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. In 1989, Ellis and his partner launched Dare, Tennessee's Lesbian and Gay Newsweekly which later became known as Query. Ellis is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theater 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 - the history of which can be traced to 1989 and the first presentation of The First Night Awards - which honor outstanding theater artisans from Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and also includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors recognition. Midwinter's First Night honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. An accomplished director, Ellis helmed productions of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, all in their Nashville premieres, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show. Ellis was recognized by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, and in 2016, he directed Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest for The Larry Keeton Theatre. He will direct My Fair Lady for The Keeton in 2017.




MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: BOOK OF MORMON Wows 'em in NashvilleBOOK OF MORMON Wows 'em in Nashville
Posted: Nov. 17, 2016


BWW Review: Belmont University's Soul-Stirring PARADEBWW Review: Belmont University's Soul-Stirring PARADE
Posted: Nov. 19, 2016


High School Drama: Hume-Fogg's JONATHAN HANKINSHigh School Drama: Hume-Fogg's JONATHAN HANKINS
Posted: Nov. 3, 2016


DIXIE SWIM CLUB Opens in Murfreesboro Friday NightDIXIE SWIM CLUB Opens Friday Night
Posted: Nov. 7, 2016


Dramatists Guild of America to Host First Nashville Event 11/5Dramatists Guild of America to Host Nashville Event
Posted: Nov. 3, 2016


BWW Review: Chaffin's Barn Does RED, WHITE & TUNA Up RightBWW Review: Chaffin's Barn's RED, WHITE & TUNA
Posted: Nov. 16, 2016


LAST 365 DAYS

Nashville Children's Theatre's SCOT COPELAND DiesNashville Children's Theatre's SCOT COPELAND Dies
Posted: Feb. 25, 2016


BWW Review: Studio Tenn's Stunning EVITA Makes History on Opening Night With Powerful PerformancesBWW Review: Studio Tenn's Stunning EVITA
Posted: Sep. 10, 2016


Nashville Theater Mourns the Passing of Iconic Actor DAVID COMPTONNashville Theater Mourns Passing of DAVID COMPTON
Posted: May. 5, 2016


Collegiate Theatrics: USC's ASHLEY ESKEWCollegiate Theatrics: USC's ASHLEY ESKEW
Posted: Mar. 1, 2016


Cumberland County Playhouse Announces 2017 SeasonCumberland County Playhouse Announces 2017 Season
December 3, 2016

'Something that's sure to please everyone in 2017,' is the promise of Cumberland County Playhouse producing director Bryce McDonald while announcing the upcoming season at the award-winning theatrical venue located in the hill of Tennessee.

2017's Midwinter's First Night Set for 1/8 at The Keeton2017's Midwinter's First Night Set for 1/8 at The Keeton
December 2, 2016

Austin Jeffrey Smith, Taylor Tracey, Jenna Pryor and Julia Nettles will share the stage as co-hosts of 2017 Midwinter's First Night, set for Sunday, January 8, 2017, at The Larry Keeton Theatre in Donelson. Midwinter's First Night is the annual presentation of First Night founder and executive producer Jeffrey Ellis' First Night's Top Ten of 2017 and the announcement of winners of the BWW Nashville Awards, voting for which continues through the end of December.

BWW Review: NUNCRACKERS Brings Christmas to The KeetonBWW Review: NUNCRACKERS Brings Christmas to The Keeton
December 2, 2016

Those wacky sisters of Hoboken are back on the job and back in the theatre in Nuncrackers - writer Dan Goggins' latest installment of the continuing saga of a group of down-on-their-luck nuns from New Jersey who are still trying to beef up their rolls, score some longed-for electronic gadgets and launching a cable access TV channel to hawk their own special brand of must-have holiday gifts - celebrating the Christmas season with a variety show that shows off their own questionable talents, along with those of a group of four children from the school at the Convent of Mount Saint Helen's.

BWW Review: Roxy's THE HAPPY ELF Spins A Jazz-Flavored TaleBWW Review: Roxy's THE HAPPY ELF Spins A Jazz-Flavored Tale
December 1, 2016

With a cheerful attitude that knows no bounds, Eubie - the happiest elf at the North Pole - is determined to spread his apropos spirit of the season wherever he goes in Harry Connick Jr.'s The Happy Elf, now onstage at Clarksville's Roxy Regional Theatre in a delightful production directed by Ryan Bowie and starring the appealing John-Paul Fox in the eponymous role.

ELF THE MUSICAL JR. Opens 12/9 at Arts Center of Cannon CountyELF THE MUSICAL JR. Opens 12/9 at Arts Center of Cannon County
November 30, 2016

Families everywhere know the beloved holiday movie that inspired a new musical, and now they can meet Buddy the Elf and see him like they never have before, live onstage in The Arts Center of Cannon County's new production of ELF the Musical Jr., running December 9-11 in Woodbury. The one-act Young at Arts Series show runs approximately one hour.

BWW Review: Nashville Rep's Always Magical A CHRISTMAS STORYBWW Review: Nashville Rep's Always Magical A CHRISTMAS STORY
November 30, 2016

Some grand holiday traditions are exactly what is needed in these turbulent times and nothing is more pleasing than the 2016 version of Nashville Repertory Theatre's live stage version of A Christmas Story, the theatrical treatment of the movie of the same name that somehow captures all the memories and nostalgia, all the laughter and mayhem of the holiday season.

BWW Review: 'Merry Christmas!' from Chaffin's BarnBWW Review: 'Merry Christmas!' from Chaffin's Barn
November 29, 2016

While there are always rumors of closings and real estate transactions happening willy-nilly, Chaffin's Barn continues to thrive and to entertain and to give both audiences and theater folk an opportunity to get to know one another better and to be transported and transformed via the magic of live theater. I hope that Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre remains a vital part of Music City long after I've been reassigned to review shows in the afterlife.

NUNCRACKERS Signals It's Christmastime at The Keeton TheatreNUNCRACKERS Signals It's Christmastime at The Keeton Theatre
November 28, 2016

Nuncrackers, described as "the fourth hilarious show" in Dan Goggins' long line of musicals featuring the "Little Sisters of Hoboken," takes the stage of The Larry Keeton Theatre in Donelson for a December 1-17 run, under the direction and musical direction of Ginger Newman, with choreography by Jamie London.

Actors Point Theatre Company presents THE WINTER WONDERETTESActors Point Theatre Company presents THE WINTER WONDERETTES
November 28, 2016

It's 1968 and The Wonderettes - the all-girl pop group made famous in The Marvelous Wonderettes musical - is at at Harper's Hardware for the annual Christmas Bash as Actors Point Theatre Company presents Winter Wonderettes December 15-18 in Hendersonville.

NASHVILLE'S NUTCRACKER Debuts 2016 Run at TPAC 12/3NASHVILLE'S NUTCRACKER Debuts 2016 Run at TPAC 12/3
November 28, 2016

Nashville's Nutcracker, Nashville Ballet's longstanding holiday tradition returns to Tennessee Performing Arts Center's Andrew Jackson Hall, running December 3-23 for the ninth consecutive year, featuring the Nashville Symphony and weaving together the vibrant history of the city with one of ballet's most beloved and timeless tales.

THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER will sail again at Center for the ArtsTHE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER will sail again at Center for the Arts
November 28, 2016

Described as "a show the whole family will enjoy," The Christmas Schooner is the story of the first Christmas tree ship and the family who risked their lives to fill Chicago with the Christmas spirit; it features a powerful, moving story, an exquisite score of original music and traditional holiday favorites.

NCT Launches New Holiday Tradition With CINDERELLANCT Launches New Holiday Tradition With CINDERELLA
November 28, 2016

An affectionate throwback to the early tradition of American Theatre for Young Audiences, NCT's production of Cinderella is heavily influenced by the British 'Panto' tradition of fairy tales. Much as Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is presented at holiday time on stages throughout America, there are dozens of 'Panto' treatments of Cinderella presented as a family Christmas treat on stages throughout England annually.

Nick Payne's CONSTELLATIONS Next Up for Pipeline-CollectiveNick Payne's CONSTELLATIONS Next Up for Pipeline-Collective
November 28, 2016

Pipeline-Collective presents the Nashville premiere of Nick Payne's award-winning play Constellations at the Belmont Little Theatre, running December 16, 17, 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. Directed by David Ian Lee, the plays stars Jason Griffith and Karen Sternberg.

BWW Review: Belmont University's Soul-Stirring PARADEBWW Review: Belmont University's Soul-Stirring PARADE
November 19, 2016

As challenging a work of theatrical artistry that you could possibly conceive of, Parade affords BUMT students a sublime opportunity in pursuit of excellence in a production that vociferously demands to be seen and experienced. It is one of the year's best musicals in a Nashville theatrical season that has boasted one after another significant stage triumphs, with two leading performances that are stunning in their complexity and passionate delivery.

BWW Review: BOOK OF MORMON Wows 'em in NashvilleBWW Review: BOOK OF MORMON Wows 'em in Nashville
November 17, 2016

You gotta admit: A lot has changed in this world since Nashville audiences were first treated to The Book of Mormon two years ago. The extended run in 2014 at Tennessee Performing Arts Center set records for ticket sales, garnered great critical acclaim and knocked the socks off the thousands of people witnessing the bold, brash and irreverent musical for the very first time.

BWW Review: Chaffin's Barn Does RED, WHITE & TUNA Up RightBWW Review: Chaffin's Barn Does RED, WHITE & TUNA Up Right
November 16, 2016

Just in time to lift your spirits in the wake of a bruising presidential election season, Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre - the iconic theatrical venue, which for 50 years has delighted Nashville audiences on the chow-and-bow circuit - provides ample laughs and plenty of guffaws (along with a bountiful buffet) with their latest version of Red, White and Tuna, which transports audiences to the third smallest town in Texas for yet another down-home, Independence Day-flavored adventure.

THE EIGHT Opens for Holiday Run at Music Valley Event CenterTHE EIGHT Opens for Holiday Run at Music Valley Event Center
November 15, 2016

Music Valley Event Center continues its recently launched 'After Dark' series of shows with Jeff Goode's The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, starring eight actors as Santa's reindeer dishing about "the real Kris Kringle." The Eight runs November 26-December 17.

Celebrate the Holidays at The Gaslight With TOTALLY AWESOME Dickens UpdateCelebrate the Holidays at The Gaslight With TOTALLY AWESOME Dickens Update
November 15, 2016

Dickson's Gaslight Dinner Theatre closes out its 16th Anniversary Season - and celebrates the holiday season - with Kim Beagle Graham's A Totally Awesome Christmas Carol, opening Friday.

McGinnis Directs A LIE OF THE MIND For ACT 1McGinnis Directs A LIE OF THE MIND For ACT 1
November 7, 2016

Dave McGinnis directs Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind, opening this Friday night at Nashville's Darkhorse Theater, as ACT 1 continues its 2016-17 season.

DIXIE SWIM CLUB Opens in Murfreesboro Friday NightDIXIE SWIM CLUB Opens in Murfreesboro Friday Night
November 7, 2016

The Dixie Swim Club - the Jones-Hope-Wooten comedy about five Southern women who meet on their college's swim team and hold a beachfront reunion every year thereafter - opens this week at Murfreesboro's Center for the Arts, in a new production helmed by George W. Manus Jr.



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