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BWW Review: ANNIE Is Looking Swell and Spiffy in Sparkling Chaffin's Barn Revival Photo BWW Review: ANNIE Is Looking Swell and Spiffy in Sparkling Chaffin's Barn Revival
by Jeffrey Ellis - Jul 22, 2019

If there is a more perfect pooch to portray Annie's Sandy than Rufus Stewart, then his humans should produce said canine for an upcoming production of the beloved Broadway musical post-haste. Until such time as that occurs, we are simply going to claim Rufus as the quintessential canine co-star for any number of red-headed moppets singing about "Tomorrow" while palling around with FDR, Frances Perkins, Harold Ickes and others of their political ilk.

High School Drama: Hume-Fogg Academic High School's MICHAEL DUNAWAY Photo High School Drama: Hume-Fogg Academic High School's MICHAEL DUNAWAY
by Jeffrey Ellis - Nov 4, 2018

Michael Dunaway's senior year at Nashville's Hume-Fogg Academic High School's has indeed been a busy one for the young song-and-dance man who this week opens in his school's staging of Disney's Newsies, one of the most-often produced shows of the 2018-19 season. Playing the musical's iconic leading man Jack Kelly, Dunaway leads off his final year as HFA's leading man with one of the most coveted roles in contemporary musical theater.

High School Drama: Hume-Fogg Academic High School's AVA LOCKNAR Photo High School Drama: Hume-Fogg Academic High School's AVA LOCKNAR
by Jeffrey Ellis - Oct 29, 2018

Very few actors can boast the resume, replete with some of the most iconic roles in musical theater, of Hume-Fogg Academic High School's Ava Locknar. Now a senior in Daron Bruce's and Lisa Forbis' renowned musical theatre program at the school, Ava's been at home on Broadway - albeit Nashville's Broadway - for four years, although it doesn't take much of a stretch of the imagination to envision her on the Great White Way, taking on more musical theater challenges.

COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: University of the South's Karissa Wheeler Photo COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: University of the South's Karissa Wheeler
by Jeffrey Ellis - Sep 11, 2018

Karissa Wheeler's senior year at The University of the South/Sewanee has only just started, but already she's caught up in the whirlwind of a typical ‚Äď for her, especially ‚Äď packed and rather crazy schedule, immersed in classes while moving into rehearsals for what may be the most demanding role in which she's ever been cast: Sally Bowles in the iconic Kander and Ebb musical, Cabaret, which is based on John Van Druten's play I Am A Camera, which in turn is inspired Christopher Isherwood's memoir (Goodbye to Berlin) of his years as a struggling young writer in the heady days of Weimar Germany.

BWW Review: SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN's Sentimental Journey at Chaffin's Barn Photo BWW Review: SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN's Sentimental Journey at Chaffin's Barn
by Jeffrey Ellis - Aug 8, 2017

Theater's power to transform and transport is astonishing and the capability of artists to create a sense of time and place, with words and music and theatrical wizardry to lend a tangible feeling to the experience can leave you breathless. Who'd have ever thought that such thrilling artistry, the very magic of make believe, could be so vividly expressed, so awesomely felt in two hours spent in a backwoods Southern church on a Saturday night in 1938? But that's exactly what happens in Smoke on the Mountain, Connie Ray and Alan Bailey's evocative, down-home musical that lovingly takes its audiences back home again in ways not even Thomas Wolfe may ever have imagined.

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for June 2, 2017
by Jeffrey Ellis - Jun 2, 2017

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI: Welcome to Friday, June 2, 2017! The weekend is upon us (thank you, very much) and we cannot conceive of a better way to live life dramatically than by catching a first night performance of a show? It's opening night for several new shows and we send out warm wishes of "break a leg"...

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for May 31, 2017
by Jeffrey Ellis - May 31, 2017

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI! According to the non-clock thing hanging on the wall - what's it called? Oh, yeah, a calendar (yeah, like we'd ever allow a calendar to hang on any wall under our control - today is May 31, 2017! It's another day to allow yourself to live life dramatically and to gain ownership of your own schedule for the rest of the week so you can be certain to get to the theater. Yesterday, in our never-ending quest to enlist all of you to write our daily column for us, we posted TODAY'S QUERY on Facebook, asking our gentle readers to weigh in or whether or not 'dressing for the theater' is de rigueur or is it more of a 'come as you are' nature. Little did we know that such a question could engender such passionate responses and we daresay rather passionate defenses of the wear-whatever-the-hell-you-want school of thought.

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for May 23, 2017
by Jeffrey Ellis - May 23, 2017

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI! It's Tuesday, May 23, 2017, and we are all so very lucky to be alive and to be engaged in the creation of live theater - in Tennessee, no less - with the ability to live life dramatically and to reflect on the world around us. And what a world it is: Last night, people in Nashville were exultant…the Nashville Predators won the Western Conference Playoffs to advance to the Stanley Cup Final of the National Hockey League!

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for May 17, 2017
by Jeffrey Ellis - May 17, 2017

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI! It's May 17, 2017, and summer - or a reasonable facsimile thereof - has arrived in Nashville, with temperatures already climbing toward the 90s! When prompts the musical question: What's on your agenda for the summer of 2017? Anything we should know about and, more importantly, write about?

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for May 15, 2017
by Jeffrey Ellis - May 15, 2017

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI! It's Monday, May 15, 2017, which begs the question: What's on your theatrical agenda this week? There's plenty to see and do, so we simply won't allow any excuses: Get thee to a darkened auditorium, settle into your seats and allow yourself to be transported and, in the process, transformed - all thanks to the magic of live theater!