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Jeffrey Ellis News

THE FRIDAY FIVE (on Thursday!): RAGTIME's David ArnoldTHE FRIDAY FIVE (on Thursday!): RAGTIME's David Arnold
by Jeffrey Ellis - Jan 15, 2015

Inspired by BroadwayWorld.com's Friday Six, welcome to BroadwayWorld Nashville's latest installment of The Friday Five (on Thursday!): five questions designed to help you learn more about the talented people you'll find onstage throughout the Volunteer state. This week the spotlight shines one day early on David Arnold, who opens tonight in Circle Players' production of Ragtime the Musical, starring as Father. (more...)

Midwinter's First Night Taps Nashville Rep, Boiler Room Theatre, ACT 1Midwinter's First Night Taps Nashville Rep, Boiler Room Theatre, ACT 1
by Jeffrey Ellis - Jan 13, 2015

Bawdy, irreverent, perhaps even unhinged: What better way to describe Midwinter's First Night? Held Sunday night at Backstage at the Barn, the intimate cabaret theater at Nashville's iconic Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, the slightly offbeat, decidedly more casual younger sibling of The First Night Honors focused on the fun, while honoring some of Middle Tennessee's best and brightest with First Night Awards. (more...)

'Irreverent and Fun' Midwinter's First Night Set for 1/11/15'Irreverent and Fun' Midwinter's First Night Set for 1/11/15
by Jeffrey Ellis - Jan 5, 2015

It's back and it's this Sunday, January 11: Midwinter's First Night, aka The First Night Honors' misbehavin' younger sibling, will feature fun, frivolities, special performances, food and drinks, the presentation of The BWW Nashville Awards and, of course, the awarding of First Night's Best of 2014 honors. Sly, irreverent and slightly decadent, Midwinter's First Night will be held at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, Nashville's iconic theatrical venue since 1964. (more...)

WHITE CHRISTMAS Cast Celebrates 100th Year of New Haven's Shubert TheaterWHITE CHRISTMAS Cast Celebrates 100th Year of New Haven's Shubert Theater
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 23, 2014

What better way to commemorate the 100th birthday of one of the nation's most storied theaters - The Shubert Theater in New Haven, Connecticut - than with a special video starring the national company of Irving Berlin's White Christmas, the first show to take the stage in the theater's centennial year? (more...)

THE FRIDAY FIVE: JJ Rodgers from Actors Point's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFETHE FRIDAY FIVE: JJ Rodgers from Actors Point's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 19, 2014

This week's spotlight focuses on JJ Rodgers, one of Music City's finest actresses, who opened this week in Hendersonville's Actors Point Theater Company's holiday season offering of It's A Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play, directed by 2014 First Night Star Award winner Greg Wilson. (more...)

HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Kaila WootenHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Kaila Wooten
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 18, 2014

Our series continues this week with our first home-schooled actor, the lovely and talented Kaila Wooten, an amazingly talented and remarkably poised teenager who has been on stages throughout Middle Tennessee for much of her life and in 2013 was named a First Night Honors Most Promising Actor. (more...)

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Chambers Stevens Checks InWHERE ARE THEY NOW? Chambers Stevens Checks In
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 18, 2014

Today's spotlight falls upon Chambers Stevens, who defines the word "multi-hyphenate." (Seriously, look in a dictionary-they still make dictionaries, don't they?-and you'll find his headshot next to the word.) He is an actor-director-playwright-acting coach-producer-consultant-husband-and-father. And in 2012, he was recognized as a First Night Honoree for the role he has played in the development of theater in Tennessee. (more...)

COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: NYU's Delaney AmatrudoCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: NYU's Delaney Amatrudo
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 16, 2014

One needn't be clairvoyant to sense that Delaney Amatrudo is destined for stardom; that's been evident, at the very least, since she was a middle schooler. For Nashville area audiences who have been lucky enough to see her live and onstage, it's very obvious that she possesses that ethereal quality which makes her stand out in any crowd, that is especially noticeable when she is onstage, and which burns brightly regardless of the situation. (more...)

NASHVILLE THEATER 101: Two Johns and a GermanNASHVILLE THEATER 101: Two Johns and a German
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 15, 2014

Why do you do theater? We've been putting that question to members of the Nashville theater famiy for the past month to find out what it is that motivates creative types to pursue an illusory and challenging career, while for others the theater gives them a creative avocation that helps keep them sane. Today, in our latest installment of Nashville Theater 101, we introduce three more members of our wildly divergent, almost prototypically dysfunctional theater family: John Silvestro, Carolyn German and John Mauldin-or as we like to call them, "Two Johns and a German." (more...)

THE FRIDAY FIVE: Playwright/director Myra Stephens of BEING EBENEZERTHE FRIDAY FIVE: Playwright/director Myra Stephens of BEING EBENEZER
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 12, 2014

Myra Stephens has had a busy week, as is wont to happen when tech week descends upon a production, so she can be forgiven for not completely understanding the five questions that comprise our Friday Five, a regular feature designed to introduce members of Tennessee's theater community to the world at-large. (more...)

HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: MBA's Jess DarnellHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: MBA's Jess Darnell
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 11, 2014

The talent pool is deep here, a fact exemplified by today's young actor featured in HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Jess Darnell, an 18-year-old senior at Nashville's Montgomery Bell Academy, who graduates next spring after already amassing an impressive theatrical resume. (more...)

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Lindy & Greg PendzickWHERE ARE THEY NOW? Lindy & Greg Pendzick
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 10, 2014

Lindy Pendzick and Greg Pendzick, who were resident company members at Crossville's Cumberland County Playhouse from 2010-13, are now co-cruise directors and headlining performers on the American Empress riverboat with the American Queen Riverboat Company. (more...)

COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Lipscomb University's Tyler RussellCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Lipscomb University's Tyler Russell
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 9, 2014

Among the leading students in the Fernandez and Baker-led Lipscomb theater program is Tyler Russell, a native of Vancouver, Washington, who has made an impact on local stages, starring as Marius in Lipscomb University Theatre's acclaimed production of Les Miserables in Fall 2013 and as Tony in the company's 2014 fall musical West Side Story. (more...)

BWW Reviews: Renaissance Players' IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMASBWW Reviews: Renaissance Players' IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMAS
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 8, 2014

While the Renaissance Players' mounting might be a little rough around the edges, there's still plenty to recommend the show if you're in need of some Christmas cheer. Directed by Jon Kopischke, with choreography by Alaina Deaver and musical direction by SharonTaylor, Irving Berlin's White Christmas features Jarrod Clark, Zane Jordan, Amanda Mollehour and Tawny Frey as the leading quartet of showbiz types (along with the showstopping Linda Sue Runyeon, who delivers some of the night's best moments) who breathe life into the libretto. (more...)

Celebrating Christmas Onstage: What's Your Favorite Show?Celebrating Christmas Onstage: What's Your Favorite Show?
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 8, 2014

Inspired by all the seasonal festivities that abound, we asked people in the theater community to share their favorite things to see onstage during the run-up to Christmas… (more...)

NASHVILLE THEATER 101: Patrick James, April Hardcastle-Miles & Matthew Hayes HunterNASHVILLE THEATER 101: Patrick James, April Hardcastle-Miles & Matthew Hayes Hunter
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 8, 2014

Today, in our third installment of Nashville Theater 101, we introduce you to three more members of the Nashville theater family: Patrick James, April Hardcastle-Miles and Matthew Hayes Hunter. Our questions are fairly basic and to the point: Why do you do theater? And why do you choose Nashville, perhaps best known as the home of country music, as your home base? (more...)

BWW Reviews: The Gaslight's TWO GUYS & A CHRISTMAS TREEBWW Reviews: The Gaslight's TWO GUYS & A CHRISTMAS TREE
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 5, 2014

Two Guys and a Christmas Tree brings the holiday season to Dickson in the persons of Nick Fair, Michael J. Parker, Marilyn Whitehead Fair and Jenny Norris-Light, a quartet of capable actors and wonderful singers who provide a soundtrack for your seasonal celebrations in a sprightly holiday diversion directed by Greg Frey. (more...)

BWW Reviews: Studio Tenn's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFEBWW Reviews: Studio Tenn's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 5, 2014

Finding it difficult to get into the holiday spirit? Studio Tenn has the perfect antidote to the grey, cloudy and wet days of early December in Nashville: It's A Wonderful Life-the company's production of the stage adaptation of the iconic holiday film. If it doesn't put you in the right frame of mind, then we suspect nothing will. (more...)

THE FRIDAY FIVE: Gina D'Arco's Wonderful LifeTHE FRIDAY FIVE: Gina D'Arco's Wonderful Life
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 5, 2014

As time-and the fates-would have it, Gina D'Arco is back again! With today's feature, if memory serves, Gina is the first performer to do two Friday Fives for us. Have her answers changed? Just as her life has changed, so has her perspective, so of course you're going to learn something new about the young woman who opens tonight as Mary Hatch Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life, Springhouse Theatre Company's holiday season offering, running December 5-14. (more...)

HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Hume-Fogg's Karissa WheelerHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Hume-Fogg's Karissa Wheeler
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 4, 2014

Charming and exuberant, Karissa is doing the whole senior year experience to the hilt, leading her classmates in their final year at one of the nation's leading high schools, and somehow finding time to pursue her passion of theater. (more...)

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