BWW Interviews: It's Time For Recent Belmont University Grad MEGHAN GLOGOWER To Tackle THE NUTTY FIVE


Now that Nashville has gone completely Nutty-the entirety of Music City has been taken over with a feverish delight as the company, cast and crew of The Nutty Professor Musical have arrived in town in anticipation of the debut of the show at the James K. Polk Theatre at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center-there are a whole bunch of fresh faces and wonderful personalities entering the local theater scene.

Previews for the show start on July 24 and the official opening night is July 31-that's when I'll be weighing in with my take on the new Broadway-bound production-for the new musical that boasts an incomparable pedigree: Comedy legend Jerry Lewis directs the musical adaptation of his 1963 film, music is by Marvin Hamlisch, the Tony, Oscar, Emmy and Grammy Award-winner (who also has a Pulitzer Prize to his credit) and the book is by three-time Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes (whose The Mystery of Edwin Drood will be revived on Broadway this fall).

And the cast-led by Michael Andrew, Melissa McGowan, Mark Jacoby and KLea Blackhurst-features an amazing ensemble of true triple-threat performers, each of whom is on the very precipice (yep, that's what I said: the precipice) of stardom. Thus, in a blatant display of Southern hospitality and to show that my mama raised me right, we're devoting a new column to welcoming the newest members of Music City's theaterati to town…The Nutty Five!

Suffice it to say, we feel even more welcoming after seeing the cast (they were absolutely amazing and were in perfect sync-even in a number they had learned only hours before) in action at TPAC's rehearsal hall where they dazzled the assembled media types with their spirited performance of several of the show's best songs. Since there's no doubt that you'll be bumping into these newfound Music Citizens all over town in the next month, we think you need to get to know them better.

Today's spotlight falls on one very special member of the cast, who just happens to be in every sense of the phrase "Nashville's own…" Meghan Glogower. Graduating from Belmont University's amazing musical theater program in early May, she auditioned for her first Broadway-bound show (aka The Nutty Professor Musical) and was cast! After whirlwind weeks of rehearsal in New York City, she's back in her adopted hometown-Megan's a native of Winter Haven, Florida, which means an invasion of Floridians is expected in the coming weeks, as well-dancing her butt off ahead of the show's opening.

Meghan sat next to me at the press conference on Wednesday morning in the Polk Theatre lobby, which means she's now privy to all the snarky remarks I made about the other people asking questions-and still she talks to me! Go figure. Suffice it to say, she's perfectly charming and enormously talented (Marjorie Halbert and company at Belmont sure know how to pick 'em) and she and her castmates are practically snapping at the bit to show off the show they love. In fact, they seem to be having so much fun at rehearsals, it's pretty obvious that audiences are in for a real treat.

Until you find yourself in the audience at the Polk Theatre, however, we're doing our best to introduce you to all the cast members. Even the ones we already know like Meghan Glogower. We think you need to get to know her, as well; that way, when you run into her you can speak authoritatively about A Chorus Line or The Pajama Game while asking for her autograph.

What was your first taste of "live theater"? I have a question about this question. Is this the first thing I saw, or the first thing I was involved in?  If it's what I was in: My first onstage taste of theatre was my dance recitals when I was a little girl. I started taking dance lessons when I was six. If it's what I saw: The first professional show I saw was the national tour of Annie Get Your Gun with my dad. 

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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.

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