction of musical theater veterans Jamie London and Ginger Newman.
Act Like A GRRRL Fundraiser Set for Darkhorse 4/17-18Act Like A GRRRL Fundraiser Set for Darkhorse 4/17-18
April 10, 2015

For two nights only, on April 17 and 18, they will speak, sing, dance, and shape-shift their stories to life as part of GRRRLS NIGHT OUT: an all-star fundraising performance for GRRRL scholarships, to be held at the Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Avenue in Nashville.
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY Next Up In Lakewood's 2015 SeasonTHE PHILADELPHIA STORY Next Up In Lakewood's 2015 Season
April 10, 2015

Lakewood Theater Company presents its second show of the 2015 season with the classic The Philadelphia Story, beginning Friday, April 17, and running through Sunday, May 3.
MARY POPPINS Flies Onstage at Nashville's Christ Presbyterian AcademyMARY POPPINS Flies Onstage at Nashville's Christ Presbyterian Academy
April 10, 2015

Next week, theater students at Nashville's Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA) will hit the stage in one of childhood's most beloved stories, penned by P.L. Travers and adapted for the stage: Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins. This musical tale features a family in disrepair; a family in need of rescue that comes in an astonishing form.
GODSPELL Onstage at Keeton Theatre Through 4/25GODSPELL Onstage at Keeton Theatre Through 4/25
April 10, 2015

Godspell features the talents of Wesley King as Jesus, Elliott Robinson in the dual role of John-Judas. Playing themselves as "disciples" are Keeton Theatre regulars Tonya Pewitt, Stella London, Christina Redden, Santyana Harris, plus two newcomers to the Keeton Theatre family: Lisa Graham and Rachel Wilson.
Nashville Rep's 2015-16 Season AnnouncedNashville Rep's 2015-16 Season Announced
April 9, 2015

Nashville Repertory Theatre's 2015-16 season includes "a hot Pulitzer Prize-nominated contemporary play, a famous classic, the world premiere of a new play, and a great American musical," according to producing artistic director Rene Dunshee Copeland.
BWW Previews: D'Arco, Novak Lead Circle's PICNIC CastBWW Previews: D'Arco, Novak Lead Circle's PICNIC Cast
March 27, 2015

Gina D'Arco and Taylor Novak will lead the cast of William Inge's Picnic, in a revival of the classic play helmed by Jeffrey Ellis, for Nashville's Circle Players, which this season celebrates its 65th year of bringing live theater to audiences throughout Middle Tennessee. Picnic will run tonight, March 27 through April 4, and will be performed at the theater at Hillsboro High School.


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