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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


COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: NYU's Lydia GraneredCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Lydia Granered
Posted: Apr. 28, 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


THE FRIDAY 5: TAKE ME OUT's Hall, Jarvis & WhitsellTHE FRIDAY 5: TAKE ME OUT's Hall, Jarvis & Whitsell
May 1, 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 Connor Hall, Kurt Jarvis and Shawn Whitsell, members of director Joy Tilley Perryman's ensemble for ACT 1's production of Take Me Out, the Tony Award-winning Richard Greenberg play which opens at Darkhorse Theatre tonight.
CRITICS' CHOICE: What's Happening in the Volunteer State?CRITICS' CHOICE: What's Happening in the Volunteer State?
May 1, 2015

We assume you are aware that the Kentucky Derby is this Saturday and that the Iroquois Steeplechase runs the following weekend in Nashville, so we have you covered with suggestions for non-equestrian events. 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 - and artists - in the Volunteer State!
THE FRIDAY 5 ON THURSDAY: Raymond McAnally of SIZE MATTERSTHE FRIDAY 5 ON THURSDAY: Raymond McAnally of SIZE MATTERS
April 30, 2015

This week the spotlight shines early - it's Thursday, after all - on Raymond McAnally, a local boy from Franklin who's made good in the acting game and has brought his one-man show (Size Matters) home for a weekend run at the historic Franklin Theatre in his hometown.Give his interview the once-over, then call and make reservations for the show and we'll see you at the theater!
Hey, Jef, Here's My Headshot: DANIEL SPOHR-GRIMESHey, Jef, Here's My Headshot: DANIEL SPOHR-GRIMES
April 29, 2015

Today's actor/subject/model is the Daniel S. Spohr-Grimes (photographed by Nathan Grimes), who most recently appeared in Matt Riddlehoover's film Paternity Leave, and was seen onstage in Towne Centre Theatre's production of Oliver!, playing Mr. Bumble. He's also directed Bridge to Terabithia at Lakewood Theatre, and has produced, directed and/or choreographed Mame, Oliver!, The Wizard of Oz, Annie, Cinderella, The Sound of Music and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
BWW Reviews: Imaginary Theatre Company's STEEL MAGNOLIASBWW Reviews: Imaginary Theatre Company's STEEL MAGNOLIAS
April 28, 2015

Steel Magnolias is currently onstage in Nashville, thanks to a well-acted production from director Robert Coles' Imaginary Theatre Company, featuring some of Music City's best known actresses, led by Kate Adams as M'Lynn and Britt Byrd as Shelby, Heather Vaughn Alexander as Truvy, Angela Gimlin as Annelle, Beth Woodruff as Clairee and Ann Street Kavanaugh as Ouiser.
COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: NYU's Lydia GraneredCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: NYU's Lydia Granered
April 28, 2015

With 2015 Tony Award nominations announced today, it only seems appropriate to turn our interview focus on someone who might be a Tony nominee in the not-so-distant future. Take Lydia Granered, for example: she's an alumna of Nashville's Christ Presbyterian Academy (class of 2013), where she studied theater with Paula Flautt, and she's now in New York City, studying at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
CRITICS' CHOICE: What's Happening in Music City This Week?CRITICS' CHOICE: What's Happening in Music City This Week?
April 28, 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 newest edition of our official Critic's Choice column, filled to the veritable brim with suggestions for great stuff going on in these parts. Now, get out there and have some fun, y'all!
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.


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