Cain Park to Produce LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL and SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM
The City of Cleveland Heights announces LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL (June 11-28, 2020) and SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM (August 6-16, 2020) will be produced in the Alma Theater as part of Cain Parkʼs 82nd season. Cain Park Theater Artistic Director Joanna May Cullinan directs both with musical direction by Jordan Cooper and choreography by Imani Jackson for Legally Blonde The Musical.Harvard's beloved blonde take the stage by pink storm in this fun award-winning musical based on the adored movie. Music and lyrics are by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin with book by Heather Hach, and based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture. Legally Blonde The Musical follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. The original Broadway production ran for 595 regular performances before closing on October 19, 2008. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards and ten Drama Desk Awards. The Daily Telegraph wrote "Musical theatre at its best - great songs, witty lines. Smart, sassy, spectacular." "I'm excited to do Legally Blonde in 2020 during the Centennial of Women's Suffrage," says Cullinan. "Elle Woods is an unlikely feminist hero who overcomes stereotypes, embraces sisterhood and maintains integrity through a strong sense of self." Hailed as a "revelatory revue full of wonderful moments" and a "funny, affectionate and revealing tribute to musical theater's greatest living composer and lyricist," Sondheim on Sondheim is an intimate portrait of the famed songwriter in his own words and music. Through the use of exclusive interview footage, audiences get an inside look at the personal life and artistic process of the famed composer. Ranging from the beloved to the obscure, the carefully selected two-dozen songs hang from a framework of in-depth video interviews, delving into Sondheim's personal life and artistic process. Equity and Non-Equity Auditions for both musicals will take place February 27 & 29, 2020 in the Cleveland Heights Community Center with details to follow in a separate release. Callbacks are on March 1. Joanna May Cullinan has worked at Cain Park in various capacities over the past 20 years, most recently directing the critically acclaimed productions of Ragtime, Rock of Ages and Memphis. She is also the Director of Marketing for The Musical Theater Project. As a freelance director throughout northeast Ohio, Joanna has worked with Great Lakes Theater, Cleveland Play House, Mercury Theatre Company, Ensemble Theatre, and Beck Center among others. Joanna graduated from Baldwin-Wallace University with a B.A. in Theatre and completed the graduate studies program in Arts Management at The University of Akron. She also attended The National Cabaret Conference at Yale University where she worked with multiple Broadway legends and Tony award nominees. Jordan Cooper is the artistic director for The Passion Project and has worked at Dobama Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Playhouse Square, Lakeland Civic Theatre, Cain Park, Tantrum Theater, French Creek Theatre, Blank Canvas Theater, The Florida Repertory Theatre Company, Near West Theatre, Cassidy Theatre, and the list goes on. His work in theater began at a young age and has flourished into a thriving career as a director, music director, pianist and accompanist. His favorite Cleveland theater credits include: Next To Normal, The Light In the Piazza, Violet, Into the Woods, The Last Five Years, Merrily We Roll Along, A Little Night Music (Lakeland); Ragtime, Memphis, Rock of Ages, The Toxic Avenger, Godspell, The Frogs (Cain Park); Next To Normal (Tantrum); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Little Foxes (Cleveland Play House); Ella Enchanted, A Civil War Christmas, Peter & The Starcatcher (Dobama). Choreographer Imani Jackson is a Cleveland native currently living in Los Angeles with her husband and two boys. An alumna of Cleveland School of the Arts, she served as director of the Dance Department there. She earned a BFA in Dance Education from Kent State University where she was president of the National Dance Education Organization and a member of the Kent Dance Ensemble. Imani has been a teaching artist and choreographer for two years at Disney Musicals in Schools most recently with Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles. In addition to being a proud alumna of the All-City Arts program, she has been seen as Charlaine Woodard in Ain't Misbehavin', Latoya in Crowns, a principal dancer in Blues in the Night, a member of the ensemble in Cleveland Musical Theatre's inaugural performance of Aida, and most recently as a vocalist in a concert in Los Angeles. Imani made her Cain Park debut in 2018's Memphis and returned in 2019 to choreograph Ragtime. Cain Park, a municipally owned and operated summer performing arts park and one of the nation's oldest landmark outdoors entering its 82nd season in 2020, is produced by the City of Cleveland Heights and is located on Superior Road between Lee and South Taylor roads.