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Lisa Norris

Lisa Norris Lisa grew up participating in community theater groups such as
Cincinnati Young People's Theater (CYPT) in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio, both
in front of and behind the scenes. After completing her undergraduate degree
in Elementary Education/Special Education at the College of Mount St. Joseph
there, Lisa relocated to Columbus, Ohio to complete her Master of Arts
degree at The Ohio State University. Now a mom to four children, she is back
in the local theater scene introducing her own next generation of theater
goers to the arts. Lisa currently works as an online educator and runs the
"Mom Taxi" shuttling her kids around Hilliard. In addition to musical
theater, she enjoys soccer, singing, and going to the bathroom without


BWW Reviews: The Short North Stage Brings Pinball Wizard, TOMMY, to Local Stage
April 11, 2014

I love the Short North Stage for several reasons. First, they have boldly devoted themselves to resuscitating the nearly flatlined Short North theater scene, saving an iconic historic theater in the process. Second, more often than not, they embrace the eccentric, edgy flavor that makes the Short North remarkable, rather than conforming to traditional theater fare. That's where "The Who's Tommy" gets it right- it is edgy, fierce, and at times, electric. The rock opera, which premiered in 1983 with lyrics and music by The Who's Pete Townshend is a virtually dialogue free story of a 4 year old boy who becomes essentially catatonic after witnessing his presumed dead father kill his mother's lover upon returning unexpectedly from WWII. Young Tommy (played by an adorably wide-eyed, but obviously inexperienced Christian Giannone) becomes an accidental sensation once he discovers his talent for pinball.

BWW Reviews: THE ADDAM'S FAMILY - America's Most Delightfully Unhappy Family Goes Musical
April 9, 2014

When your audience obliges the orchestra Overture by almost reflexively snapping along to the theme song of its 1960's sitcom predecessor, it's clear that they are acquainted with the classic Addam's Family. The delightfully macabre next door neighbors from the dark side are iconic- patriarch, Gomez Addams (Jesse Sharp), his lovely vampirish wife, Morticia (Keleen Snowgren), their two children- the diabolical, Pugsley (Connor Barth) and his "innocent" torture-loving sister, Wednesday (Jennifer Fogarty). The family tree extends to include portly bald-headed Uncle Fester (Shaun Rice), Frankenstein-like butler, Lurch (Ryan Jacob Wood), and a Grandma (Amanda Bruton) of questionable lineage. The characters look their parts, with spot-on costuming by Phelim McDermott, but that's largely where the similarities end.

BWW Reviews: CATCO's STEEL MAGNOLIAS More Aluminum Than Titanium
March 27, 2014

It's a safe assumption that if you are female, you have more than likely already emptied a box of Kleenex over "Steel Magnolias" at some point in your life. The 1989 movie version which featured an iconic cast, has deservedly earned its chick-flick staple status. However, as a sold-out crowd at the Riffe Center would attest, it's a show that is at once classic and ageless, with its development of the deep friendship that 6 southern women develop as they mingle regularly at the town's beauty parlor.

March 7, 2014

If you holed up in hibernation through the Arctic Freeze that was Valentine's Day, and the slightly rising temperatures have you thinking about spring romance, you're in luck. CATCO'S "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" is just the perfect date-night fare to wake up your romantic side.

BWW Reviews: Seeing Is Not Always Believing with CATCO's SHIPWRECKED!
February 12, 2014

Donald Marguiles' well-crafted Off-Broadway play brings the real historical figure of Louis de Rougemonte to life on CATCO's Riffe Center stage. CATCO's Studio Two space transforms as it tells this whirlwind of a tale, so fantastically ridiculous, you can't help but think that it might just be true. Aided by a set that looks much like the deck of a Pirates of the Carribean movie sprawled out before your eyes in absolutely breathtaking detail (designed by the phenomenal Michael S. Brewer), and characters brought to life in Victorian era charm with costumes by Marcia Hain, Director Mark Seamon creates a re-telling that is like a bedtime story on steroids- full of over-the-top imagination as chapters unfold.

BWW Reviews: Forget The Weather and Get Together at Shadowbox Live's FOREPLAY
February 9, 2014

Shadowbox Live regulars know that while saucy, sensual, and sassy are year-round commodities for the troupe, when the season of love rolls around, Shadowbox tends to shed its few inhibitions left. Titling its Lion's Den sponsored show, "Foreplay", and the sold out crowds packing the venue are neither shocking nor surprising, but what is an incredibly ironic twist- this is one of the most tamed down shows to grace the 'Box yet.

BWW Reviews: Wishing for Spring? Look No Further Than The Short North Stage's A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING
February 7, 2014

If you're sick of the drab, cold Ohio weather, sneak over and warm up in the Short North Stage's Garden Theater, where "It Might As Well Be Spring", and you'll be guaranteed "A Lovely Night" where you'll be humming "Something Wonderful" right on through the Central Ohio deep freeze.

Columbus' Best of 2013 and Top Picks for 2014
December 30, 2013

2013 brought some of the city's best entertainment to date to Columbus' theater scene. At any given time, you had your pick of several truly dynamite options for quality drama and music right in your backyard. We at Broadway World Columbus are unendlessly thankful for the dynamic and exhilarating production companies that grace Central Ohio and create the vibrant and diverse arts scene in our town. If you haven't paid a visit (or two or three…) to these area theater companies this past year, start planning for 2014 now, as these hotshots are on the forefront of an electrifying new year of local theater!

BWW Reviews: Grab your Legwarmers, FLASHDANCE Is a Great 80's Throwback
December 18, 2013

Jennifer Beals' shoulder-baring 'Maniac' is as 80's iconic as boom boxes, MTV, and Madonna, and much to the delight of a nearly full house at the Palace Theater last night, 'Flashdance: The Musical' had all of the above, with legwarmers, spiral permed hair, and some pretty impressive talent to boot.

BWW Reviews: CATCO's A CHRISTMAS CAROL Proves Great Things Come in Small Packages
December 16, 2013

This production is filled with so many novel approaches while maintaining the classic's integrity, that viewing it was much like unwrapping a gift. And don't let its humble 8 member cast fool you- good things do come in small packages. Arguably the best set designer in town, Michael S. Brewer creates a first impression in his lovely 1940's abandoned London theater set that immediately intrigues audience members as being both non-traditional and perfect, all at once. Director Joe Bishara combines the traditional tale with Patrick Barlow's twist- a group of actors who perform the play in said abandoned theater, and creates memorable scenes with a dynamic cast of only a few performers who play multiple roles, and a vintage marionette utilized as Tiny Tim.

BWW Interviews: Catching Up with Local Young Broadway Veteran Camille Mancuso
November 6, 2013

Gahanna native, Camille Mancuso has toured with multiple national shows including 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang', and most recently could be found on Broadway in 'Mary Poppins'. In fact, she is an accomplished musical theater veteran at the ripe old age of 14. We caught up with this talented gal , currently playing the 'role' of a local high schooler, doing what teenagers who love theater do, performing in her local high school's fall musical.

BWW Reviews: Talent Galore in Short North Stage's SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE
October 11, 2013

It was something of a perfect storm of talent that occurred inside the Short North Stage last night. Sarna Lapine, the niece of Tony-Award winning author/director James Lapine, is directing the Columbus premier of the Sondheim musical for which her uncle penned the book. She has combined forces with the 2013 Tony Award winning sound designer, Leon Rothenberg, Broadway veteran Laura Griffith (Dot), and local musical tour de force, Matt Clemens (George) to create a show that has so many "points of light" its artistic merit is brilliant as its Chromolume counterpart.

BWW Special Feature: SRO to present, 'A Lovely Night' Cabaret Fundraiser Starring Real-Life Couple Liz Wheeler and Joe Bishara
October 8, 2013

Local theater company SRO, a semi-professional theater company that offers main-stage productions and touring shows, as well as outreach and educational programs, will present its fundraiser performance of "A Lovely Night " in a one-night only engagement at 8 p.m. on Oct. 11 in the Van Fleet Theatre, Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave.

BWW Reviews: CATCO Is Kids' Light-Hearted THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER - A Great Intro To Twain for Younger Crowd
October 6, 2013

CATCO Is Kids makes a name for itself in the often crowded local children's theater scene by steering clear of the flashy, typical kid-fare, and instead providing a high quality, educational theater experience in a youth-accessible fashion. An original adaptation (Created by the father of CATCO Is Kids, Steven Anderson) of the classic Samuel Clemens' penned tale, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" , the show runs a brief 45 minutes- just right to be a "Cliff's Notes" version of the tale, but a whole lot more entertaining.

BWW Reviews: Shadowbox Live's NIGHTMARE ON FRONT STREET Delightfully Freaky Fun
October 5, 2013

Shadowbox Live's sketch comedy and rock-n-roll format is back with a fall run of 'Nightmare on Front Street', which runs now through November 16th on Friday and Saturday evenings. Much less scary than the name implies, this is actually a more 'light' show than most of Shadowbox's productions, while maintaining the edgy fun that makes Shadowbox one of the most unique entertainment experiences in Columbus.

BWW Reviews: 'Look on the Bright Side' with Shadowbox Live's SPAMALOT
September 9, 2013

The hardest working theater troupe in Central Ohio is currently delivering its Stev Guyer-ized version of "Monty Python's Spamalot." The 2005 musical by Eric Idle and John Du Prez was "lovingly ripped off" from the motion picture 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail," and while audience members will appreciate some uniquely Shadowbox additions and a bit of Central Ohio humor (notably, among others, Gym Ganahl as "Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Show"), Python fans will find this version to be of the goofy, flamboyant, and totally inane flavor expected.

BWW Reviews: CATCO is Kids' RUDE MECHANICALS is Full of Late Summer Laughs
August 31, 2013

CATCO Is Kids opened its 2013-14 children's series with a short, 3 performance run of a kid-friendly version of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Nights Dream", entitled "The Rude Mechanicals" at the Columbus Performing Arts Center last night. This adaptation, created by local playwright, Ed Graczyk, modifies the convoluted storyline of one of the Bard's most popular tales to a 45 minute, family-accessible version that Directors, Joe Bishara and Liz Wheeler, ambitiously tackle with a cast of 17 children.

BWW Reviews: CATCO's 'Bee' Spells Out Recipe for Heartwarming Humor
August 9, 2013

You can almost smell the scent of misfit adolescence in the air down at the Vern Riffe Center, and as you take your seat surrounded by Set Designer Michael S. Brewer's all-too-realistic high school gymnasium stage, you can't help but feel the awkwardness and anxiety of your earlier years come flooding back.

BWW Reviews: Insanity or Genius? Shots In the Dark Presents NEXT TO NORMAL
August 3, 2013

Oscar Levant once said, 'There's a fine line between genius and insanity.' And I have to admit, when I heard that Shots in the Dark was taking on the Columbus premiere of the acclaimed 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner for drama-'Next to Normal', I wasn't sure which side of that line they'd fall on.

BWW Reviews: Worthington Community Theatre Does Worthy Version of GODSPELL
July 21, 2013

Columbus' oldest community theater, Worthington Community Theatre seems the fitting arena to take on one of the most quintessential surely-you-have-seen-it musicals with Stephen Schwartz' 'Godspell'. However, it's a production that leaves many a theater group in a quandary- the songs are familiar and audiences eat them up, but the production has been done so many times, in so many ways, that a director must choose to do the show in its classic sense and risk boring repetitiveness, or develop some new, modernized interpretation that loses the classical appeal. WCT walks the midline with its choice, as Director Joe Cherubino elects to keep the show itself rather low-key and tame, not the neo-funk Broadway Revival tone at all, while retrofitting the setting to that of a toystore, with the cast of characters taking their personas from classic children's toys such as Barbie, Raggedy Ann, Crayola Crayons, cowboys, and puppets.