BWW Review: Nashville Rep's 35th Season Celebration Kicks Off With Astonishing URINETOWN THE MUSICALBWW Review: Nashville Rep's 35th Season Celebration Kicks Off With Astonishing URINETOWN THE MUSICAL
by Jeffrey Ellis - Sep 15, 2019

Brilliant social commentary or sophomoric lowbrow humor? Just what is it that makes Urinetown the Musical such a hit with audiences and theater companies a?' is it the biting satire delivered in Greg Kotis' book and lyrics and in Mark Hollmann's music and lyrics, or is it (in the case of Nashville Repertory Theatre's 35th season opening production) director Jason Tucker's fast-paced and quick-witted vision that's nothing short of mesmerizingly entertaining? We'll leave that up to you to decide a?' well, actually, we won't since that's why I am paid the big bucks to tell you what to think a?' but rest assured that no matter the reason, odds are you're going to love Nashville Rep's iteration of Urinetown and you'll want to score tickets before the show evaporates into the creative ether encircling Tennessee Performing Arts Center's Andrew Johnson Theatre. (more...)

BWW Review: Tennessee Women's Theater Project's Stunning Revival of SISTAS THE MUSICALBWW Review: Tennessee Women's Theater Project's Stunning Revival of SISTAS THE MUSICAL
by Jeffrey Ellis - May 4, 2019

Directed with grace and wit by Tennessee Women's Theater Project founder Maryanna Clarke, Sistas the Musical is now onstage through May 19 at The Z. Alexander Looby Theatre, located conveniently just off Rosa Parks Boulevard in north Nashville, a historically black enclave that has been central to the civil rights struggles of the citizens of Tennessee's capital city. (more...)

BWW Review: Nashville Rep's Sparkling SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Caps An Impressive 2018-19 SeasonBWW Review: Nashville Rep's Sparkling SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Caps An Impressive 2018-19 Season
by Jeffrey Ellis - Mar 24, 2019

Oh, those wacky Brits: They love their comedy dry, broad and often rather lowbrow, they adore mistaken identities, hijinks in the bedchamber and a bit with a dog. And that, gentle readers, is exactly what is delivered in the deliciously irreverent, surprisingly heartfelt Shakespeare in Love - Lee Hall's stage adaptation of the 1999 Oscar-winning best film of the same name - now onstage at Tennessee Performing Arts Center's Andrew Johnson Theatre in a sparkling new production from Nashville Repertory Theatre. (more...)

FRIDAY 5 (+1): Nashville Repertory Theatre's SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Opens Saturday 3/23FRIDAY 5 (+1): Nashville Repertory Theatre's SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Opens Saturday 3/23
by Jeffrey Ellis - Mar 22, 2019

Today, in anticipation of their opening weekend, three members of Copeland's cast - Cailen Fu, Joseph Leitess and Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva - offer some background information on what shapes them as actors (including their most memorable "the show must go on" moments) and offer suggestions for why you shouldn't miss Shakespeare in Love in our latest Friday 5 (+1): (more...)

Nashville's Circle Players Reveals Shows for Upcoming 70th Anniversary SeasonNashville's Circle Players Reveals Shows for Upcoming 70th Anniversary Season
by Jeffrey Ellis - Mar 20, 2019

Circle Players, one of Tennessee's oldest community theater organizations, has announced the slate of shows for its 70th anniversary season, including some of the most requested shows in the company's history which will be 'revisited' for the special season. Circle Players revealed the shows to be included in its upcoming 70th season during a party last night on the 30th floor of Nashville's L&C Tower. (more...)

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Closes Out Nashville Rep's 2018-19 Season at TPAC's Johnson TheatreSHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Closes Out Nashville Rep's 2018-19 Season at TPAC's Johnson Theatre
by Jeffrey Ellis - Mar 17, 2019

Shakespeare in Love - the final show of Nashville Repertory Theatre's 2018-19 season - opens Saturday night, March 23, at the Andrew Johnson Theatre at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, running through April 13. Replete with comedy, a secret romance, live music, a play-within-a-play, stunning costumes, swordfights, a hefty wager and Queen Elizabeth I herself, there's also the promise of a very cute dog to entice audiences to the theatre. (more...)

Nashville Children's Theatre Stages Copeland's Adaptation of CINDERELLANashville Children's Theatre Stages Copeland's Adaptation of CINDERELLA
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 6, 2017

Nashville Children's Theatre (NCT), the nation's oldest professional theatre for young audiences announces the return of its holiday event Cinderella, in what will be the third and final year NCT has produced this wintertime Cinderella. The production runs December 14-21 at Nashville Children's Theatre. (more...)

BWW Review: A WONDERFUL LIFE Brings Holiday Sentiment to Chaffin's BarnBWW Review: A WONDERFUL LIFE Brings Holiday Sentiment to Chaffin's Barn
by Jeffrey Ellis - Nov 29, 2017

George Bailey's story is a universal one, so much so that some 70 years after the film treatment of It's A Wonderful Life debuted, the tale of an upstanding citizen faced with failure and ruin, has become one of the most beloved holiday-season tales of all time. But the initial reaction of movie-goers to the film, although not nearly so dire as some cinema historians would have you believe, is considered one of the best-reviewed movies of all time. (more...)

BWW Review: Nashville Rep's Stylish Take on Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITYBWW Review: Nashville Rep's Stylish Take on Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
by Jeffrey Ellis - Sep 10, 2017

There is no mistaking the incisive wit of Jane Austen's rather genteel evisceration of the British aristocracy to be found in Sense and Sensibility, the thoroughly delightful and completely engaging adaptation by Kate Hamill that opens Nashville Repertory Theatre's 2017-18 season. In gleeful style, director Rene D. Copeland and her 10-person ensemble bring Hamill's script and Austen's characters to life in a production that might best be described as sparkling and polished. (more...)

Nashville Children's Theatre Reveals Cast & Crew for 2017-18 SeasonNashville Children's Theatre Reveals Cast & Crew for 2017-18 Season
by Jeffrey Ellis - Aug 29, 2017

Nashville Children's Theatre, the nation's oldest professional theatre for young audiences today announces full casting and creative teams for the 2017-2018 season, opening the theater's 87th season - its first with programming designed by new executive artistic director Ernie Nolan. (more...)

GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for April 25, 2017
by Jeffrey Ellis - Apr 25, 2017

Meanwhile, you can cast your eyes toward today's photogenic cover models, the lovely and talented Cooper and his human, Nashville actress/designer Ashley Wolfe - both of them are pretty swell, in our estimation (even deserving of a Tony Award), and while we worry about them taking selfies while driving and while catching up on the theatrical news every morning, we are assured they were at a full stop when this photo was snapped. In fact, according to the human member of the duo she hadn't yet turned her key to the on position. (more...)

First Night's Top Ten of 2017 Announced in Music City
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 28, 2016

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. (more...)

NCT Launches New Holiday Tradition With CINDERELLA
by Jeffrey Ellis - Nov 28, 2016

An affectionate throwback to the early tradition of American Theatre for Young Audiences, NCT's production of Cinderella is heavily influenced by the British 'Panto' tradition of fairy tales. Much as Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is presented at holiday time on stages throughout America, there are dozens of 'Panto' treatments of Cinderella presented as a family Christmas treat on stages throughout England annually. (more...)

BWW Review: Chaffin's Barn Does RED, WHITE & TUNA Up Right
by Jeffrey Ellis - Nov 16, 2016

Just in time to lift your spirits in the wake of a bruising presidential election season, Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre - the iconic theatrical venue, which for 50 years has delighted Nashville audiences on the chow-and-bow circuit - provides ample laughs and plenty of guffaws (along with a bountiful buffet) with their latest version of Red, White and Tuna, which transports audiences to the third smallest town in Texas for yet another down-home, Independence Day-flavored adventure. (more...)

Nashville's Theater Calendar 4/25/16
by Jeffrey Ellis - Apr 25, 2016

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. (more...)

Critic's Choice: The Shows To See This Weekend
by Jeffrey Ellis - Apr 21, 2016

Shows are opening (Carolyn German unveils her latest, Go From Here, and Nashville Ballet revives Carmina Burana, both this weekend), shows are closing (your last chance to catch The Taffetas at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre before they go the way of The Plaids is this weekend) and The Miss Firecracker Contest is back onstage at Donelson's Larry Keeton Theatre for the second of three weekends. Obviously, the 2016 theater season continues to reveal itself at a breakneck pace, giving audiences a veritable buffet of offerings from which to choose. (more...)

Wilkinson Leads Copeland-directed CHICAGO for Nashville Rep
by BWW News Desk - Apr 16, 2016

2015 First Night Honoree Martha Wilkinson - the winner of nine First Night Awards for outstanding lead actress in a musical - leads the Nashville Repertory Theatre cast of the Oscar- and Tony Award-winning Chicago, running March 19-April 16 at the Andrew Johnson Theater at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. (more...)

A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD Hops Onto the NCT Stage Today
by BWW News Desk - Apr 14, 2016

In Robert and Willie Reale's whimsical show, Frog and Toad wake from hibernation in the Spring, plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, eat cookies, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. The jazzy, upbeat score bubbles with melody and wit, making A Year With Frog and Toad a musical sure to entertain the whole family. (more...)

Critic's Choice: People to See, Shows to Do
by Jeffrey Ellis - Apr 7, 2016

Shows are opening, shows are closing and Fiddler on the Roof is back onstage for Actors Pointe Theatre Company while Tom Sawyer takes a bow at Springhouse Theatre in Smyrna! Obviously, the 2016 theater season continues to reveal itself at a breakneck pace, giving audiences a veritable buffet of offerings from which to choose. (more...)

BWW Interview: BILLY DITTY, A Dancer's Life
by Jeffrey Ellis - Apr 5, 2016

When you're talking about dance and dancers in Nashville, one name immediately rises to the top of the list: Billy Ditty. No matter the genre, no matter the venue, no matter the project, he exemplifies dance in Music City for many people. (more...)

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