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BWW Reviews: Stellar Casting Highlights Studio Tenn's Revival of A CHRISTMAS CAROL Review BWW Reviews: Stellar Casting Highlights Studio Tenn's Revival of A CHRISTMAS CAROL
by Jeffrey Ellis - December 09, 2011

Restaging Studio Tenn's A Christmas Carol for the company's new home at the lavishly restored historic Franklin Theatre, director/designer Matt Logan manages to give new and invigorated life to the time-honored tale while interpreting it in a manner that is tremendously appealing and accessible, adding an almost cinematic flow to the proceedings. A revival of Studio Tenn's 2010 A Christmas Carol, Logan's staging is altered somewhat to accommodate the confines of the new venue, as well as to capitalize on the strengths of his cast, which includes an artful blending of new and returning players. (more...)


BWW Reviews: BOEING-BOEING Brings Polished Performances and Stylish Seasonal Fun to Chaffin's Barn Review BWW Reviews: BOEING-BOEING Brings Polished Performances and Stylish Seasonal Fun to Chaffin's Barn
by Jeffrey Ellis - December 04, 2011

Truth be told, seeing Martha Wilkinson in a black pageboy wig while she delivers a wonderfully droll comic character performance might be worth the price of a ticket to Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre's revival of Boeing-Boeing, the Marc Camoletti farce (adapted by Beverly Cross) under the direction of Charles Burr that is running throughout the month of December. But Wilkinson's superb performance notwithstanding, there's much more to love about the show. (more...)


BWW Reviews: MTSU's Burgeoning Dance Program Shows Growth in Fall Dance Concert Review BWW Reviews: MTSU's Burgeoning Dance Program Shows Growth in Fall Dance Concert
by Jeffrey Ellis - December 02, 2011

Dance-the quality of performance, the merits of the performers, the creativity of the choreographers-at Middle Tennessee State University has certainly improved since the last time I reviewed the fall dance concert at MTSU. Of course, it was 32 years ago and the dance program at the university has grown by leaps and bounds. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Actors Point Theatre Company Debuts With A CHRISTMAS CAROL Review BWW Reviews: Actors Point Theatre Company Debuts With A CHRISTMAS CAROL
by Jeffrey Ellis - December 02, 2011

With a plethora of theater productions of A Christmas Carol filling local stages throughout December, you'd be hard-pressed to not find yourself in the audience of one of those productions. But if you have the presence of mind-and a ticket-you'd search far and wide for a more pleasing rendition of Charles Dickens' iconic work than the one now onstage at Hendersonville's Living To Go Church courtesy of the new Actors Point Theatre Company, which is dedicated to bringing professional theater to Sumner County. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Stellar Performances and Skillful Direction Highlight OLIVER! at Boiler Room Theatre Review BWW Reviews: Stellar Performances and Skillful Direction Highlight OLIVER! at Boiler Room Theatre
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 23, 2011

Under the sure-handed direction of Morton, who has brought together an impressive cast of adult actors with two different casts of youngsters, the whole of Oliver! is remarkable, a thoroughly delightful evening of theater that allows those older thespians to show off their talents while showcasing the budding talents of her younger charges, who display stage presence and focus throughout the tune-filled musical. In fact, it is Morton's skilled and practiced eye in regards to casting that really sets this Oliver! apart from any of the others we've seen. Frankly, the woman knows what she's doing. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Matt Chiorini Returns 'Pseudo'-Triumphantly to Tennessee Rep's SANTALAND DIARIES Review BWW Reviews: Matt Chiorini Returns 'Pseudo'-Triumphantly to Tennessee Rep's SANTALAND DIARIES
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 21, 2011

Directed by David Alford, who certainly knows his way around the breakroom (what with his own experiences playing Crumpet the elf, Sedaris' velvet smock/candy can tights-wearing doppelganger), The Santaland Diaries is the perfect seasonal antidote for the countless, treacly-sweet productions of A Christmas Carol that will dominate the Nashville theatrical landscape over the coming weeks. (more...)


BWW Reviews: ACT 1's FANN-MADE, PERMISSION-GRANTED, UNOFFICIAL PRODUCTION OF DR. HORRIBLE'S SING-ALONG BLOG Review BWW Reviews: ACT 1's FANN-MADE, PERMISSION-GRANTED, UNOFFICIAL PRODUCTION OF DR. HORRIBLE'S SING-ALONG BLOG
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 20, 2011

I can now feel the tiny pin pricks of the needles piercing the flesh of the Jef Ellis voodoo dolls held about the neck by various members of the cast and crew as they exact their revenge while they continue reading this review. I say: Bring it on! Sticks and stones and all that... (more...)


BWW Reviews: 'Extraordinary' Performances Highlight Street Theatre Company's RAGTIME IN CONCERT  Review BWW Reviews: 'Extraordinary' Performances Highlight Street Theatre Company's RAGTIME IN CONCERT
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 17, 2011

More to the point, Ragtime in Concert at Street Theatre Company is not to be missed. It is an awe-inspiring night of theater, staged with confidence and a practiced eye for what works visually by Cathy Street and Jane Kelley (who also conducts the 30-some member ensemble) and featuring the always significant contributions of music director Rollie Mains, this production obviously emphasizes the extraordinary musical score that, without danger of exaggeration, should be included in the pantheon of musical theater's greatest accomplishments. I defy you to hear the title tune, 'New Music,' and 'Wheels of a Dream' (or any number of other songs from the score, to be honest) and not to find your heart soaring - they are finely crafted works of art. (more...)


BWW Reviews: MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL Brings Its Electrifying and 'Fantastical' Tale to Music City Review BWW Reviews: MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL Brings Its Electrifying and 'Fantastical' Tale to Music City
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 16, 2011

Memphis, the musical, is a lot like Memphis, the city: You either love it or you hate it. But if you let its sincerely heartfelt story and evocatively written music wend its way into your heart, you'll find your soul. With the national touring company now ensconced at Tennessee Performing Arts Center's Andrew Jackson Hall through Sunday, it's easy to see why Memphis won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical, its spirit is infectious, its music glorious and its cast - what a stunning ensemble they are! - nothing short of wondrous. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Belmont University Theatre's THE ANTICS OF ROMANTICS Offers Frivolous Improv Fun Review BWW Reviews: Belmont University Theatre's THE ANTICS OF ROMANTICS Offers Frivolous Improv Fun
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 13, 2011

With audience participation required to bring it fully to life onstage, Jeff Wirth's The Antics of Romantics is overflowing with imagination and creativity, making it one of the most exhilarating theater offerings we've seen this season. Directed stylishly - with generous wit and flashes of comic brilliance - by Brent Maddox, Wirth's play is now onstage at Belmont University's Black Box Theatre at the Troutt Theatre complex starring an accomplished and adept cast of student actors who, obviously, are having the times of their lives. (more...)


BWW Reviews: NCT's Rambunctious JUNIE B. Welcomes The Holiday Season in Fine Fashion Review BWW Reviews: NCT's Rambunctious JUNIE B. Welcomes The Holiday Season in Fine Fashion
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 12, 2011

Truth be told, seeing Henry Haggard and Jeff Boyet playing first graders may be enough to ensure that you get yourself to Nashville Children's Theatre for the company's wonderfully entertaining production of Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells. But the production holds so many delightful riches - not the least of which is Brooke Bryant's completely engaging portrayal of the title character - that it is certain to delight audiences of all ages who make it to NCT to revel in this holiday season respite that imparts a lesson while eliciting laughs, gasps and so much more over the course of an hour or so in the theater. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE ALL NIGHT STRUT Brings Swing-Era Glamour to The Keeton Theatre Review BWW Reviews: THE ALL NIGHT STRUT Brings Swing-Era Glamour to The Keeton Theatre
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 10, 2011

Ginger Newman and Kate Adams-Johnson have perfected the recipe for musical success: Take three ginger-haired beauties, pair them with three dark and handsome young men and add a musical score that includes some of the best-known and most-beloved songs of the 1930s and '40s. That's the winning formula the talented duo have mixed together to grand effect in The Keeton Theatre's production of The All Night Strut, the winning musical revue that is as effervescent as a glass of champagne and as entertaining as a Manhattan Transfer concert. (more...)


BWW Reviews: WHO Is The Latest Offering in Trish Crist's Theatrical Opus Review BWW Reviews: WHO Is The Latest Offering in Trish Crist's Theatrical Opus
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 06, 2011

Crist is a promising writer - although her works for the theater would benefit greatly from some workshopping of the material before audiences are asked to buy tickets - and a warm-hearted, genuine woman who, quite frankly, I adore. But I don't adore being made to feel ignorant or unsophisticated because we don't like the same things. (more...)


BWW Reviews: DLU Theatre's HAIRSPRAY Delivers Exactly What You Want In Musical Theater Review BWW Reviews: DLU Theatre's HAIRSPRAY Delivers Exactly What You Want In Musical Theater
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 04, 2011

You can hardly swing a cat in Nashville without hitting someone in costume as Edna Turnblad or her dancing progeny Tracy, so popular has the show become with local theaterati. But, truth be told, if I never live to see another Hairspray, I can now die a happy man: Because I saw director/choreographer Justin Boccitto's exceptional, extraordinary and exhilarating take on the show, starring a phenomenal cast of Lipscomb University theatre students who so brilliantly bring the now-iconic characters of 1962 Baltimore to life with thorough commitment and so much energy you can't help but leave the theater with a spring in your step and a song in your heart. (more...)


BWW Reviews: University School of Nashville Takes on BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON Review BWW Reviews: University School of Nashville Takes on BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 03, 2011

When you live in a city ringed by suburbs like Old Hickory and Hermitage, when one of the most popular tourist attractions is The Hermitage and we all think of Andy Jackson as someone we know (his visage is found on countless public buildings throughout the city), it just makes sense that Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson would be of interest - not just to me, but to my readers in general and theater lovers in particular. Nashville, you see, is inextricably linked to any version of the Andrew Jackson story you may happen upon, whether it's a Broadway musical (which probably was best-suited to an off-Broadway climate than it was on the main stem) or any of the best sellers that have stocked bookstore shelves in the past decade. (more...)


BWW Reviews: A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD Settles In for a Pre-Holiday Run at The Renaissance Center Review BWW Reviews: A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD Settles In for a Pre-Holiday Run at The Renaissance Center
by Jeffrey Ellis - October 31, 2011

Now onstage at Dickson's Renaissance Center, in a sparkling production from The Center's Mind Enriching Theatre sure to delight, A Year With Frog and Toad is a delightful romp of a tale that explores the importance of friendship between two very similar, yet very different, people. 'People?' you ask. Yes, people; anthropomorphic though they may be, Frog and Toad are as multi-dimensional as any person could possibly be. Richly drawn, artfully crafted and winningly enacted by the five-person cast, A Year With Frog and Toad is sweetly charming, featuring a musical score that's sure to set your feet a-tapping. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Nashville Ballet's Lush and Romantic CINDERELLA Opens Its 26th Season Review BWW Reviews: Nashville Ballet's Lush and Romantic CINDERELLA Opens Its 26th Season
by Jeffrey Ellis - October 29, 2011

With new and expressive choreography by Paul Vasterling - set to Prokofiev's timelessly beautiful 1944 score - Nashville Ballet opens its 26th season with a sumptuous remounting of Cinderella which captures, once more, the sheer artistry of the company's dancers while giving audiences exactly what they want when they go to the ballet: flights of fancy wrapped up in a gorgeously adorned, artistically crafted package. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Osborne & Eppler's Latest Version of SOUTHERN FRIED FUNERAL is a Down Home Hit Review BWW Reviews: Osborne & Eppler's Latest Version of SOUTHERN FRIED FUNERAL is a Down Home Hit
by Jeffrey Ellis - October 27, 2011

First presented in 2010 by the Bethlehem Players (of Franklin's Bethlehem United Methodist Church), Southern Fried Funeral, now onstage through November 26 at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre (where Osborne and Eppler staged their First Night Award-winning Rear Widow last year), is aging gracefully, taking on the patina normally reserved for the sterling silver serving pieces in that breakfront in the dining room. Lustrous and heartfelt - yet uproariously funny in a way that only Southerners can be - the story told in Southern Fried Funeral is authentic and genuine, farfetched and unbelievable. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Center for the Arts' DRACULA Never Takes Wing Review BWW Reviews: Center for the Arts' DRACULA Never Takes Wing
by Jeffrey Ellis - October 25, 2011

With vampires such a hot topic (seriously, could the timing be any more perfect than now for the tale of a legendary bloodsucker like the Transylvanian Count?) in American popular culture, you'd think it would be a slam dunk for a theater company to stage a show like Dracula - and it would be if you had a better script to work with, the sharper focus of the creative team and more assertive direction. No matter how much fake blood you throw on the actors or makeup trickery you employ, if the actors are not all on the same page, your Dracula is more likely to drive a stake through the heart of the audience, rather than to delight them with stage magic that transports them to the play's other-worldly setting. (more...)


BWW Reviews: WICKED Takes Off For Another Spectacular Run at TPAC Review BWW Reviews: WICKED Takes Off For Another Spectacular Run at TPAC
by Jeffrey Ellis - October 21, 2011

Telling a universal tale of friendship and the power of love to overcome hardship, prejudice and the callous disregard of an ill-informed public, Wicked represents musical theater at its very best: The story intrigues you, the characters engage you, the music touches your heart in ways that might surprise you and the production's stunning design aesthetic provides you with an unparalleled visual feast. No wonder the national touring company has found its way back to Nashville a mere two years after it set records at TPAC, pumping millions of dollars into the Music City economy, only to do so once again, no doubt setting new records while entertaining an appreciative audience. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Lakewood Theatre Company's A FEW GOOD MEN 'Crackles With Intensity' Review BWW Reviews: Lakewood Theatre Company's A FEW GOOD MEN 'Crackles With Intensity'
by Jeffrey Ellis - October 10, 2011

So it was with some trepidation - and more than a little wariness - that I approached a new production of A Few Good Men, now onstage through October 15, at Lakewood Theatre Company in Old Hickory. While the physical realities of Lakewood's venue preclude any such staging innovations as employed by Whatley, what you are treated to instead is a sharply focused and superbly acted production of Sorkin's seminal dramatic work. As one of the area's most successful community theater companies, Lakewood has consistently performed to capacity crowds, drawing actors from throughout the region. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Scott Rice & Company Celebrate His Birthday in Style With IT'S ONLY LIFE Review BWW Reviews: Scott Rice & Company Celebrate His Birthday in Style With IT'S ONLY LIFE
by Jeffrey Ellis - October 09, 2011

You gotta give credit to Scott Rice: the man's got style! Approaching his 40th birthday with the same trepidations that anyone would, instead of just throwing a drunken revelry for all his Nashville friends, he has chosen instead to become an impresario in order to produce, direct and star in the Music City premiere of John Bucchino's It's Only Life. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Friel's lyrical DANCING AT LUGHNASA onstage at Belmont's Troutt Theatre Review BWW Reviews: Friel's lyrical DANCING AT LUGHNASA onstage at Belmont's Troutt Theatre
by Jeffrey Ellis - October 07, 2011

Superbly performed by a cast of eight exceptional student actors in the Belmont University Department of Theatre and Dance, under the direction of Bill Feehely (co-founder of Nashville's acclaimed Actors Bridge Ensemble), Dancing at Lughnasa opens the 2011-2012 season with theater of the highest order, delivering a sumptuously appointed physical production that soars because of the wonderfully nuanced portrayals of the actors. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Arthur Miller's ALL MY SONS Opens Tennessee Rep's Season With Searing Drama Review BWW Reviews: Arthur Miller's ALL MY SONS Opens Tennessee Rep's Season With Searing Drama
by Jeffrey Ellis - October 05, 2011

Arthur Miller's All My Sons, which debuted on Broadway in 1947, continues to resonate with contemporary audiences thanks to its timeless, heart-wrenching relevance and Miller's unequaled ability as a storyteller. Now onstage at TPAC's Andrew Johnson Theatre in an impressive production that opens Tennessee Repertory Theatre's 2011-2012 season, All My Sons is Miller's searing consideration of the relentless pursuit of the American Dream, selflessness be damned in the name of profit. (more...)


BWW Reviews: ACT 1's 'Stunning, Poetic and Profane' AMERICAN BUFFALO Takes Over The Darkhorse Review BWW Reviews: ACT 1's 'Stunning, Poetic and Profane' AMERICAN BUFFALO Takes Over The Darkhorse
by Jeffrey Ellis - October 03, 2011

Poetic and profane, David Mamet's 1975 play American Buffalo is brought to the stage of Nashville's Darkkhorse Theatre in a stunningly raw and beautifully realized production directed by Ryan Williams for ACT 1. As one of the city's most enduring community theatre groups, ACT 1 consistently has proven its worth and claimed its place among the most notable theater companies - whether professional or community-centered - and with American Buffalo the company kicks off its 2011-2012 season with awe-inspiring force, presenting a production that is clearly one of the best to be seen in Nashville during this calendar year. (more...)


 
🔀NASHVILLE SHOWS
Peter Pan in NashvillePeter Pan
(Runs 11/21 - 1/4)
Annie in NashvilleAnnie
(Runs 1/6 - 1/11)
Flashdance The Musical in NashvilleFlashdance The Musical
(Runs 1/16 - 1/17)
Kinky Boots in NashvilleKinky Boots
(Runs 2/3 - 2/8)
I Love Lucy Live on Stage in NashvilleI Love Lucy Live on Stage
(Runs 2/20 - 2/20)
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in NashvilleJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
(Runs 2/17 - 2/22)

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