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

Nashville's Historic Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre Sold to New OwnerNashville's Historic Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre Sold to New Owner
Posted: Dec. 28, 2016


BWW Review: Nashville Ballet's Colorful and Resplendent NASHVILLE'S NUTCRACKERBWW Review: Nashville Ballet's Resplendent NASHVILLE'S NUTCRACKER
Posted: Dec. 5, 2016


First Night's Top Ten of 2017 Announced in Music CityFirst Night's Top Ten of 2017 Announced in Music City
Posted: Dec. 28, 2016


Chicago Director/Playwright Ernie Nolan Picked To Lead Nashville Children's TheatreChicago Director/Playwright Ernie Nolan Picked To Lead Nashville Children's Theatre
Posted: Dec. 7, 2016


LAST 365 DAYS

Nashville's Historic Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre Sold to New OwnerNashville's Historic Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre Sold to New Owner
Posted: Dec. 28, 2016


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


BWW Review: THE ODD COUPLE Leads Off the Next 50 Years at Chaffin's BarnBWW Review: THE ODD COUPLE Leads Off the Next 50 Years at Chaffin's Barn
January 15, 2017

Nashville's historic and iconic Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre - now led by Norma Luther, the gracious and charming new owner - launches its second half century on the venerated chow and bow circuit with a sparkling new revival of Neil Simon's equally historic and iconic The Odd Couple, now onstage through February 12. Directed by longtime artistic director and the doyenne of Music City theater, Martha Wilkinson, this iteration of Simon's hilarious play about two mismatched friends who attempt to navigate the waters of post-divorce life together is performed by a stellar cast of local actors who breathe new life into their characters and somehow manage to give audiences a fresh perspective on the enduring comedy.

Photo Coverage: Midwinter's First Night 2017, THE SEQUELPhoto Coverage: Midwinter's First Night 2017, THE SEQUEL
January 14, 2017

Gracie McGraw, Molly Balsam and Jenna Pryor opened Act Two of the awards show with a medley of Hamilton-inspired songs.

BWW Review: Circle Players and TSU's Dazzling and Delightful THE WIZBWW Review: Circle Players and TSU's Dazzling and Delightful THE WIZ
January 14, 2017

And, lord! What a cast Larson has assembled for his unique take on the musical - which again was catapulted into the cultural zeitgeist thanks to the critically acclaimed televised version from NBC last year of the show that features the music and lyrics of Charlie Smalls and book by William F. Brown - and what a collective of creative types he's once again pulled together to bring his vision to the TSU stage.

Onstage at The Barn 50: NANCY ALLEN Shares Some Musical MemoriesOnstage at The Barn 50: NANCY ALLEN Shares Some Musical Memories
January 14, 2017

Today our special seriesOnstage at The Barn: Memories from The First 45 Years continueswith actress Nancy Allen, who first set foot on that magical levitating stage in a production of The Robber Bridegroom, directed by Rene Dunshee Copeland, which remains brilliantly etched in the minds of Nashville theatre-goers who were on-hand for the production.

Onstage at the Barn 50: Memories from the First Half-Century with Michael EdwardsOnstage at the Barn 50: Memories from the First Half-Century with Michael Edwards
January 13, 2017

In recognition of The Barn's 45 years of bringing the magic of live theater to the stage, we continue our special series of Onstage at The Barn: Memories from The First 45 Years, with actor Michael Edwards, who made his debut at The Barn in the 1970, continuing to work there until 1990. For many people from that era, Mike Edwards was-and still is, in so many ways-the face of Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, the actor most recognizable for the long list of roles he played there.

Photo Coverage: MIDWINTER'S FIRST NIGHT 2017Photo Coverage: MIDWINTER'S FIRST NIGHT 2017
January 10, 2017

A capacity crowd filled The Keeton to witness the no-holds-barred evening, hosted by Julia Marie Nettles, Jenna Pryor, Austin Jeffrey Smith and Taylor Tracey. Arron Holman worked the crowd during the evening to provide insight for the coming theatrical season in Nashville.

EVITA, GOOD MONSTERS Claim Top Honors at Midwinter's First NightEVITA, GOOD MONSTERS Claim Top Honors at Midwinter's First Night
January 10, 2017

Studio Tenn and Tennessee Performing Arts Center's joint venture to produce Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita in Nashville resulted in the production claiming the top prize as "Outstanding Musical of The Year" at Sunday's Midwinter's First Night event at The Larry Keeton Theatre. Nashville Repertory Theatre's production of Nate Eppler's original play Good Monsters took the title of "Outstanding Play of The Year" in the annual ceremony that dates back to its origins in 1989.

First Night's Top Ten of 2017 Announced in Music CityFirst Night's Top Ten of 2017 Announced in Music City
December 28, 2016

First Night's Top Ten of 2017 - critic Jeffrey Ellis' annual review of the best in Tennessee theater - were revealed tonight during a live Facebook broadcast at 7:30 p.m. (CST), with Actor's Bridge Ensemble and Studio Tenn/TPAC leading the nods in this year's listing of categories.

Nashville's Historic Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre Sold to New OwnerNashville's Historic Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre Sold to New Owner
December 28, 2016

Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre - the nation's longest running and continually operating dinner theater - has been sold just as the company is nearing the completion of its 50th season of shows in Nashville.

LONG JOHN SILVER Commandeers Nashville Children's Theatre Stage in 2017LONG JOHN SILVER Commandeers Nashville Children's Theatre Stage in 2017
December 28, 2016

Nashville Children's Theatre (NCT) takes audiences on a swashbuckling, sea-fairing treasure hunt with Treasure Island, Scot Copeland's dramatization of Robert Louis Stevenson's epic coming-of-age tale, opening January 19 and running through February 5.

First Night's Top Ten of 2017 To Be Revealed TonightFirst Night's Top Ten of 2017 To Be Revealed Tonight
December 28, 2016

First Night's Top Ten of 2017 - critic Jeffrey Ellis' annual review of the best in Tennessee theater - will be revealed tonight during a live Facebook broadcast at 7:30 p.m. (CST).

Tim Larson Directs THE WIZ As Circle Players Kicks Off 2017Tim Larson Directs THE WIZ As Circle Players Kicks Off 2017
December 28, 2016

Circle Players eases into 2017 and will 'Ease On Down The Road' - beginning January 6 - with its production of The Wiz, the musical that infuses L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with a dazzling mix of rock, gospel and soul music to create a fun, family-friendly show that has become one of the most popular musicals of its time.

Durang's BEYOND THERAPY Set for 1/14 REPaloud ReadingDurang's BEYOND THERAPY Set for 1/14 REPaloud Reading
December 22, 2016

Tony Award-winning playwright Christopher Durang - this season's Ingram New Works Fellow at Nashville Repertory Theatre - will be on hand for a reading of his quirky comedy, Beyond Therapy, on Saturday, January 14, 2017, at OZ Arts Nashville.

Charlotte Maltby Cast As New Maria in SOUND OF MUSIC TourCharlotte Maltby Cast As New Maria in SOUND OF MUSIC Tour
December 15, 2016

Charlotte Maltby will join the cast as Maria Rainer in the national tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, which premieres in Nashville with a one-week, limited engagement February 14-19, 2017, at Tennessee Performing Arts Center's Andrew Jackson Hall.

Patterson and Lane to Lead MY FAIR LADY at Larry Keeton TheatrePatterson and Lane to Lead MY FAIR LADY at Larry Keeton Theatre
December 15, 2016

Erica Patterson will take on the iconic role of Eliza Doolittle in the upcoming production of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady, running February 16-March 4 at The Larry Keeton Theatre in Donelson. Cavender Lane will play the supercilious Henry Higgins, with Chris Cavin as Colonel Pickering and Elliott Robinson as Alfred P. Doolittle in the revival, directed by veteran Nashville director (and current senior contributing editor to BroadwayWorld.com/Nashville) Jeffrey Ellis.

BWW Review: Actors Bridge's Astonishing HAND TO GOD Caps A Remarkable 2016 SeasonBWW Review: Actors Bridge's Astonishing HAND TO GOD Caps A Remarkable 2016 Season
December 10, 2016

Hand to God is a ballsy, brassy and in-your-face consideration of life in a Southern church and its impact on the lives of its congregants, exposing the hypocrisy of small-town convention and social mores that continue to evolve at a glacial pace. You'll be singing hosannas in the show's aftermath, reveling in the knowledge that you've seen some very talented people doing what God - or any other higher power or reverential deity - must have intended from the very beginning, as in 'in the beginning' Who knew a church's puppet ministry could be so intriguingly facile yet uproariously entertaining?

Quartet of Hosts Named for Midwinter's First NightQuartet of Hosts Named for Midwinter's First Night
December 8, 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.

Chicago Director/Playwright Ernie Nolan Picked To Lead Nashville Children's TheatreChicago Director/Playwright Ernie Nolan Picked To Lead Nashville Children's Theatre
December 7, 2016

Ernie Nolan, an award-winning director and playwright based in Chicago, has been named as the new artistic director of Nashville Children's Theatre, beginning February 1, 2017. Nolan succeeds Scot Copeland, NCT Producing Artistic Director for 31 years, who died unexpectedly in February of this year.

BWW Review: Nashville Ballet's Colorful and Resplendent NASHVILLE'S NUTCRACKERBWW Review: Nashville Ballet's Colorful and Resplendent NASHVILLE'S NUTCRACKER
December 5, 2016

Since its debut in 2008, Nashville's Nutcracker choreographer Paul Vasterling's holiday-scented love letter to his adopted hometown has delighted thousands of audience members eager to experience this particularly rapturous paean to this most wonderful time of the year. Eager to set off on a journey of wonder and delight, to be swept away to a fanciful world of dashing princes and beautiful fairy princesses brought to life vivdly by the accomplished dancers of Nashville Ballet's various companies, audiences for nine successive years now have allowed themselves to be caught up in the spectacle of the production which never fails to enthrall and to entertain.

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.



...
1