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Covedale’s “Into the Woods” Receives 4 Star LCT Recommendation

CovedaleIntotheWoodsImagePanelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have awarded Covedale Theatre’s production of Into the Woods with a 4 star recommendation. Into the Woods is the award winning Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim which takes favorite storybook characters and brings them together for a timeless musical and modern classic.

Panelists called the show “a visual treat…one of the best productions I have seen at the Covedale.” Panelists were thrilled with Brett Bowling’s scenic design: “When the curtains opened during the Prologue to reveal the set I was elated to see such a beautiful set full of many levels and smartly utilizing the entire stage to create this world of enchantment.” Music director Michael Kennedy was also praised: “the ensemble sounded superb under his direction…a treat for the ears.” Finally, Elizabeth Chin Molloy was singled out for her puppetryas the cow, Milky White: “the cow puppet showed emotion and feeling…Elizabeth was able to bring her to life.”

Into the Woods continues through November 16th. Tickets can be obtained online at www.cincinnatilandmarkproductions.

Nominations for LCT awards will be determined and announced at the end of the season and winners awarded at the annual LCT gala in the spring.

Miami University’s “Little Dog Laughed” Awarded 4 Star LCT Recommendation

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have awarded Miami University’s production of The Little Dog Laughed with a 4.0 star recommendation.

The Little Dog Laughed satirizes the world of tabloid gossip, scandal, Hollywood and celebrities through the story of a rising young star who finds himself in the midst of an identity crisis. Though determined to be true to himself and announce that he is gay, his agent is hesitant for him to do so knowing what it could do to his career.

Panelists enjoyed the production. One panelist declared, “By far, the best college performance I have seen in awhile. I commend the students, and the university, for taking on such a difficult piece in content and pop culture. The direction and actors were a dynamic group in forming a truly captivating show that made the audience chuckle several times while leaving us with many thoughts in the end.” Another noted: A studio theater production well done! I felt like I was at an off-Broadway show.”

Miami’s The Little Dog Laughed runs through October 25th. Tickets can be purchased at http://blogs.miamioh.edu/home/box-office/.

Nominations for LCT awards will be determined and announced at the end of the season and winners awarded at the annual LCT party in the summer.

CCM’s “Legally Blonde” Awarded 4.5 Star LCT Recommendation

Lawson Young and Chris Collins-Pisano in "Legally Blonde"

Lawson Young and Chris Collins-Pisano in “Legally Blonde”

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have awarded University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music production of Legally Blonde with a 4.5 star recommendation.

In Legally Blonde, Harvard’s beloved blonde takes the stage by pink storm in this fun, upbeat musical that is ridiculously enjoyable from start to finish. Based on the adored feature film of the same name, this musical about self-discovery stays true to form with a peppy score and playful book. Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2011, this all-singing, all-dancing romantic comedy is about knowing who you are and showing what you’ve got!

Panelists loved the CCM’s production: “Going back to college for the opening night of CCM‘s Legally Blonde did not disappoint! the stage becomes a powerhouse of song and dance…Ohmigod you guys, just go see this show and have a lot of fun.” Panelists praised Diane Lala’s “well designed and executed” choreography (“the highlight of the show”) and scenic designer Joe Leonard’s “spectacular” scenic design: “Sophisticated…transforms constantly and seamlessly.” Lead actress Lawson Young as Elle, Lead actor Chris Collins-Pisano as Emmett, and supporting actress Madeline Lynch as Paulette were all singled out for their outstanding performances, but they gave kudos to all the performers: “the real strength of this musical was the total ensemble singing and dancing their hearts out for the pure joy felt by the audience.”

CCM’s Legally Blonde runs through November 2nd. Tickets can be purchased at http://CCM.uc.edu/boxoffice.

Nominations for LCT awards will be determined and announced at the end of the season and winners awarded at the annual LCT party in the summer.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s “The Birds” Recognized by LCT

CSCBirdsPanelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s production of The Birds for its sound and lighting design.

The Birds is an adaptation of Daphne Du Marier’s short story which was also the inspiration for Hitchcock’s classic film. For reasons unknown, the birds have turned against man, attacking them maliciously and relentlessly. In a small seaside cabin, a group of strangers find themselves thrust together, each seeking sanctuary from the savage avian menace. But as the situation becomes increasingly dire and the tension between the survivors inexorably grows, it isn’t long before the atmosphere turns ugly, and they discover that the horror hovering outside is nothing compared to that which lurks within.

Panelists praised Andrew Hungerford for lighting design and Doug Borntrager for sound design: “Lighting and sound contribute to the sense of menace and claustrophobia while the actors continue to open and close the shuttered doors and windows between waves of the bird attacks. The lighting is especially dramatic when leaking through the barricaded windows and the continuous sounds of the birds reminds the audience of the outside threat.”

CSC’s The Birds runs through November 8th. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.cincyshakes.com.

Nominations for LCT awards will be determined and announced at the end of the season and winners awarded at the annual LCT party in the summer.

Children’s Theatre “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.” Awarded 4 Star LCT Recommendation

CTCBeautyImagePanelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have awarded Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s production of Beauty and the Beast, Jr., a children’s adaptation of the beloved Disney musical, with a 4 star recommendation.

Panelists called the production “Truly a feast for the eyes…encouraged to be watched by all children as well as by all adults. A magical experience.” The entire ensemble was praised for their performances: “Truly everyone was so in tune with the rest of the ensemble that it appeared to be a treat for the audience. No one was out of the scale or out of their range. Every step, every move, every turn were well calculated and well rehearsed.”

CTC’s Beauty and the Beast, Jr.  runs through August 25th. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.thechildrenstheatre.com.

Nominations for LCT awards will be determined and announced at the end of the season and winners awarded at the annual LCT party in the summer.

Falcon’s ‘Woman in Black’ recommended by LCT

FalconWomaninBlackPanelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have awarded Falcon Theatre’s production of The Woman in Black a 4.5 (out of 5) star recommendation, calling it “master storytelling.”

One of the longest-running plays in London, this classic Victorian ghost story is set in a theater. The two actors, Matt Dentino and Jay Dallas Benson, both nominated by the LCT Panel, play multiple roles. “This is a spooky, layered, labyrinthine story,” one panelist said. “Benson and Dentino do a good job of telling the story while portraying multiple characters with different dialects.”

The LCT Panel also awarded nominations for lighting, sound, and for the direction by Ted Weil and Tracy M. Schoster.

“Technically, the show is spectacular,” a panelist said. “The direction, lights and sound are what bring this show to life.”

According to a panelist, “This show is perfectly timed for the season and one of the most entertaining productions this region has seen in some time.”

Falcon Theatre’s The Woman in Black runs Oct. 24-25 and Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at www.falcontheatre.net or 513-481-9042.

Nominations for LCT awards will be determined and announced at the end of the season and winners awarded at the annual LCT party in the summer.

ETC’s “An Iliad” Awarded 5 Star LCT Recommendation

Bruce Cromer in ETC's "An Iliad"

Bruce Cromer in ETC’s “An Iliad”

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have awarded Ensemble Theatre’s production of An Iliad  with a 5 star recommendation.

In An Iliad, the ancient thrilling tales of the Trojan War and the modern world collide in this captivating theatrical experience as we explore the psychology of passion and rage. Cincinnati actor Bruce Cromer embodies the Greek classic’s famous characters Achilles, Hector, Agammemnon—even the beautiful Helen of Troy–in a one man performance. This lean, muscular, tour-de-force performance conjures the fury of the gods as it delves deep into mankind’s unshakeable attraction to violence, destruction, and chaos.

Panelists raved about the production: “Every element of it worked beautifully, from the versatile, ‘meta’ setting design, pacing, and, finally, Bruce Cromer’s riveting performance as the poet. I rarely find a production so flawless, but this one sweeps the audience away, emotionally and intellectually.” Bruce Cromer “is stellar; his mercurial shifts into different characters, from gods to heroes to warriors and their women, his wonderful physicality, the agility with which he owns and uses the stage is just mesmerizing…this may be the best performance by an actor that I’ve seen In Cincinnati.” Director Michael Haney “did an excellent job of keeping the story clear and highlighting the complexity of human nature from the Greeks to the 21st century.” Technical aspects of the show, including Brian C. Mehring’s set and lighting design, and Matt Callahan’s sound design, were also singled out, all “masterfully planned and executed”. Overall the panelists said the show was “not to be missed—whether you know The Iliad well or not at all.”

ETC’s An Iliad  runs through November 2nd. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.ensemblecincinnati.org.

Nominations for LCT awards will be determined and announced at the end of the season and winners awarded at the annual LCT party in the summer.

CCM’s “Blood Brothers” Receives 4.5-Star LCT Rating

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized the College Conservatory of Music’s production of Blood Brothers with a 4.5 Star Rating.

Blood Brothers is the haunting story of the Johnson twins, separated at birth and brought together by the power of friendship. A tale of superstition, class distinction and adolescent love loosely based on The Corsican Brothers by Alexandre Dumas, Blood Brothers was the winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 1983.

Panelists praised director Vince DeGeorge “for his tight direction and bare-bones concept – he showed that one needs not have a big set and scenery to put together a powerful production.” Steve Goers received strong kudos for his rearrangement of the score for voices: “the vocal ensemble provided the full harmonic textures of the score that Goers’ lone piano could not. His overture had the ensemble sing the string, brass and wind parts to create a very evocative opening.” The entire cast was commended: “a bonded ensemble that was used expressively and expertly…every performer was beautifully cast and resonated with me.” In particular, leads Thomas Knapp as Mickey, Karl Amundson as Eddie, and Hannah Kornfeld as Mrs. Johnstone were singled out for touching and believable performances. Overall panelists found Blood Brothers “an outstanding production of a weird and wonderful show…smashing!”

League of Cincinnati Theatre panelists evaluate productions on a 5 star scale and recommend shows at either a 4 star or 5 star level. Nominations for LCT awards will be determined and announced at the end of the season and winners awarded at the annual LCT gala in the spring.