GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for May 16, 2017

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for May 16, 2017

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI! It's Tuesday, May 16, 2017, and while the whole worlds goes to hell in a handbasket, what with the latest news coming out of Washington about highly classified secrets being passed on to the Russians, Nashville theater companies are still striving to prevent people from finding out what shows they plan to do next season...Crimes of the Heart or Peter and the Starcatcher, with a side of roast beef, anyone?...it's all a matter of perspective, am I right? Today, we're asking the musical question, "What shows would you like to see local theater companies do if you were in the smoke-filled backrooms where such decisions are made?" Tell us your choices and we'll pass them along...and you may live life dramatically!

Yesterday morning, tickets went on sale for Pull-Tight Players' production of Legally Blonde, the musical about an over-privilegEd White girl from California getting into an Ivy League law school by bent of her determination. Local girl made good Reese Witherspoon starred as the iconic Elle Woods in the movies, while Laura Bell Bundy, who's been pursuing a country music career in Nashville these past several years, made the role her own in the Broadway musical version.

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for May 16, 2017Cassie Donegan, who recently stopped the show in 9 to 5: The Musical for Belmont University Musical Theatre (playing Doralee, the role created by Dolly Parton), plays Elle in the homegrown version of the show, with our pal Barrett Thomas (he was Zoltan Karpathy in our recent production of My Fair Lady at The Larry Keeton Theatre) as Warner and Jason Bell as Emmett.

So, anyway, here's the deal: Pull-Tight's Legally Blonde sold out - yep, you read that right, SOLD OUT - only 38 minutes after tickets went on sale. Oh, my God, you guys! It's like Wicked, Phantom and Les Miserables is touring to Franklin! We hope it's good, but we'll never know since Pull-Tight doesn't like for their shows to be reviewed (take that particular piece of information however you wish to construe it) - and why should they? If you can sell out a warhorse like Legally Blonde (which has been done approximately 214 times around here in the past decade), you don't need no stinking reviews. Yet, it still chaps my ass. But I am a bitter old man.

Nashville's Oz Arts Center, Music City's leading purveyor of contemporary art of all shapes and sizes, revealed its 2017-18 season yesterday, including famed soprano Renee Fleming in a special concert December 1, prior to her Broadway turn in a revival of Carousel; Nat McIntyre starring in Sea Wall, under the direction of Belmont's Jaclyn Jutting; and an appearance by Bassem Youssef, the "Jon Stewart of the Middle East," to discuss his life and career, juxtaposed against the backdrop of civil unrest and growing political activism in the region.

Here's a link to our story about 2017-18 at Oz: /nashville/article/Nashvilles-OZ-Arts-Center-Reveals-2017-18-Season-20170515

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for May 16, 2017Neil LaBute's Reasons to Be Pretty opens this weekend, as the first show of Woven Theatre's second season. LaBute's play follows Greg, Kent, Carly and Steph who, stuck in the monotony of dead-end jobs, struggle to find meaning in their lives. Throughout, they face the fallibility of human language and the pressures of societal expectations. There are hook-ups and break-ups, as well as struggles to keep friendships alive. Amidst all of this, the four learn the effect that the power of language has and how to find their place in the world. It's performed at Belmont University Little Theatre, located beneath Hail Hall. Tickets are $10 online or $15 at the door. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, May 18-21, and Thursday-Saturday, May 25-27. For tickets, go to www.eventbrite.com/e/reasons-to-be-pretty-by-neil-labute-tickets-33678128188.

Carolyn German's Theater Craft Inc. presents Edward Morris' The Passion of Ethel Rosenberg, starring Keri Pagetta (directed by Carolyn German), at Atmalogy "Celebrate" Space, 2320 West End Avenue in Nashville on Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21, at 7:30 p.m. each evening. For tickets ($20 each), call (615) 874-8715, or connect@theatercraft.com.

Happy birthday wishes today go out to Lipscomb University Theatre's Scott Baker (super-dad to Deacon, Shepherd and Emmaline and super-husband and partner to Beki Baker), Jason Bell (the self-same actor playing Emmett for Pull-Tight) and Stephen Savage (the MTSU alumnus who playEd Emmett in Legally Blonde at The Larry Keeton Theatre). They share the date with writer Osgood Perkins, acting icon and Oscar winner Henry Fonda, and his first wife, actress Margaret Sullavan, writer Studs Turkel, and actors Brian F. O'Byrne (Doubt) and Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Newsies, Tuck Everlasting).

In notable theatrical happenings on this date, Ethel Merman opened in 1946 as Annie Oakley in the Rodgers and Hammerstein production of Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun. In 1985, Jerry Zaks directed Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo off-Broadway at the Public Theater's Newman Theater, with a cast that included Joan Allen, Mercedes Ruehl, Olympia Dukakais and Durang, himself. Interestingly, Durang's latest work, Harriet and Other Horrible People, will be presented this week (May 19 and 20) as part of Nashville Repertory Theatre's Ingram New Works Festival at NPT Studios, with a cast that includes Matthew Carlton and Megan Murphy Chambers, among other Music City theaterati.

That's it for today, gentle readers, and until tomorrow, do have a terrific Tuesday and never forget that wherever you are in the world, there is always time to CELEBRATE THE MAGIC OF LIVE THEATER!


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From This Author 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 30 years. In 1989, Ellis (read more...)

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