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Photo Coverage: Midwinter's First Night 2019 at The Larry Keeton Theatre in Nashville

Actors Bridge Ensemble's acclaimed production of Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves and Cumberland County Playhouse's rendition of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street were named as the top shows of the year during Midwinter's First Night, the annual tribute to theater in Tennessee, held at Nashville's The Larry Keeton Theatre last Sunday night, January 13. Photographer Rae Lynn Whetzel-Stickney captured many of the night's biggest moments with her camera, which are shared on BroadwayWorld Nashville today.
THE WOLVES, SWEENEY TODD Win Top Awards at 2019 Midwinter's First Night

Actors Bridge Ensemble's critically acclaimed production of Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves and Cumberland County Playhouse's stunning mounting of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street were named as the top shows of the year during Midwinter's First Night, the annual tribute to theater in Tennessee, held at Nashville's The Larry Keeton Theatre Sunday night, January 13.
First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville Tonight

In anticipation of the gala 30th anniversary celebration of The First Night Awards, Tennessee's best and brightest in live theater were revealed tonight as First Night's Top Ten of 2018 - reviewer and critic Jeffrey Ellis' annual recognition for theater in the Volunteer State - were announced during a Facebook Live presentation from Nashville.
SAVE THE DATE: Nashville Theater Calendar for September 23

Looking into the future, you'll find a number of new productions on tap for your entertainment pleasure, thanks to the efforts of theater companies all over Middle Tennessee. Here's our calendar to help you plot your course...
BWW Review: Nashville Rep's Outrageously Fun AVENUE Q Leaves Audiences Wanting More

Never before have audiences responded with such startling enthusiasm and thunderous applause to a Nashville Repertory Theatre opening night - at least in my memory and I've been reviewing shows at the Rep for 30 years now - than what I witnessed last night as Avenue Q kicked off the company's 2018-19 season in astonishingly irreverent style. Theater historians would have a hard time finding a production in which Nashville Rep audiences had a better time celebrating diversity and internet porn while watching two puppets have unbridled and unrestrained sex even if they lack some of the parts necessary to consummate the act.
BWW Review: Adam Szymkowicz's MARIAN, OR THE TRUE TALE OF ROBIN HOOD is Truly Legendary

The legend of Robin Hood is subject to personal interpretation and, given the times in which we now live, it only makes sense that playwright Adam Szymkowicz would devise his own treatment of the legend in ways both provocative and traditional. In Marian, Or The True Tale of Robin Hood, Szymkowicz posits that both Robin, the personification of the anti-hero, and his supposed love, Maid Marian are indeed the same person, devoted not only to taking from the aristocracy to provide for the peasantry, but also to foment ideas of class and gender equality at a time when such thought was considered heretical.
Street Theatre Company Announced ECLIPSED

Kicking off Street Theatre Company's mainstage productions is Eclipsed, the first and only play of the season. The critically acclaimed show written by Danai Gurira was nominated for six Tony Awards.
BWW Review: Ashdown, White Lead Compelling HAMLET at Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Wonderfully complex - and somehow unexpected and altogether authentic - performances from Sam Ashdown as Hamlet and Cheryl White as his mother Gertrude are enough reason to experience Nashville Shakespeare Festival's production of Hamlet (now onstage at Belmont University's Troutt Theatre through Sunday, followed by January 31-February 3 performances at Middle Tennessee State University's Tucker Theatre). But add to their stellar turns, an ensemble comprised of some of the best actors ever to set foot on a local stage, under the self-assured direction of the esteemed Denice Hicks (the company's artistic director), and it practically becomes a requirement for any theater lover within the sound of my voice.
HAMLET's Cheryl White on Making the Transition from TV to Stage

With Nashville Shakespeare Festival's annual Winter Shakespeare production set to open Thursday night Denice Hicks' staging of Hamlet, starring Sam Ashdown actress Cheryl White, who plays Gertrude, found time between rehearsals to talk about the production.
Nashville Shakes Offers New Year's Eve 'Sneak Peek' at 2018's HAMLET

Nashville Shakespeare Festival invites lovers of theater and The Bard to herald the arrival of 2018 and to celebrate the company's 30th Anniversary Season with a sneak peek of the upcoming production of Hamlet during their fifth annual Winter Shakespeare Open House at Belmont University's Troutt Theatre on Sunday, December 31, from 1 to 4 p.m.
First Night's Top Ten of 2017 Announced in Music City

First Night's Top Ten of 2017 - critic Jeffrey Ellis' annual review of the best in Tennessee theater - were revealed tonight during a live Facebook broadcast at 7:30 p.m. (CST), with Actor's Bridge Ensemble and Studio Tenn/TPAC leading the nods in this year's listing of categories.
Nashville's Theater Calendar 3/21/16: Spring is Here!

Sometimes it seems there is so much theater happening that it's difficult to keep track of it all. From personal experience, despite all the datebooks, smart phones, tablets, desktop computers and laptops...it's hard to keep everything straight in this wacky business of the show.
Critic's Choice: This Weekend's Openings...'And All That Jazz'

Shows are opening, shows are closing and the newly reimagined national tour of The Phantom of the Opera continues its run at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center this weekend. Theater in Tennessee continues its fast-paced run through 2016 with a number of new openings this week, thanks to Bongo After Hours Theatre, Nashville Rep, Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, Circle Players and more - and Cumberland County Playhouse, Arts Center of Cannon County, Street Theatre Company, Lakewood Theatre Company and ACT 1 continue runs of their latest shows - to give you even more opportunities to celebrate the magic of live theater in the Volunteer State! And on Monday night, The Chicago Talking Machine Company premieres its first Nashville show at the Centennial Black Box Theatre.
Nashville's Theater Calendar 3/14/16

Sometimes it seems there is so much theater happening that it's difficult to keep track of it all. From personal experience, despite all the notebooks, datebooks, smart phones, tablets, desktop computers and laptops...it's hard to keep everything straight in this wacky business of the show.
BWW Review: Paul, Adcock Sizzle in ACCC's MEMPHIS, THE MUSICAL

Melinda Paul and Michael Adcock lead an exhilarating production of the Tony Award-winning Memphis, the Musical - which features an exuberant cast that blends veteran talents like Michael McGee and Susan Walsworth with rising young performers such as Quantavius Rankins and Jordan McCullough, all of whom give their all in bringing the David Bryan-Joe DiPietro work to the stage - running through March 26 at Woodbury's Arts Center of Cannon County.
The Friday 5: MEMPHIS' Paul, Adcock and Rankins

If this is Friday, then there's got to be a new production opening tonight, right? And sure enough, down in Woodbury - home of the Arts Center of Cannon County - 2015 First Night Honoree Darryl Deason unveils his latest directorial assignment with Memphis, The Musical, starring Melinda Paul (most recently seen onstage in Circle Players' Sister Act) and Michael Adcock (who has performed on stages throughout Middle Tennessee) and an ensemble filled with many local stage veterans (including Quantavius Rankins, who closed Dreamgirls at Murfreesboro's Center for the Arts less than a fortnight ago) and newcomers.
Adcock, Paul Star in MEMPHIS: THE MUSICAL at ACCC

2015 First Night Honoree Darryl Deason directs Memphis: The Musical, the next offering at Woodbury's Arts Center of Cannon County, starring Melinda Paul and Michael Adcock as Felicia Farrell and Huey Calhoun. Memphis: The Musical runs March 11-26, featuring choreography by Regina Wilkerson Ward, with music direction by Robert Hiers.
Critic's Choice: If Life's A Cabaret, Why Aren't You At The Theater?

Winter's apparently over - it's in the mid-70s, balmy and windy, as we write this - and even before Spring pops up all over, there's an amazing amount of good theater to be found in the Nashville area. In fact, there's so much to choose from that you have absolutely no excuse staying alone in your room. Instead, in the wise and wonderful words of Sally Bowles, life is a cabaret and you're far more likely to find that out in the darkened confines of a theater, where magic and mayhem is bound to happen.
Nashville's Theater Calendar 3/7/16

Sometimes it seems there is so much theater happening that it's difficult to keep track of it all. From personal experience, despite all the datebooks, smart phones, tablets, desktop computers and laptops...it's hard to keep everything straight in this wacky business of the show.
Adcock, Paul Star in MEMPHIS: THE MUSICAL at ACCC

2015 First Night Honoree Darryl Deason directs Memphis: The Musical, the next offering at Woodbury's Arts Center of Cannon County, starring Melinda Paul and Michael Adcock as Felicia Farrell and Huey Calhoun. Memphis: The Musical runs March 11-26, featuring choreography by Regina Wilkerson Ward, with music direction by Robert Hiers.

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