Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ostrander Award Nominations: Community Division, 2012

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Underdog Indie no more: With seven nominations New Moons KING LEAR wows the Ostrander judges
  • Underdog Indie no more: With seven nominations New Moon's KING LEAR wows the Ostrander judges

Time to play my favorite game: Who got robbed?

SET DESIGN
Jimmy Humphries In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) The Circuit Playhouse
Mark Guirguis Present Laughter The Circuit Playhouse
Christopher McCollum Glengarry Glen Ross Theatre Memphis
Christopher McCollum Bye Bye Birdie Theatre Memphis

COSTUMES

Robin Owens Lend Me A Tenor Germantown Community Theatre
Andre´ Bruce Ward Emma Theatre Memphis
Rebecca Y. Powell In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) The Circuit Playhouse
Amie Eoff Next To Normal Playhouse on the Square
Amie Eoff Present Laughter The Circuit Playhouse

LIGHTING
John Horan God of Carnage Playhouse on the Square
Colin Chauche Spring Awakening The Circuit Playhouse
Jeremy Allen Fisher Chicago Theatre Memphis
John Horan Xanadu Playhouse on the Square
Colin Chauche Present Laughter The Circuit Playhouse

PROPS
Lydia Baughman In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) The Circuit Playhouse
Lydia Baughman God of Carnage Playhouse on the Square
Betty Dilley The Spitfire Grill Germantown Community Theatre
Lydia Baughman Present Laughter The Circuit Playhouse

HAIR/MAKE UP

Nicholas Bursoni The Club Playhouse on the Square
Mitch Baker and Liz Sharpe Chicago Theatre Memphis
Claire Rutkauskas The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Germantown Community Theatre
Nicholas Bursoni Present Laughter The Circuit Playhouse
Barbara and Rick Sanders No, No, Nanette Theatre Memphis

Continue reading »

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Choose Your Own Ostrander Nominations

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 6:31 PM

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Okay theater folks. The community Ostrander nominations will be published Thursday between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. depending on how many martinis I have for lunch. (What? Awards make me festive).

Anyway, if you want to make your own list of fantasy nominees now would be a perfect time and this would be a perfect place.

Ostrander Award Nominations: College & University, 2012

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 7:10 AM

Arabian Nights
  • Aaron Turner
  • Arabian Nights

The Ostrander Awards are only a month away and the judges have made their decisions. Here are the nominations for the College & University division. Community division nominations will be online tomorrow. Let the conversation begin!

SET DESIGN
Jay Deen The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee U of M
Dave Nofsinger The Phantom of the Opera U of M
Jathan Innerarity The Arabian Nights U of M

COSTUMES
Daniel Tyler Mathews Arcadia U of M
Janice Benning Lacek The Phantom of the Opera U of M
Miriam Patterson-Smith Urinetown: The Musical McCoy Theatre
Rebecca Bailey Kelpko The Arabian Nights U of M

LIGHTING
Ben Fichthorn Arcadia U of M
Ben Fichthorn Wit U of M
Quentin Hebda Urinetown: The Musical McCoy Theatre
Laura Canon Treefall McCoy Theatre

PROPS
Kitty Devany Wit U of M
Paul Revaz and Gwyneth Manley The Phantom of the Opera U of M
Mandy K. Heath Arcadia U of M

MAKE-UP
Jay Deen The Phantom of the Opera U of M
Katelyn Hendricks Arcadia U of M
Miriam Patterson-Smith Urinetown: The Musical McCoy Theatre

MUSIC DIRECTION
Jacob Allen The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee U of M
Jacob Allen The Phantom of the Opera U of M
Kermit Medsker Urinetown: The Musical McCoy Theatre

SOUND DESIGN
Matt Cantelon Wit U of M
Vince Basile The Phantom of the Opera U of M
Eric Sefton Treefall McCoy Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY
Courtney Oliver The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee U of M
Scott Duff Urinetown: The Musical McCoy Theatre
Mark Allen Davis The Phantom of the Opera U of M


SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Kilby Hodges Urinetown: The Musical McCoy Theatre
Katie Liesner The Phantom of the Opera U of M
Casey Greer The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee U of M
Shakiera Sarai Adams The Phantom of the Opera U of M

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Lucas Hefner The Phantom of the Opera U of M
Stephen Andrew Parker The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee U of M
Keegon Schuett The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee U of M

LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Katie Marburger Urinetown: The Musical McCoy Theatre
Christina Hernandez The Phantom of the Opera U of M

LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
No Award

Continue reading »

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Hattiloo Theatre asks what it means to be black and female

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 4:57 PM

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The Hattiloo Theatre is hosting a panel discussion to consider themes in the musical comedy The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin.

On July 21 a group of distinguished panelists will discuss peer pressure to "act black" as defined by stereotypes in videos and movies. They will also talk about early experiences of sexism, confront ongoing imbalances in corporate America between black female executives and their male counterparts and consider what it means to be "misrepresented as a 'bitch' because one is assertive and out-spoken."

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin is about a young African-American girl searching for her identity. Panelists include Dr. Rychetta Watkins (Rhodes College), Wendi Thomas (columnist, Commercial Appeal), Ruby Bright (CEO, President, Women's Foundation), Jackie Williams (President, YWCA), and others.

More details here.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Xanadu is Dumb. And Awesome.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Xanadu
  • Xanadu

I’ve been thinking a lot about Xanadu and have reached a definitive conclusion (drumroll).

It’s a big mistake to think about Xanadu.

A casual comparison to Brecht’s Good Woman of Setzuan had been considered. No, seriously. Stop laughing. Both take a self-aware approach to performance and feature meddling imperfect deities, and completely unsustainable economic models. There’s a fun little essay in there somewhere.

But why?

"Art isn't just for the educated or intelligent" as we are told in Xanadu’s opening sequence. It's also for, "people like you."

Xanadu, which is currently onstage at Playhouse on the Square, is an intentionally ridiculous ELO jukebox musical starring Nicole Hale and Corbin Williams. It’s fashioned after the obliviously ridiculous 1980 roller disco movie of the same name starring Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton John. Director Scott Ferguson and coreographer Jay Rapp delight in the dumbness of it all and the cast spreads stupid all over Michael S. Brewer’s makeshift rink. Clocking in at 90-minutes it’s a short, strong burst of ignorance personified and absolute bliss, start to finish.

As Courtney Oliver cackles during one of her exits, “This is children’s theatre for 40-year-old gay men.” For the record it works just fine for straight folks too.

As Kira, an ancient Greek muse Hale’s painfully affected Australian accent gets funnier as the show progresses. So does the starry-eyed innocence of WIlliams' Sonny, who skates earnestly around the stage in his too-short cutoffs. But this story is genuinely inspired by Greek mythology so naturally the chorus also plays a starring role. Oliver and Carla McDonald are clearly having a blast as a pair of mischievous muses and throw themselves into the over the top air-guitar glory of, “Evil Woman.” The joy is catching.

Kent Fleshman is also terrific as the callous businessman who lost touch with his muse until Sonny spells out his plans to convert an old run down theater into a roller disco.

The big takeaway: It’s better to do stupid shit smartly than smart shit stupidly. Xanadu is a big silly win for Playhouse on the Square. Here’s to smooth rolling.

For ticket info, here’s the click.

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